Dame Helen Mirren delivers such thoughtful, good-humoured commentary that it would be irresponsible to summarize it. Thus, here is what the Academy Award-winning actress and L’Oréal Paris spokesperson had to say about the complicated relationship women have with beauty and aging during a recent trip to Toronto.
HER PHILOSOPHY ON AGING
“Well, it’s inevitable, and it happens to all of us unless we die young. I never wanted to die young. I still don’t. I’m far too curious about life. So if you don’t die young, you’re going to get old— you might as well come to terms with that fact.”
ON THE “BEAUTY” INDUSTRY
“I wish we could find another word. Of course there is such a thing as beauty, and some people are undeniably beautiful. David Beckham—I mean, I’m sorry, that’s one [type of beauty] and let’s recognize that and love it and appreciate it. But when I put on my lovely pinky moisturizer or my lipstick, it’s not because I’m trying to look beautiful—because I’m not beautiful; I’m okay-looking—it makes me feel cool and good and energized. As my lovely hairstylist said, it gives me swagger. So maybe we should call it swagger. The swagger industry.”
ON PARTICIPATING IN THE SWAGGER INDUSTRY
“[When I joined L’Oréal Paris], I said, ‘Look, I hate the word “anti-aging.”’ It has always offended me. It puts such pressure on women: ‘Oh, you’re not allowed to get old.’ Well, excuse me, we do, and we have as much legitimacy and substance and presence in the world as anybody else, so we are claiming our space.”
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Cream ($36).
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.
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