Why Helen Mirren won’t let herself be Photoshopped

The Guardian’s columnist Sali Hughes recently sat down with Oscar/Tony/Emmy/Golden Globe/BAFTA/life in general winner Helen Mirren to discuss the actress’ life and career. In the interview, Dame Mirren revealed that she made sure to include a rule in her contract with L’Oréal (she became a face for the brand last year) that forbids photographers from retouching pictures to make her look younger. The 70-year-old told the company, “You take me with my attitude or just don’t have me, have someone else.”

“Absolutely, that’s what we want,” L’Oréal responded. “We want truth, we want transparency.” In an amusing turn of events, Mirren’s skin looked so beautiful in the un-photoshopped images that the Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation to make sure they weren’t altered. Nope, they found, she’s just that gorgeous.

Refusing to be photoshopped isn’t exclusively about skincare for Mirren: She believes that if people see faces of older women – wrinkles and all – more often, it will lead to a growth in opportunities. Then, “it’s not uncharted territory, visually,” she said, “so it’s not such a shock to the system any more.” Dame Mirren insists that changes for women over 40 need to happen in every career path, not just in the film industry – women’s roles in movies and in real life are very much connected.

During the interview, Mirren was asked if she feels beautiful, and she said she hates that word. “Young is beautiful,” she said. “But the majority of us are something else, and I wish there was another word for it.” Maybe that word should be “Mirren,” because if that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is.

Dame Mirren stressed that she knows she doesn’t look “as good” as when she was younger. However, she followed up that comment with this gem: “The great thing that happens as you age is that you don’t really give a flying f*ck.”


Check out Dame Helen Mirren’s first commercial for L’Oréal – it will probably win an Oscar this year.


(Images via here.)

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