“I want a new word instead of ‘beautiful’,” the actor explained, when quizzed about her make-up regime on ITV’s This Morning.
It is a fact of life that everybody loves Dame Helen Mirren. The successful Hollywood actor is warm, funny, outrageously talented (she has a bevy of awards under her belt), and a loud and proud feminist – and a plethora of celebrities have waxed lyrical about her awesomeness in the past.
And now, just when we thought we couldn’t love Mirren anymore, the actor showed up on ITV’s This Morning to deliver some serious no-nonsense advice on the subject of beauty. And, in the process, she skewered the world’s toxic obsession with womankind’s physical appearance.
It all began when she was asked for her top beauty secrets.
“I have an issue with the word ‘beauty’,” she fired back. “Because we’re not all beautiful, I’m not beautiful and I recognise that fact. Sometimes I clean up nice with a lot of help… so I want a new word instead of ‘beautiful’. I think ‘being’ is a good word.”
Turning the question on its head, Mirren then proceeded to deliver her top tips for ‘being’.
“My being tip is really to be curious and interested in other people,” she said firmly. “And not think too much about yourself. Give your attention to other people. And that has a way of making you, if you like, more beautiful in many ways.”
Mirren’s point was all too clear: women are all too often reduced to the sum of their physical parts, when we should be considering all of their other amazing qualities.
Despite this, Mirren still found that everyone was still utterly obsessed with finding out more about how she keeps herself “looking nice”. Being an absolute pro, though, she managed to answer all of their questions without compromising her own ethos.
When quizzed about her health and exercise regime, Mirren refused to get drawn into a boring conversation about all the nitty-gritty details of her fitness plan.
“I go through periods of exercise,” she said, “[but] I’m not in the period right now. I go through periods of eating very well, I’m not in that period right now either. But I do very strongly believe that you have to keep realigning yourself physically with diet or exercise and then it can all go pear-shaped again and then you’ve got to pull it back again.”
When asked about her make-up routine, Mirren joked: “I don’t like the look of myself without make-up on at all, but I often forget that I haven’t got make-up on. So I often go out without make-up on.”
And, when interrogated over whether or not she dyes her hair, Mirren said firmly: “No, I couldn’t be bothered… [but] I do often cut my own hair. I said to my brilliant hair guy here, Stefan, ‘The cut I have right now Stefan is something that I did with the kitchen scissors about a week ago in my kitchen. So you know, maybe you could clean it up a bit for me?’”
It’s not the first time that Mirren has subverted expectations when talking about her beauty regime. Previously, when asked about her most-beloved make-up product, she replied: “I’m an eternal optimist. [And] I know that when I put my moisturiser on it probably does f**k all… but it just makes me feel better.”
All hail Queen Mirren, we say.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.