Monday, 26 February 2007

Glad it’s not just happening to me

Helen Mirren (sorry, that Dame thing is too preposterous) has won the Oscar for Best Actress. I’m sure she deserves it: she’s a great actress (not as genuine and versatile as Judi Dench, but very good nonetheless; I’ve seen her in dozens of plays and always liked her). Anyway, last night, as the stars were strutting their stuff on the red carpet, someone wrote, on the message board I belong to, ‘When I am in my 70s I want to look like Mirren!’

She’s only 61, of course. LOL!

It’s the white hair again, isn’t it? Either that or some young women are very stupid. Can't decide which it is.



  1. Yipes! "Stupid" might be a little harsh; she looks a fair bit over 61 to me too, and I don't consider myself stupid. It's not just the white hair (although you're right, that's part of it); I think it's the fact that she played an older woman, so without knowledge to the contrary, one assumes that she's fairly close in age to the character she played. When she arrives on the red carpet with her face looking all fresh and glowing and a rack that could rival Hilary Swank's, we're so used to nipped-and-tucked Hollywood types that we don't think, "Hmmm, that looks like the face/body of a 60something who chooses not to dye her hair," we think, "Hmmm, that's a really good-looking 70something. I wonder who worked on her..." :-)

  2. Helen Mirren is an actress: she's asked to play characters that are older or younger than herself. And, because she is a good actress, she manages to disappear behind those characters. In 1979, at the age of 34, she played a seven-year-old in Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills; she was totally believable in that part. No one suggested that she was a little girl, though.

    I am two years younger than she is and I look as if I could be her mother. She looks wonderful for her age. but obviously not by Hollywood's standards (or yours), it seems. LOL!

  3. oh dear - blogger just ate my comment

    but what i said was sth along the lines of:

    i'd like to look like helen mirren when i'm in my 40s, my 50s, my 60s, my 70s and my 80s and 90s should i be so lucky!

  4. She looks quite a bit younger than 61 to me. I want to say, almost a decade younger. I thought she looked stunning last night. I adore her hair, the cut, the color, everything. And the dress, although beautiful, did not look like she was trying too hard, which is great. I was rooting for her and am so glad she won. :-)

  5. You haven't the faintest idea what my standards are. In fact, you actually equated my standards with Hollywood's standards, which boggles my mind. I would think that years (yes, years!) of having read my MUA and blog posts would have acquainted you with my perspective on female beauty, but--alas, no. I never suggested she looked bad, just that she looked older than 61. And that people who attempted to compliment her by saying she looks great for being in her 70s weren't stupid, just wrong. There's a significant difference.

  6. I bet it's a question of the age of the person who said that. I think when you are 18, or 25, or even 30, then 55, 61, 65, 70 are all pretty much the same - 'beyond the pale' - just 'older'. But when you yourself reach 55, then 61 looks a hell of a lot different from 70, in other people and, you hope, in yourself. It's not just the face - it's a question of energy, of brightness of eye, of straightness of spine. At 61 you are still middle-aged. At 70, you're definitely regarded as 'older'. Even though many, many people live to 85 these days and are perfectly fit while doing it, I judge 'older' by the fact that, when someone dies at 72, like Ian Richardson, or 74, as my father did, no one says 'Goodness, that's young to die.' And in the years between 60 and 70, in terms of physical changes, every year makes a difference for the worse, in the way it just doesn't in your 30s.

    Anyway, IMO Helen Mirren looks like a 55-year-old who's smoked and partied a bit hard. Which she has, of course. There's no way I can see 70 years in her, no matter how hard I look, not at the Oscars and not in Prime Suspect where she wore little make-up. And not as the Queen either - that's in fact what I find slightly disturbing about the film, that she looks rather too youthful.

  7. Gee, I think Helen Mirren looks great! I wanna look that good at 61. (I'm not sure that I do at 43...)

    I'd like to slap our paper's (local) fashion guru for criticizing Meryl Streep for not wearing enough makeup. Meryl's not FAKE enough for Hollywood. I love her, too.

  8. People should NEVER guess outloud about a person's age. Yes, white hair does make people think that you are older. I have white hair, but I'm not going to dye it.

  9. UC, I’m sorry: Blogger does do odd things. But, thanks to the new version, I don’t get any more spam comments. Used to get about a dozen a day.

    To be looking gorgeous in one’s 60s, one has to have been looking (I’m gonna get in a grammatical tangle in a minute) gorgeous earlier on. Helen Mirren was absolutely gorgeous when she was young. I remember her looking like this, in the mid-’70s: All the male reviewers used to rhapsodize about her blonde hair, her voluptuous breasts, etc. Especially, when she played Cleopatra at the National Youth Theatre, and Cressida at the RSC a bit later: They haven’t really stopped since then. LOL!

    C, there’s a very interesting article on the Telegraph website;jsessionid=31VVG5WCBZ54PQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/fashion/2007/02/21/efmirren21.xml
    about how her fashion sense has changed over the past few years, thanks to a great stylist. Wish I could afford one of those. LOL!

    Wow, WW, isn’t this a bit of an overreaction?

    I was a bit stunned that anyone would try to work out how old an actor is from the parts they play.

    We do go back a long way and I do know you’re a feminist and all that, but in this case you chose to identify with someone who made a silly, stupid, judgmental, whatever, remark. (The adjective ‘stupid’, in my mouth and in English in general, is rather mild, I think.) I wasn’t to know you were going to comment or, even less, agree with the sentiment expressed by that person. Anyway, I said, ‘some young women’; I didn’t tar everyone with the same brush. If you want to ally yourself with those women, that’s your choice.

    Since I have myself been ‘attacked’ verbally by teenagers for having grey hair and looking older than I am (see story here: I don’t have much patience with young people who pass judgment on older women. I also think it’s a bit disingenuous of you to say that you ‘never suggested she looked bad, just she looks older than 61’. Since when is looking older not synonymous with looking bad? How would you like it if a friend of yours came to see you and said, ‘My, you do look so much older than the last time I saw you. You look xx years old [replace xx with the age you will be in nine years’ time]’? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t feel insulted even if they said you looked good. I don’t think being thought to be in one’s 70s and having had cosmetic surgery, when one is only 61, can ever be taken as a compliment – however good one is said to look.

    It looks like you and that girl are in a minority about Helen Mirren, anyway.

    You put your finger on it, L. I said, ‘some young women’; I knew that this was the reaction of a younger woman; older ones usually have a better eye.

    HM used to be a long-haired, long-skirted hippie who smoked. I seem to remember she also smoked tobacco, LOL, and that affects blondes with fine skin.

    A, glad you agree too.

    Meryl Streep is my idol. She is so wonderful. How can that person have forgotten (or maybe they’re too young to remember) all those years when she was nominated and used to turn up at the Oscars looking like a goddess? She’s older now and she knows that too much make-up is ageing.

    You’re right, TLP, but sometimes it’s quite a fun thing to do. Good for you re. the white hair. It suits you, I know. :-)

  10. It *is* Bela's blog and Bela is entitled to her opinion. However, it's clear to me that anyone whom disagrees with Bela will be considered *stupid* by Bela. *LOL!*

  11. She didn't disagree with me; I disagreed with her.

    And I'm sure I could think of a lot of other adjectives to describe you.