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What the New Congress Means For Elders

Helen Mirren – An Advocate for Elder Women

Since it was announced more than two weeks ago, you are likely to be way ahead of me about this: on Monday 27 October, the French cosmetic company L'Oreal named 69-year-old actor Helen Mirren their latest spokesperson for the U.K.

This is not new territory for L'Oreal. In recent years, Charlotte Rampling, Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda have been among the famous older faces promoting the company's products. But as far as I can find out, none of them refused to allow Photoshopping of their images:

”Dame Helen Mirren has struck a blow for older women looking their age,” reported The Telegraph, "by insisting her image must not be re-touched when she signed as L’Oreal Paris’s new UK ambassador.”

Here's what she looked like in her first L'Oreal photo shoot:


Has she had cosmetic surgery? Some gossip websites say yes and she hinted not long ago that it is an option.

Because she's an actor, an appearance as youthful as possible is often required to be allowed to continue working. It's too bad that is so but Mirren has never taken herself very seriously, so I'm guessing she'll probably admit it if she does.

Certainly, she has never been coy about her age:

"'I've been telling everybody I'm 70 for the last two years,' she revealed [to The Express in September].

"'I knew I was getting near 70, so I just decided to say, “You know, I'm 70.” It's perfect for me, because I'm surprised that I'm not 70 already. Like, Wow, I'm only 69. That's fantastic!'"

There are few enough role models for elder women. Much of the time, as the stars we like age, they disappear, or so overdo the surgery they become unrecognizable and thereby pathetic.

And, too, there are hardly any good roles for aging actresses. So it's refreshing to have a fine actress, one many of us have admired for her elegance on screen and off, showing how attractive a 70-year-old woman can be and, perhaps, in doing so, helping to make it more acceptable for everyone to get old.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Clifford Rothband: Taking a Chance


This is what 70 looks like! Good for you, Helen Mirren and L'Oreal.

She looks great! No need to Photoshop perfection.

One of my favourite actresses.

Helen Mirren's confidence and personality stand out in every move she makes.

Talented, smart, confident, knows how to present herself without using gobs of makeup.

I agree she looks great & is extremely talented, however, I think I'd look great too if I had a hair & makeup stylist!:) However, I really do greatly admire her. Dee

The Brits have it all over us when it comes to actresses being willing to look their age and still work. Consider three of my favorites: Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Maggie Smith. They're older than Helen Mirren, whom I also like, and they're still getting good roles.

Good lighting helps along with the makeup artist and hair dresser. I use PhotoShop on my photos to lessen the effects of aging. Tweeking the "curves" setting on PhotoShop can make one look smoother.

A woman of many kinds of beauty. I really enjoy watching her.

When I first looked at the photo I admit I was skeptical. I thought, don't tell me that those faint lines around her eyes and on her neck haven't been edited. Then I read dkzony's remark and understood how they were smoothed.

Does that qualify as re-touching? I'm afraid I think it does. But she is beautiful.

I think she looked much older in the later British series when she played a detective. Darn, what was the name of that series?

Does my failure to remember qualify as a senior moment? Never mind. The name of the series will suddenly come to me after I leave TGB.

Hooray !! The name suddenly came to me - "Prime Suspect".

I do think she's wearing a wig, because she has a lot more hair in that photo than in other contemporary pix.
So what?
She looks great.

I've Photoshopped my photo taking out crows feet and evening out skin tone. I still look like an older person, just not as "gnarly".

Ms. Mirren is a class act. Period.

Reminds me of what Jane Fonda once remarked regarding her appearance ...
"they did a good job"

So Bruce, in real life you look 'gnarly'.

I guess I'm going to have to learn Photoshop. I had no idea what the possibilities were. -Meg

EmmaJay, PhotoShop is the best. It can turn a color photo into black and white, and sometimes we just look better in black and white! It can crop a photo and fill in the areas in the photo that has distracting items. It can take the pole or tree out of someone's head! Need a tree? Just copy and stamp and new one into place.

I love my PhotoShop so much that I am reluctant to update my Mac to Yosemite operating system for fear of losing my Adobe software.

In 50 years, looking back at old photos, no one will have any idea what the action really was on that long-ago day nor what the people really looked like. How sad. Maybe archeologists will figure out how to "undo" the damage photoshoppers have done.

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