Dame Helen Mirren knows a thing or two about beauty.
“I’m not sexy. If you see a painting you love, one that speaks to you, you can say, ‘Oh my God, that painting is sexy. That doesn’t mean you want to f**k it,” she told the audience at an AARP luncheon in her honor Monday. “When [people say] I’m a sexual object, I’d argue ― I’m so not that. It’s just something that gets hung on your back and you can never quite get it off.”
Mirren also offered some advice to older women: don’t be afraid to change your appearance.
“You see older women wearing beehive hairstyles as if they were still in the 1960s and they’re not changing anything,” she said. “My advice is to look at what’s happening now and go with the flow — don’t do what you did when you were 24.”
Mirren, who graces the cover of the December/January issue of AARP The Magazine, said she has no problem with the aging process.
“The best thing about being over 70 is being over 70. Certainly when I was 45, the idea of being 70 was like, ‘Arghhh!’ But you only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else,” she said.
Mirren acknowledged that the notion of dying young like James Dean is a bit romantic.
“But then you realize that life is too much fun to do that. It’s fascinating and wonderful and emotional,” she said. “So you just have to find a way of negotiating getting old psychologically and physically.”
Mirren also emphasized the importance of “making people around you” forget the labels often attached to certain milestone ages.
“It’s making people around you ― directors, whoever ― and making yourself let go of being a beautiful 30-year-old, or a distinguished 40-year-old, or an interesting 50-year-old,” she said. “You just have to let go of whatever it is and move on.”
We gotta hand it to you, Dame Helen. Sexy or not, you’re one hell of a babe.