Dame Helen Mirren eager to honour traits which are ‘just as powerful as beauty’

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Hollywood star Dame Helen Mirren has said the word beauty “excludes the vast majority of us who are not beautiful”.

The Oscar-winning actress, 76, said she was “absolutely gobstruck” to be People magazine’s cover star for the 2022 Beautiful edition.

“I’ve never considered myself beautiful in that way and also my age, so I was amazed,” she told the magazine.

Dame Helen, who has played everything from a gangster’s girlfriend to Elizabeth II during her 50-year career, said she does love beauty and “looking at beautiful things”, but not when it is “associated with the beauty industry”.

She said: “I think it excludes the vast majority of us who are not beautiful.

“Of course there are incredibly beautiful people in the world, and it’s an absolute delight to look at them, male or female.

“Beautiful people are a wonder to behold but most of us are not beautiful. We have other stuff, which is just as powerful as beauty.

“I would like to see us celebrate those things.”

The veteran actress said she prefers the word “swagger” over beauty.

“I love the word swagger because I think swagger means I’m confident in myself, I’m presenting myself to the world, I’m enjoying the world around me.

“I think what is called the beauty industry should be called the swagger industry.

“We’re giving people swagger,” she added.

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