Friday, 18 March 2016

Helen Mirren on keeping young


Helen Mirren is the epitome of being young, when, in fact, her years would say otherwise. Helen is 70. She has white hair, wrinkles, says she has short footballer’s legs…but….she totally represents someone who seems ageless.

By comparison, Raquel Welch, whom I’ve always admired on her stance to be taken more seriously as an entertainer & her generosity in donating a fortunes worth of her wigs to women with cancer, has fillers in her face, so she has few wrinkles then, an incredible body, does tons of exercise, eats a rigid diet, immaculate hair, wears the most glamorous of clothes….to me….she screams “I’m old but I’m not”. Something is missing. And that beautiful face is quite swollen & puffy. So many wealthy women in the public eye do this to their face. To me, that’s really creepy. Why do it, I wonder? Is the fear of ageing so bad?

I think not, & Helen Mirren seems to have cracked it. She doesn’t do tons of exercise. She just does a bit, or not, as she says her exercise regime is erratic. Sometimes she does some yoga, sometimes she will go to a gym, but she is more likely to do neither as a matter of course. For decades she has done the xbx exercises from many years ago ago. These exercises are more like callisthenics & there are 10 exercises in the women’s exercises, & several levels. Once you can do so many repetitions of each exercise in about 1 minute, you go up to the next (harder) level. But she doesn’t always do these, either, even though they are her mainstay. She does tense all her muscles for 5 minutes here & there. I suppose that it reminds her body that she does have muscles. Whatever she is doing, it does work, so tons of exercise is not the key to looking youthful.

She also says that she doesn’t diet but somehow seems to always be on a diet…in other words, she keeps an eye on her food intake. She has a bit of wine. So, excessive dieting is not the answer, either.

She uses ordinary skin care & make-up from the chemist. She frequently cuts her own hair, & I have copied this: pull all your hair up high into a ponytail on top of your head & cut across the ponytail so that the hair is the same length. It creates layers which sit really nicely. In a film role, it is cut by a hairdresser to fit the character. She also dyes her own hair, & is now one of the faces of L’Oreal hair dyes. So this look & attitude of youth is definitely not about fancy contrived “youthful” hairdos, either.

Another thing: Helen is current. Her hair, make-up, clothes…..these all belong to “today” ........…definitely not to “yesterday”. So important.  Have you noticed that many people get stuck looking as they did when they were earlier, & thereby instantly age themselves? Truly, it’s a great way to be “overlooked” by others, because it so screams “yesterday”. We become invisible. She recommends feeling better as a quick way to change this, & one of the best ways to do that is through our appearance. She was talking about dyeing hair, but it could be anything. Try it: do just one thing, (the ole 5% rule!), then another time, do another little change……According to Helen, when we feel better, we become more visible.

And she dresses so well! She says she is in-between costume & art, with her clothes. She dresses in modern clothes. And Helen loves high heels, which may not work so well in everyday life unless your work entails high heels. On the red carpet, she is mesmerising, so glamorous.

Her best tip? “The hunger for looking forward, not back, keeps you young”. She also says that she “is growing up, still learning”. The desire to traverse new horizons creates an excitement in our body & psyche. Never stop learning, never stop being curious. Never stop working, at something, whatever is meaningful to you.

You won’t mysteriously get young following Helen’s advice. But you will be more youthful. And that is more important. You will be more dynamic, more looking forward to your life.



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