“I much prefer overt sexuality to sleazy, vulgar prurience.”
As Mirren explains it, she struggled to get a handle on her own sexuality in order to use its power to accomplish her ambitions. “The Playboy Mansion, coke, and the rise of all that—Guccione and Hefner always pushed it as liberation, but it didn’t seem like that to me,” she says. “That was women obeying the sexualized form created by men—though maybe we always do that, because we want to be attractive. But I was kind of a trailblazer because I demanded to do it my own way. I’d say, ‘I’m not having it put on me by someone else.’ I didn’t want to be the sort of puritanical good girl with a little white collar who says, ‘Don’t shag until you get married.’ ”
Now, her reputation secure, Mirren’s enjoying the results of her efforts. “I’m thrilled young girls are claiming their sexuality for themselves,” she says. “I love bold women: Madonna and Scarlett Johansson—sexy and gorgeous, but not only that. And Miley Cyrus—fantastic! And Lady Gaga. I love the way she’s elevated pop to performance art, or dragged performance art down to pop, or maybe made a wonderful amalgam of the two.”
With her coy smile, Mirren looks like the conspiring queen who’s usurped the throne, securing the kingdom for her heirs: “My girls: Miley, Scarlett, Lady Gaga. My team … Yes.”
[...] they are really quite peculiar. As she splashes about in the horribly murky water - no arty islands of strategically positioned suds here - exactly what is Helen trying to tell us? That getting older is fun? At first glance, it certainly doesn't look like it.I specifically bolded that one part because it is the only place in this article where the author, Jan Moir, makes a decent point. Older women, rather all women, are constantly made to feel like they have to look young forever (hello Botox) and if they don't, they should just disappear. However, instead of praising Mirren for not hiding herself Moir shames her for showing herself (and really, come on, she didn't show that much of herself).
In one shot, it appears that she has just been forced into a cold bath in a nursing home, perhaps to undergo some procedure to assist with kidney function. Nurse, the hose! The other, however, is more elegiac; a portrait of a beautiful woman contemplating both her past and her future. Here is this mature body, she seems to be saying, a body that once tempted and enslaved men, now shrivelling under the cold water and betrayal of old age. Yet the grave, oval face and elegant arms are still lovely.
In a world where many men seem to take it as a personal affront that females don't all look like Kelly Brook, older women can become invisible. Not Dame Helen. Not a bit of it. [...]
So arise, Dame Helen, you crazy old doll. Or on second thoughts don't. Stay in the bath, for everyone's sake. [emphasis mine]
On the opposite of the spectrum, the media outlets that have praised Mirren for looking so young aren't really that much better... because instead of "if you don't look like Kelly Brook, you become invisible"... it only makes the point that if you're in your sixties and you don't look like Helen Mirren, then you should become invisible.
Such as The Frisky:
Dear God, please let me look this effortlessly beautiful when I am her age.Or StyleList:
Okay, now she's just showing off. Helen Mirren soaking it in for New York Magazine.
A couple of years after flaunting her foxy frame in a bikini, Oscar winner Helen Mirren has upped the ante by posing topless in a bathtub for New York Magazine.
And while we can think of a few (million) senior citizens we'd prefer to not see in the buff, Mirren -- who turns 65 next month -- actually looks pretty darn sexy and wrinkle-free -- hard to pull off while striking a pose from a prune skin-inducing bath -- in the Juergen Teller-photographed shoot.
And we have to admit, we were surprised by the very pertness of the Dame's breasts and how they even floated to the surface of the sopay water (never underestimate the power of the arm-raised-above-the-head position). It's taken decades off them...