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Helen Mirren pushes back on stereotype that older women ‘shouldn’t have long hair’

Dame Helen Mirren has pushed back on the notion that older women are supposed to keep their hair short.

Thestar of The Queen, 77, revealed that she started growing her hair during the Covid-19 lockdown and “couldn’t be bothered to cut it”.

She addressed the stereotype that ageing women are not “supposed” to have long hair and described her chest-length hair as “radical”.

In an appearance on Lorraine on Wednesday (8 March), Mirren said: “You’re not supposed to have longer hair after a certain age.

“But during Covid, I started growing my hair and I hadn’t actually had long hair since I was in my 20s. And it sort of grew and grew and grew, and I couldn’t be bothered to cut it, basically.”

She continued: “I thought, do you know what, it’s pretty cool, I think I’ll stick with it for a little while. It will come off eventually.

“But I’m kind of enjoying it, it’s quite radical.”

The Oscar-winning actor, who stars in the forthcoming superhero movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods, has previously hit back at beauty standards for older women.

In 2019, she told Grazia that her generation has been subjected to ageism for “far too long” and that she hated the term “anti-ageing”.

Helen Mirren attends the photocall for
Helen Mirren attends the photocall for

Mirren said: “It’s extremely annoying to women of my generation and others following mine to have beauty products sold on a 15-year-old face.”

She also said she doesn’t like using the term “beauty” because it makes people who are insecure about their looks feel “immediately excluded”.

“They’ll think, ‘Well, I’m not very beautiful. It’s all very well for all these beautiful women, but I don’t feel beautiful’,” she explained.

“I don’t want to exclude these people from feeling fabulous about themselves.”

Elsewhere during her interview on Lorraine, Mirren opened up about what it meant to “fly the flag” for women over 60.

She said: “Life doesn’t stop. And creativity doesn’t stop and passion doesn’t stop and energy doesn’t stop, unless you decide to stop it.

“So it’s just be self-motivated, really, and never give up. And find enjoyment, if it’s possible in your life.”