Helen Mirren has given us all another reason to love her after she spoke about ageing. Speaking to Vogue to promote her latest mini-series, Catherine the Great, Mirren made the comments while sharing some advice she received, “My mother once said, ‘Never worry about getting older. I know the thought of being 45 when you’re 25 is, Oh my god! Who wants to be 45? But it’s amazing because when you get to be 45, you’ll realise it’s actually very cool and you don’t want to be 25 again.’”
In an age where young people have grown up with the internet, it’s no secret that fear of missing out (FOMO) is very much a part of our lives. The cliche is that we all want what we can’t have. We want the perfect body that we see on Instagram models, we want the makeup that we can’t afford, we want the perfect European summer that our more well travelled friends have always raved about. We are not content with what we have because everyday we are bombarded with information about all the things that we don’t have.
And that’s where the marvellous Mirren’s advice comes in. We all crave a perfect life. We see the teenager who’s already bought a house while we’re still living at home in our twenties. We see the savvy entrepreneur just a few months older than us but seems to be hitting every milestone in their 10 year business plan. We see our friends in happy, stable relationships and wonder why we haven’t quite found our own stride yet. But Mirren reminds us that, “It’s much better to age disgracefully!
Take it on the chin and roll with it,” she said. “Die young or get older.”
So I think I might just take her advice. Say goodbye to envying the picture perfect life I could always be striving for and instead embrace the many shades of grey that we all experience throughout life. And of course she has some words on that too. Speaking to Radio Times last year, Mirren explained that she doesn't believe that sexuality is binary, "I came to the conclusion an awfully long time about that there is black and there is white, and we're all somewhere in the middle in a wonderful mix of male and female."
Mirren is happy to embrace her own sexuality. Speaking to the Daily Mail last year, she compared herself to the titular character in Catherine the Great, saying, "I felt it was my right to have affairs, and be in love with people, and to live with them. I'm a bit like Catherine."
That attitude towards embracing the full experience of life is an inspiring one. And considering that Mirren is now in her mid-70s, it seems that it will remain evergreen for a long while yet.
So it seems we might need to follow in her footsteps and stop being scared of the idea of growing old. After all, Mirren reminds us that “every age comes with advantages and disadvantages. And you tend to find that you don’t want to go back. You want to be exactly where you are with everything you’ve experienced.”
Zoe Victoria is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter @Zoe__V