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Helen Mirren is voted the most influential woman

Helen Mirren the actress is 70 and has recently been voted the most influential women in a survey.

Helen Mirren is 70!  How inspirational that a woman who is in the public eye and definitely past the first flush of youth has topped the poll!   It is a wonderful rejection of the worship of thin, beautiful and dumb and means women aspire to feel more confident being themselves and expressing their views.

In an industry where youth in women is much admired and courted, she has not resorted to botox or any artificial way to look young. Do you remember there was a photo of her in a bikini at 63 and – while I am not a big fan of beefburgers – she was spotted eating one while still in her dress after winning an Oscar back in 2006.

Helen Mirren has played feisty characters (DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, for example) and has views of her own.  She recently said that she wished she had spoken out more when she was a younger woman.

She has a down to earth personality which showed to the full in Calendar Girls (the film about the WI) which was full of fun but treated the serious issue of breast cancer.  i also remember her comments after filming “The Queen” that she had not started out as a royalist at all, but came to admire everything that the queen did, and how hard she worked. She has opinions and can be generous.  What an excellent role model to inspire women of any age.

Which influential woman would you vote for?   Here is the list of who was in the Top Twenty of most influential women.

Plus my perception of why they could be in the list.

2. J K Rowling, (author of Harry Potter, single mum who wrote the first book in a coffee shop. Also writes thrillers under the pen name Robert Galbraith because she wanted the anonymity to write without being well known.  Popular novelist, and extremely well paid for the film rights of Harry Potter.

3. Michelle Obama (grows vegetables at the White House) as well as being the first black First Lady and wife of the first black President of the US.

4. Adele (Two fantastic albums then disappeared to have a baby. Now back with a third called 25 .  Her previous albums were 21 and 19.  Yes, her age when the albums were released.  Never used a surname.

5. Jessica Ennis-Hill (Brilliant Olympic athlete who came back to athletics shortly after having a baby)

6. Angelina Jolie ( Chose to have a mastectomy, adopted lots of children, refused to work for a mines charity who paid consultants – I think – £800 a day,

7. Jennifer Lawrence (star of Hunger Games about a feisty girl who becomes a leader. She refused to slim down to please the film studio.)

8 Kate Winslet (looked after Richard Branson’s mother during a fire in Necker Island and helped get her out to safety, married to Ned RocknRoll. Apparently she has very big feet which rather endeared her to me!)

9. Oprah Winfrey (honest about her own highs and lows – about weight and everything else, supportive to others, good businesswomen.  Works with Deepak Chopra on meditation CDs which are free for 30 days,)

10. Emma Thompson (Intelligent actress … went to Cambridge University ..plays a huge variety of interesting characters.)

11. Miranda Hart (wrote the TV series Miranda which essentially was a mass of jokes against herself.)

12. Kelly Holmes (Olympian, fun, enthusiastic sports commentator)

13 Hillary Clinton In my mind she brought the concept that “It takes a village to raise a child” to prominence. Stood by Bill.

14 Emma Watson (Acted in Harry Potter and seems to have a very mature attitude to her own life.)

15 Fearne Cotton (not yet on my radar .. no disrespect.)

16 Nigella Lawson (was married to John Diamond a brilliant journalist who died of cancer, ex wife of a Saatchi, her mother died of cancer, her sister died of cancer and in her cookery shows she always wants to recreate the sense of a happy family.)

17 Kelly Clarkson (Country singer .. seen her most recently in the TV series “Nashville” and therefore good news!)

18 Beyonce (hires her own helicopters, married to JZ).  I once saw a film of her as a small child wearing wellington boots winning a running race with her sister. She was very sweet.

19 Taylor Swift (good songs and wants to be a good role model for teenage girls.)

20 Mary Portas (believes in customer service, passionate about keeping the high street shops and advised UK goverment, honest about her lesbian relationship while remaining dignified. Mother died when young.  Dramatic dresser.

No supermodels.  All people who have done things – and sometimes have had problems and come through them with dignity. Most a little battle scarred and nearer 50 than 20.

Good role models indeed. 55% of the 2,000 women surveyed for Lil-Lets said that empowered celebrities helped them feel more confident about their appearance and the things they do and say.

Mary Young the UK and International Director of Marketing for Lil-lets said ” Women in the public eye can make a real difference to how others lead their lives.”  I am delighted that the company does research like this and that these women have flaws which make them seem more real and authentic.

A woman who has overcome a problem can often be more influential than one who has had it easy.



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2 Replies

  1. Jean

    I was so delighted that this survey says we are not influenced by the shiniest and newest but women who have been through a problem.. and are old! So amazing I need to have a quiet lie down!

  2. What an amazing post! It’s true that those who have been through a hard time come out the end a much better person. A bit like why the caterpillar has to go through the indignity of emerging out of a chrysalis in order to become a butterfly.

    Certainly people are much more likely to warm to you if you have done something they can relate to, and shows that you were once like them. If you’ve been through the mill and come out reasonably unscathed, it’s it good that you can help others do the same?

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