Dame Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren dishes on size zero, the fashion industry, and eating disorders:
From the Mail Online:
"01 October 2007"
"Dame Helen Mirren has joined the size zero debate by blaming women for pushing teenage girls towards eating disorders.
The 62-year-old Oscar winning actress said women were behind the images of skinny girls on the catwalk and in magazines giving teenage girls a complex about their weight.
In a vitriolic attack Dame Helen said: "I blame my own sex vehemently on this.
"It is women who run the magazines and women who editorialise and women who make the decisions.
"I think it is completely iniquitous to have incredibly skinny girls on the runway.
"A lot of the girls are horrifically thin and of course they have a problem.
"Mostly the fashion industry chooses to turn a blind eye."
The actress has bared all for numerous roles during her lengthy stage and screen career. She admitted she was not averse to cosmetic surgery and had been airbrushed on the cover of her autobiography In The Frame. But she said she was left shocked by her own experience of the modelling industry after visiting agents with her niece Natalie Fitzgerald, who was keen to get work.
Dame Helen said: "I took my 17-year-old niece around to some modelling agencies because she is very tall at more than 6ft.
"I knew that a little part of her brain was thinking: 'I could be a model.'
"She is a slim, flat-bellied and normal girl. Every modelling agency told her she would have to lose weight and I felt so guilty because she really did not have to.
"When she got home I did not want her to feel like that."
Miss Fitzgerald, now 20, subsequently chose not to join an agency and relies on finding work herself.
But Dame Helen said the incident exposed the dangerous side of the industry to her first-hand.
She said: "It is not just skinny girls. It is those ads telling you to use foundation and the girl in the ad is a 13 year old and has no make up on whatsoever.
"The whole thing is based on fantasy. The catwalk clothes may look fabulous on the thin girl but they look ridiculous on a normal slim girl."
Dame Helen's celebrated curves earned her a sex symbol tag. But the actress, who has scooped trophies this year for The Queen, Elizabeth I and Prime Suspect, said she spent her career trying to shake it off.
She added: "It annoyed me when I was younger. At the time maybe I should have been enjoying it but I found it a bit of an albatross.
"As I got older I cared less and less and now I am absolutely thrilled!
Dame Helen, who could return to the British stage, said she was planning to lighten her workload with 'a slow little walk to one side.'
"The ageing process happens and you cannot do the things you used to do," she said. "I will fight it off for as long as I can.
"As for cosmetic procedures, you cannot be 80 and look 50 but if I get to a point where it is really depressing me and I want to feel better about myself then I will do it.
"I would love to have my chunky legs liposuctioned but I am too frightened." "