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Helen Mirren Smokes the Competition

Hold onto your Spanxx, ladies. Those of us over the age of 21 have new cause to celebrate. In a recent L.A. Fitness poll of more than 2,000 people, actress Helen Mirren was named “Body of the Year.” Yes, Helen Mirren, the 66-year-old, Academy Award Winning Actress. The one with the sexy gray coif and the enviable figure. That Helen Mirren. Dame Helen Mirren.

According to the New York Daily News , Mirren beat ogle-worthy supermodel Elle Macpherson and Playboy Playmate Kelly Brook for the title. Mirren also came out ahead of J.Lo and Pippa Middleton.

While the results have some people scratching their heads, I for one am ready to cry it from the rooftops. Do these results signal a shift in America’s culture of youth-worship? Have we come to a place where we can recognize a woman’s beauty at every age? And will American women finally stop placing their mental and physical health on the line to stay the hand of Mother Nature?

The skeptic in me says probably not. I know several young women under the age of 25 who have already gone under the knife to “enhance” their physical appearance, and plenty more over that age who consider in and out-patient procedures to be routine maintenance. It will take more than a single poll to convince them that they were born beautiful and, with a positive outlook and a little exercise, they will remain so throughout their lives.

Shana Chaikin, Fairfield mother of two, founder of Stop It Consulting, Inc. and advocate for women’s issues, is more optimistic. “I think it’s incredible that she won,” said Chaikin. “It can only be good for the culture’s perception of beauty. What’s scary is what the media does to perpetuate a false idea of beauty with all the airbrushing and the bombardment of images of picture-perfect models. We’ve created a culture that tells girls and women that they need to significantly alter themselves to be beautiful. With Helen Mirren being recognized for her natural beauty, it might help women who are struggling with their self-image to realize that they are beautiful and that they don’t have to starve themselves or have surgery to feel better.”

What do you think of Helen Mirren’s latest role of beauty icon? Does it make you more confident in your own appearance? How far have you gone to achieve what our culture considers beautiful? Leave your comments here, or email me at mmorelli@mainstreetconnect.com.

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