The cel­e­brated ac­tress ad­vises young peo­ple on how to stay sane in the Kar­dashian era

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFESTYLE - By VIC­TO­RIA HALL

With the rise in aware­ness of men­tal health con­di­tions, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, “self-worth” and “self-doubt” are two phrases that feel very preva­lent right now. Both were the fo­cus of Dame He­len Mir­ren and L’Oreal Paris UK’s gen­eral man­ager Adrien Koskas live ses­sion in Cannes Lion re­cently.

Ear­lier this year, L’Oreal Paris teamed up with the Prince’s Trust to of­fer a series of work­shops to help strug­gling young peo­ple and buildup their self-worth. Mir­ren has played a prom­i­nent role in the star stud­ded cam­paign, which also in­cludes Ch­eryl and Katie Piper, and her live ses­sion was an­other event de­signed to high­light the con­fi­dence is­sues that young peo­ple strug­gle with to­day.

When we asked Mir­ren after her live ses­sion why she feels it has all come to the boil now, she said, “I’m sure it has a lot to do with so­cial me­dia, and rise of on­line bul­ly­ing and peo­ple ex­press­ing their in­ad­e­qua­cies on­line. Re­al­ity TV and the pro­mo­tion of glam­our and beauty ex­pressed by the likes of the Kar­dashi­ans is likely to have played a part too. “They cre­ate the sense that you have to have the per­fect life with the per­fect hand­bag et cetera, and if you don’t then you feel bad.”

Mir­ren isn’t alone in her opin­ions. To­day, a small sur­vey re­vealed that 67 per­cent of 18 to 35 year olds need to take an av­er­age of six pho­tos be­fore they feel con­fi­dent enough to share them on so­cial me­dia. The sur­vey also pin­pointed re­al­ity TV

stars as a bad in­flu­ence on young peo­ple. “Un­for­tu­nately the young are heav­ily in­flu­enced by re­al­ity TV stars who openly flaunt their cheap and un­nat­u­ral look­ing cos­metic pro­ce­dures,” Dr Ravi Jain, a lead­ing aes­thetic doc­tor said. These “stars” un­der­es­ti­mate the in­flu­ence they have on the young and are also ig­no­rant of the psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal con­se­quences of any cos­metic pro­ce­dure be it skin care, in­jecta­bles or surgery.”

While Mir­ren doesn’t think the an­swer lies in young peo­ple giv­ing up so­cial me­dia or switch­ing off the TV, she does have some words of wis­dom. “A lot of peo­ple feel alone at this time, but the most im­por­tant el­e­ment is un­der­stand­ing that you’re not alone. Oth­ers are go­ing through the same thing as you,” she said. “There isn’t a tip or piece of ad­vice that works for all. I think ‘fake it’ is a good one, but go­ing to the gym isn’t bad ei­ther. Ex­er­cis­ing is a very good way of con­trol­ling your mind. Yoga is all about med­i­ta­tive prac­tices.”

The ac­tress did high­light that the

They cre­ate the sense that you have to have the per­fect life with the per­fect hand­bag et cetera, and if you don’t then you feel bad.” He­len Mir­ren, ac­tress

bal­ance be­tween self-doubt and self­worth is a tricky one though: “The funny thing is that in the times of enor­mous self worth there is an ar­ro­gance as you’re putting your­self into the cen­tre of the uni­verse. And you for­get to look out­side of the sit­u­a­tion. It’s a tricky bal­ance to strike.”

So, what would Mir­ren say to her 21 year old self ? “Hang on in there, don’t be self-ob­sessed, turn up on time and don’t be ar­ro­gant.”

ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS

He­len Mir­ren ar­rives to at­tend the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 57th Monte-Carlo Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val in Monaco.

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