- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
In 2014, when L’Oreal asked Helen Mirren to become a brand ambassador for the cosmetics giant, the British Oscar winner, then 69, thought “it was about bloody time!”
“I thought at last there has been a shift [in the fashion industry] — I’m talking about age and beauty, but also diversity,” said Mirren, speaking to the crowd at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on Tuesday.
She recalled living with acclaimed fashion photographer James Wedge in the 1970s when “he could not get a black girl on the front of a magazine. Now, finally, the breakthrough has happened. … And now it’s great to see older women, different genders, different religions — the whole diversity of the world we are living in.”
Mirren, joined on stage by L’Oreal Paris U.K. general manager Adrien Koskas and McCann Worldgroup’s Global chief strategy officer Suzanne Powers, praised L’Oreal for embracing diversity with its “I’m Worth It” campaign and, more recently, with the launch of “All Worth It” initiative.
The “All Worth It” campaign, a cooperation with British nonprofit the Princes Trust, started earlier this year. It aims to boost self-confidence among British young people, some one-third of which, Koskas said, suffer from feelings of self-doubt. The three-year program hopes to help up to 10,000 young people with workshops and training seminars on such things as public presentation and job interview skills. The campaign launched with a video featuring a diverse range of celebrities — from Hijabi beauty blogger Amena; plus-size model Jada Sezer and the author Katie Piper, who survived a sulfuric acid attack, speaking about their struggles with self-doubt.
Mirren herself admitted “the minute I’m not working” she is wracked with insecurity. “It’s a worm in the brain. I don’t think any of us are ever absolutely free of it,” the acclaimed actress said. “But it is particularly debilitating and useless in the young.”
From a corporate perspective, Koskas said the campaign was an effort by L’Oreal to “give something back” as well as to “walk the walk” when it came to the brand’s message of diversity and inclusion.
“Diversity isn’t a trend, it isn’t a fad, it’s a value,” he said. “You have to believe in it. You really need to put acts behind it.”
“It is no longer enough just to have the pretty words and the sexy campaigns,” Mirren added. “The young nowadays want something authentic. (They are) looking much more deeply into why do I buy that instead of that.”
The Lions conference, which runs through Saturday, features a who’s who of celebrities, buyers, agency execs, media and entertainment companies and tech giants. Among the other A-listers on this year’s program are Alexander Wang, Run the Jewels, Sheryl Sandberg and A$AP Rocky.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
How a ‘Pooh’ Slasher Flick May Have Tipped Hong Kong Towards Greater Beijing Censorship
Owen Wilson Says Wig Did “Heavy Lifting” to Help Him Play Bob Ross-Inspired Character in ‘Paint’
Inside the Firing of Victoria Alonso: Her Oscar-Nominated Movie ‘Argentina, 1985’ at Center of Exit (Exclusive)
‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Director Chad Stahelski Breaks Down the Ending That Made the Studio Say, “Are You Insane?”