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Helen Mirren praises Kim Kardashian and Pussy Riot

The actress discussed the modern celebrities' brand of body positivity and redefinition of beauty

Dame Helen Mirren has spoken out to celebrate “shameless women” who are battling slut shaming, encouraging body positivity and redefining beauty. Among those women? Pussy Riot and Kim Kardashian of course.

“When I was growing up, it was thought to be unbelievably sluttish to even have a bra strap showing,” Mirren told the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. “Everything was about women conforming. I love shameless women. Shameless and proud!”

The 70-year-old actress said she was happy to be “relieved of the whole sex-symbol tag”, but praised women who had not been “controlled by being shamed”. She cited her admiration for those smashing the narrow stereotypes that have boxed women in.

“I love women who have claimed their own bodies: Madonna, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, Bonnie Raitt. I love Pussy Riot more than anything in the world.

“They all raise their middle fingers to this epithet of ‘slut’. They wear what they want to wear, behave as they want to behave.’”

Mirren also mentioned the work the Kardashians have done to unpack body ideals forced onto women, and the self-confidence they inspire.

“I’m not into the Kardashians, it’s a phenomenon I just don’t find interesting, but – and this is the big word: B-U-T-T – it’s wonderful that you’re allowed to have a butt nowadays,” she explained.

“Thanks to Madame Kardashian, and before her, J-Lo. We’re also allowed to have thighs now, which is great too. It’s very positive.”