Top 40 Women’s Women – The London Economic

By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent 

Dame Helen Mirren has been named the most empowering female celebrity on a top 40 list of women’s women.

The study of 2,000 women ranked Mirren above Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet and Oprah Winfrey. Respondents said her ‘down to earth personality’ and the way she embodies female empowerment – including her latest comments on wishing she had spoken her mind more when she was younger – were what made her stand out from the crowd. She was also famously pictured on the beach in a red bikini at the age of 63 and happily tucked into a burger, just hours after winning her best actress Oscar in 2006 – and while still wearing her gown.

Second place in the poll by Lil-Lets, went to Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, who isn’t afraid to speak up about what she believes in, regardless of what people may think of her. America’s First Lady Michelle Obama came third, followed by singer Adele and heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, who has recently won gold at the World Championships in Beijing within months of returning to the track following the birth of her son.

It also emerged that 55 per cent of women said empowered celebrities make them feel more confident about their appearance and the things they do and say. Almost three in ten went as far as to say they have worn, said or done something a little different to the norm after seeing a celebrity do the same thing.

Mary Young UK and International Marketing Director at Lil-Lets, said: “Women in the public eye can make a real difference to how others lead their lives. By seeing our idols and people we look up to doing and saying what they believe in, it can give real women the confidence to do the same.

“They can help to make things that many are too shy or ashamed to do seem more acceptable.”

Actress, humanitarian and mum of six Angelina Jolie, came sixth in the poll of empowering women, followed by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence and Oscar winner Kate Winslet. US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and actress Emma Thompson completed the top ten.

The study found 62 per cent of women believe it’s important for celebrities to stand up for what they think is important, while 80 per cent want them to speak out on important issues. Not being embarrassed or ashamed to wear what they like, doing something different with their appearance and being open about their own body hang-ups also make a female celebrity popular with other women. More than six in 10 also said that celebrities have made them less embarrassed about things such as body hair, their weight or sex lives.

Despite this, 52 per cent of women still avoid discussing taboo subjects such as periods, sexual history, and personal health. Forty per cent of women said they don’t want to talk about certain subjects because they are worried about what others will think of them and they didn’t want to stand out from the crowd.

The research marks the launch of a new initiative by Lil-Lets, its Tampon Truths campaign, which is encouraging women to share information and advice on topics still classed as taboo in today’s society, including periods.

It found women worry less about what others think of them as they get older, with 85 per cent saying they care less about opinions on their actions as time goes on. And 82 per cent say things they might have found embarrassing to discuss as teenagers such as periods or sex become less of an issue as they get older.

Topping the list of embarrassing topics for women were sexual history, periods, and body hair, with almost 60 per cent of respondents saying that their sex lives were easier to discuss than their periods. Sixty-three per cent said there should be more open discussion of the latter citing reasons such as everyone has them, and ensuring women have access to the right advice as key reasons why.

Mary Young added: “Women shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk openly about something that is part of daily life.

“Lil-Lets is very proud to be starting an honest conversation around tampons and other taboos and encouraging women to share information and advice on these topics to help remove the social stigmas.”

To find out more about the Lil-Lets Tampon Truths campaign and its SmartFit tampon range visit

Top 40 ‘Women’s Women’

1. Helen Mirren
2. J.K Rowling
3. Michelle Obama
4. Adele
5. Jessica Ennis-Hill
6. Angelina Jolie
7. Jennifer Lawrence
8. Kate Winslet
9. Oprah Winfrey
10. Emma Thompson
11. Miranda Hart
12. Kelly Holmes
13. Hilary Clinton
14. Emma Watson
15. Fearne Cotton
16. Nigella Lawson
17. Kelly Clarkson
18. Beyonce
19. Taylor Swift
20. Mary Portas
21. Serena Williams
22. Rita Ora
23. Cameron Diaz
24. Zara Philips
25. Rebel Wilson
26. Lady Gaga
27. Zooey Deschanel
28. Melissa McCarthy
29. Anne Hathaway
30. Amy Poehler
31. Amy Schumer
32. Katy Perry
33. Nicki Minaj
34. Tina Fey
35. Caitlyn Moran
36. Lily Allen
37. Lena Dunham
38. Scarlett Johansson
39. Khloe Kardashian
40. Cara Delevingne

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