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What I see in the mirror: Julie Hesmondhalgh

I have two daughters, of 12 and nine, and feel a massive responsibility to be positive about what I’ve been given, because it’s a hard world for a girl to grow up in. So I try not to be down on myself about bits that are starting to sag, or my ridiculous long nose, or my one big ear that sticks out. My role models are people who embrace who they are, such as Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran.

I look quite different from Hayley, the character I played in Coronation Street. I have a bleached blond crop with as many roots as possible – proper 90s style – and have had it for years. I have absolutely loads of hair, which is useful because I can bleach the bejesus out of it. I have what I would describe as a magnificent nose, but others may describe it differently. I have spent many years getting used to it, and now I am very happy with it. I have good eyes – blue – and a good, strong forehead.

I am a Doc Martens girl. I like jeans and a T-shirt, or leggings with a dress – if you had seen me in 1998 wearing these clothes, you wouldn’t have looked twice. I like leopardskin and a bit of headscarf action to liven things up. I pride myself on being low-maintenance: tinted moisturiser, a bit of mascara and red lippy, and I’m ready. I have pretty good skin: I have been vegetarian since I was 12, and I think that does your skin a lot of good.

I feel more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever done – being 44 is great. I remember my mum saying her 40s were her favourite period. I wish I could transport some of the way I feel now to my 20s, when I did look good but didn’t think I did.

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