Audrey Hepburn: An Introduction
Audrey Hepburn is my biggest inspiration and one of my favorite role models. She’s not just a style icon, but a lifestyle icon. So many people remember her as Holly Golightly, the extravagant heroine of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, but I think few people know that for everything Holly was, Audrey was the opposite. She once said, “Holly is so contrary to me. She frightens me. That part called for an extroverted character; I am an introvert.” While Audrey is remembered as a mother, a humanitarian, a fashionista and one of the most delightfully charming actresses to ever appear on the silver screen, she is also famous among her more intimate admirers for her strength, love, honesty, determination and hope.
Growing up in the midst of the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands during World War II subjected Audrey to the harsh cruelties of the world and caused her great fear, but she overcame her traumatic experiences to live with the goodness and strength for which she is so lovingly remembered. She knew that when one is faced with trouble the result can be either bitterness or hope, and she chose hope. That’s something I always think about, and one of the things about Audrey that inspires me the most.
Vivien Leigh once spoke of the difference between an actress and a film star. She said, “Being a film star is such a false life, lived for fake values and for publicity. Actresses go on for a long time...” Stumbling unintentionally into the world of cinema (she wanted to be a ballerina) Audrey treated her career as an actress would, not as a film star. She was the recipient of an Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award during her career, as well as four other Academy Award nominations, the Henrietta Award, Cecil B. DeMille Award and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Posthumously, she was the recipient of an Emmy Award, Grammy Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award among other honors. Despite her unparalleled celebrity, she remained humble, graceful and demure throughout her life. And she looked marvelous while doing it!
Because her life was never about the public eye, but always centered on her family, friends and her desire to do good for others, the true identity of Audrey Hepburn can be somewhat elusive at times. But her spirit and style have become legends all their own, the visions of kindness and femininity.
If you’re interested in learning more about the girl behind it all, I encourage you to check out some biographies, particularly Barry Paris’s Audrey Hepburn. If you’re a fan of Audrey as well, I would love to know what you find the most inspiring about her. Feel free to leave a comment and chat about it!