Audrey Hepburn Smashed My Beauty Myths
Most of us fall far from today’s beauty ideal: Blonde, blue-eyed, and skinny yet buxom.
Audrey Hepburn opened my eyes to how beauty can be defined.
After all, she only fits one of those narrow criteria. And her beauty is so much more than physical.
She was thin due to malnourishment during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, which compromised her immune system. But once fame came, her slight frame did lighten some psychological loads. As the New York Times observed, her looks were celebrated yet,
It’s not that she was a clotheshorse, though she was, or a great beauty, because she wasn’t. It’s that she came along in the age of the sex bomb — the Monroes, the Mansfields — and blew most of them away.
Thanks to their first glimpse of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, half a generation of young females stopped stuffing their bras and teetering on stiletto heels.
Ms. Hepburn shows young women that you needn’t be just one shape — or fake — to be attractive. In fact, beauty comes from within, she says:
There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.
She was so down-to-earth that designers, photographers and directors were anxious to work with her.
When she left Hollywood, she became UNICEF’s International Goodwill Ambassador, dedicating her last years to helping those who were hurt, as she had been in childhood. As she aged she kept her laugh lines and her worry furrows, embracing the life that had imprinted on her face. Again, from the Times:
Audrey Hepburn’s face was that of someone who’d squinted into the sun, laughed a few laughs, shed a few tears. The forehead showed some wrinkles, the eyes showed some more, and the strong jawline was softening around the edges.
Life brought wisdom. You can even Google “Audrey Hepburn quotes” and get some great stuff like these gems from a “Top 12” list (10 aren’t enough):
- For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
- The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
- Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm.
- Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
- I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.
Yes, the iconic Audrey Hepburn smashes all sorts of beauty myths.
Jessica is a student of mine who gave me permission to post this.
Posted on January 8, 2014, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, women and tagged Audrey Hepburn, beauty, beauty myths, body image, feminism, objectification, women. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.