Friday, April 15, 2016

Badass Iconic Females from the Past: Audrey Hepburn

Most people know Audrey Hepburn as a beautiful, stylish actress from the 50’s and 60’s who played the leading lady in such films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, and Sabrina to name a few. However, many people do not know much about her life prior to becoming famous or her life after the cameras stopped rolling. While compiling my research for these articles, I discovered that there are many lessons to be learned from some of the strong iconic women of the past. Here are a few lessons I learned from the amazing life of Audrey Hepburn:

·         That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

“Pick the day. Enjoy to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come … The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present-and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”

Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium. While vacationing with her mother in Arnhem, Netherlands, Hitler’s army invaded and overtook the town. There was a lack of food during the invasion, and her family had to resort to eating tulip bulbs and bread made from grass. Her small figure, for which she was well known, was due to malnourishment during this time of hardship. Although she was five feet, seven inches tall, she never weighed more than 110 lbs, except during her pregnancies. 

·         Never give up on the things you want most in life.

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.”

Audrey suffered four miscarriages due to low fat amounts on her body and the stress of her career. However, she was determined to have children and took great care to make sure she was able to carry her babies to full term. She eventually gave birth to two healthy sons, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti.

·         Beauty is not just on the outside.

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul…”

Audrey never thought she was beautiful. In an interview in Vanity Fair, her son Luca Dotti expressed that his mother did not know why people thought she was beautiful. Luca stated, “She thought she had a big nose and big feet, and was too skinny and not enough breast.”

She never thought of herself as an icon. She was quoted as saying, “I never thought of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” 

·         Always give more than you take.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Audrey was highly involved in UNICEF. She donated the salaries she earned from her final movies to the charity. According to an article on the UNICEF website, Audrey was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF in 1989. The article states, “In the years that followed, Hepburn made a series of UNICEF field trips, visiting a polio vaccine project in Turkey, training programmes for women in Venezuela, projects for children living and working on the street in Ecuador, projects to provide drinking water in Guatemala and Honduras and radio literacy projects in El Salvador. She saw schools in Bangladesh, projects for impoverished children in Thailand, nutrition projects in Viet Nam and camps for displaced children in Sudan.”

As you can see, Audrey Hepburn was a strong and amazing woman. She had many struggles in her life, but, in the end, she overcame her struggles. Although she was famous, she never let those struggles get in the way of the person she was. She always stayed true to herself and used everything she had to help others who were less fortunate - just as others had most likely helped her when she was less fortunate. I think that's the final and most important lesson we can take from Audrey: Always be true to yourself. 

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