Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Tribute

Audrey Hepburn epitomized grace and style, not only in her appearance, but in her very essence. On this, what would have been her 82nd birthday, I’d like to pay tribute to Ms. Hepburn, and remind us all that true style goes much deeper than fashion.

True, she was born with beauty and enviable bone structure. When Audrey hit Hollywood, the prevailing notion of the acceptable way for women to dress was highly sexual (hourglass shapes teetering upon mincing heels). She offered another way for women to style themselves – and behave. She proved one didn’t have to carry herself ‘in a certain way’ in order to garner attention. Her subtle beauty continues to resonate with women everywhere, I believe. That’s why fashion designers still pay tribute to her in their own ways: crisp white shirts, clean lines, and little black dresses will never go away. It’s all about class and simplicity.

But it went much deeper than fashion with Ms. Hepburn. Audrey was one of the first celebrities to utilize her fame to help others – particularly those that no one seemed to care about. Long before Angelina Jolie made it chic, Audrey visited some of the most desolate places on earth, committing herself fully to reaching out to others who were less fortunate. She continued to do so long after she left the spotlight, and didn’t need a slew of photographers to record her every move. That’s a hard concept to grasp for our ‘reality TV’ generation, but it just goes to show that when you do something from the heart, something you’re passionate about, you don’t need an audience.

Of course, she faced struggles, as we all do: she grew up without a father, survived the Nazi threat in World War II, dealt with unfaithful husbands and two divorces, and lived under constant scrutiny from the media – all while managing her extraordinary film career and raising two children. By all Hollywood accounts, she was absolutely adored by everyone because of her kindness and compassion.

So I guess the point of today’s little musing is this: you can look fantastic while keeping it simple. You can survive anything as long as you have hope, and you can make a difference in this world, provided you’re doing it for the right reasons.

With that, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Audrey:

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.

Very true, Ms. Hepburn…and thank you.

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