Why Audrey Hepburn Should Be Every Girl's Role Model

Why Audrey Hepburn Should Be Every Girl's Role Model

In a time when we march for women's rights, we look to Audrey
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We all know her name—It’s a name that, for the past 60 years, has continued to grace the covers of countless magazines, infinite television sets, and endless conversations from all around the world.

From her iconic work in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, and Funny Face, it’s no secret that Audrey Hepburn is one of the most revered and beloved women in Hollywood’s history. However, what many don’t know is that Audrey was far from being “just another pretty face.” With her work as a UNICEF ambassador, devotion to being a mother, and life founded on kindness and compassion, Audrey has remained a treasured household name; and not just from of her style and career as an actress, but from her inner beauty, wisdom, and love that touched everyone around her.

As women, I believe we have a lot to learn from Ms. Hepburn. And while she had many memorable traits, here are the top 10 reasons why Audrey Hepburn should be every girl’s role model.


1. She lived for helping others.

“Remember; if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others” ~Audrey Hepburn

At the peak of her career in the mid 1960’s, Audrey Hepburn did the unthinkable; she walked away from Hollywood. Instead, she decided to devote the rest of her 38 years to feeding the world’s starving children through UNICEF.

With this organization, Audrey traveled around the world, to places like Turkey, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Venezuela, and Vietnam; using her star power to be a voice for the people who didn’t have one. Throughout her journey, Audrey also testified before Congress, launched UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children reports, and gave speeches to the media to help support the cause. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush presented Audrey with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award to be given in the United States. Later that year, Audrey was suddenly diagnosed with cancer, but despite her illness, she continued to work with UNICEF until she died four months after her trip to Somalia in September of 1992.

2. She was always humble.

“I’m not beautiful. My mother once called me an ugly duckling. But, listed separately, I have a few good features.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

As one of the most idolized beauty icons of her time, it’s hard to imagine Audrey Hepburn as someone who acted as humbly as she did. I mean, really, only a "few" good features?

In interviews, Audrey was known to joke over and over again that she couldn’t act or sing, and didn’t deserve being on the big screen with Hollywood’s best. However, to this day, Audrey is still voted as one of the best actresses and one of the most beautiful women to ever live, showing that, above all, humility is the most attractive quality.

3. She valued the power of hard work.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Whether it was through her work with UNICEF, her duties as a mother, or her passion for acting, Audrey never failed to tackle all that she did with a driven and admirable work ethic. From the very beginning, Audrey worked hard to achieve her goals. With years of dance classes, followed by years of rejection, Audrey never slowed down. Not everything she did as an actress was a success either, but her tenacity proved that unfaltering determination will always produce the greatest results.

4. She possessed a childlike optimism.

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. 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.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Despite the many hardships, Audrey faced growing up during WWII in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and she never failed to celebrate the small beauties of each day. Everything she faced, she faced with a joy and sense of humor that is rarely found in today's society, and in believing that goodness was all around her, she was able to find it.

5. She only spoke of others in a positive light.

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." ~Audrey Hepburn

Audrey was a huge proponent of practicing what you preach. In Pamela Keogh’s book, What Would Audrey Do?, friends of Audrey’s said that no one ever had a bad word to say about the actress because she never had a bad word to say about anyone else. Of course, that didn’t mean she never had harsh thoughts, but rather that she practiced restraint and empathy for those around her. As women, gossip can seem like a second language. However, Audrey shows that having compassion for your neighbor is always the higher road to take.

6. She denied society's idea of beauty.

“There is more to feminine charm than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much femininity, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” ~Audrey Hepburn

At a time when Marilyn Monroe dominated what it meant to be an attractive woman, Audrey portrayed a very different look. She was smaller, possessed much darker features, and had a child-like beauty that greatly contrasted the popular idea of voluptuous sexuality. However, Audrey never let those standards define how she saw herself. Instead, she eloquently created her own look by celebrating who she was, and, in turn, forever altered the fashion industry for years to come.

7. She preached forgiveness.

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

When Audrey was six years old, her father divorced her mother and left the family as a supporter of the Nazi regime. This regime was then responsible for her later years of malnutrition, starvation, and anemia that occurred after the Nazi’s occupied the Netherlands in 1940. However, despite his betrayal, Audrey decided to search for her father after the war and help support him financially.

In our own lives, it can seem like the best option is to cut people who have wronged us out of our lives. However, Audrey shows that no one deserves to be cast aside, and instead we should rise above and forgive. Everyone is on his or her own journey, and if we are able to forgive, we can ultimately live our lives more fully and peacefully in return.

8. She believed in the power of knowledge.

"A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential." ~ Audrey Hepburn

One of Audrey’s most notable talents was being bilingual in English and Dutch, as well as being fluent in Italian, French, German, and Spanish. Through her trips with UNICEF, Audrey frequently saw villages where most people didn’t know how to read or write. Because of this, she made it her duty to bring the power of education to those in need so they too could help to create a smarter and more efficient world.

9. She kept family as number one.

“I may not always be offered work. But I will always have my family.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Despite her glamorous life outside of the home, Audrey never forgot the most important people were the ones who would be there even after the curtain went down. According to her son Luca, Audrey was never happier than when she was home with her family. She even left her career at the height of its success to be a more dedicated mother.

10. She was unapologetically herself.

"I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Above all else, Audrey knew who she was and what she wanted, and she never compromised. She got into the acting world because it was what she loved to do, and pursued that passion as no one but herself.

The women of today can learn a lot from this philosophy, especially in a world that’s constantly telling us to look a certain way and act another. The most beautiful quality a woman can poses is confidence, and Audrey knew the best way to go about life is to just “do yo thang.”

Cover Image Credit: HerCampus

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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