I know that because there is so much hype surrounding her, people seem to dismiss the eternally lovely Audrey Hepburn as an overrated beauty who couldn't’t dress, dance or act. They’re wrong! I think it is silly to focus on the hype surrounding someone and use that to make up your mind about someone when you could actually, you know, focus on them and their work. Here are some reasons why Audrey Hepburn is the shiznit.
- She could actually act
If you have watched Roman Holiday you will know what I mean. She won an Oscar for her acting. Although back in the day acting roles for women weren’t that diverse, Audrey slayed that proverbial dragon with her kick-ass acting. One of my favourite scenes from Roman Holiday demonstrates this nicely.
- She triumphed against her circumstances
Snitched form her Wikipedia page: “In 1935, her parents divorced and her father, a Nazi sympathizer, left the family. Both parents were members of the British nion of Fascists in the mid-1930s according to Unity Mitford, a friend of Ella van Heemstra and a follower of Adolf Hitler.
She later called her father’s abandonment the most traumatic moment of her life. Years later, she located him in Dublin through the Red Cross. Although he remained emotionally detached, she stayed in contact with him and supported him financially until his death.
In 1939, her mother moved her and her two half-brothers to their grandfather’s home in Arnhem in the Netherlands, believing the Netherlands would be safe from German attack. Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945, where she trained in ballet along with the standard school curriculum. In 1940, the Germans invaded the Netherlands. During the German occupation, Hepburn adopted the pseudonym Edda van Heemstra, modifying her mother’s documents because an ‘English sounding’ name was considered dangerous. This was never her legal name. The name Edda was a version of her mother’s name Ella.
By 1944, Hepburn had become a proficient ballerina. She secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance. She later said, “The best audience I ever had made not a single sound at the end of my performances.” After the Allied landing on D-Day, living conditions grew worse, and Arnhem was subsequently devastated by Allied artillery fire that was part of Operation Market Garden. During the Dutch famine that followed, over the winter of 1944, the Germans blocked the resupply routes of Dutch people’s already limited food and fuel supplies as retaliation for railway strikes that were held to hinder the German occupation. People starved and froze to death in the streets. Hepburn and many others resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuits.”
Okay, even when she was practically starving to death she found a way to make the people around her happy and make money. Badass!
Reasons I have used to not go to class: “My toes hurt,”, “I am tired,” and “I can’t find my hat,”
- She was charming and lovely all the time
If you can find a single piece of media material that clearly proves Audrey Hepburn has done something nasty or mean-spirited, I will give you my left breast. In this interview the reporter tries to make her talk shit about her peers. Does she fall for the bait? No way, she’s Audrey fucking Hepburn! Check out this video when she accepts the Oscar, in which she proceeds to be a total cutie who is humble and grateful and everyone just dies because they want to be her best friend and cuddle with her under trees in mid summer and say charming things about her to everyone and get a boyish haircut.
- She could dance
- Givenchy and her were BFFs
So the story goes that Audrey went to Paris to pick out some designs for a new movie that Givenchy, an up and coming designer at the time, had created. Givenchy thought that Katherine Hepburn was coming over, but fell madly in love with Audreys unique look anyway when he saw her. Who wouldn’t? He designed the LBD she wore in Breakfast At Tiffanys.
Which brings me to my next point…
- She was a style icon
So you say “All she did was wear a little black dress”. Interesting point!
And by that, I mean fuck you.
It’s all about context! Have a gander at her fellow actresses at the time. Marylin Monroe. Ava Gardner. Natalie Wood. They were voluptuous and upfront with their sexuality and although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, Audrey brought a new kind of sexy to the table. It was less obvious. While the other starlets had this va-va-voom image going for them, Audrey was simpler and made things like capris, boyish haircuts, full skirts, cap sleeved shirts and ballet flats popular. You see outfits with these things every day, and that’s because of her influence as a style icon. Bottom line, in a world of cone bras and dramatic gowns, Audrey Hepburn was different. And it was fucking adorable, as well as timeless. Which is why so many people (Myself included!) think of Audrey Hepburn when someone says the word ‘style’.
- She worked for UNICEF
Audrey spent a good portion of her life helping people. She was a goodwill ambassador (Badassador?), and spent plenty of time in places like Ethiopia giving hands on help to disadvantaged communities. She said this about the trip: “I went into rebel country and saw mothers and their children who had walked for ten days, even three weeks, looking for food, settling onto the desert floor into makeshift camps where they may die. Horrible. That image is too much for me. The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much, because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering,”
- She had a fucking pet deer
Okay, who do you know that has a pet deer? She totally went shopping with it and stuff.
Audrey Hepburn's legacy goes beyond the clothes on her back. She was a good-hearted person her entire life. So the next time you think of going “Audrey was overrated lolz” think about her as a person, actress, style icon, goodwill ambassador and overall lovely person and don’t just knee-jerk against the hype.