Saturday, May 4, 2013

Audrey | More Than a Style Icon

I have never understood why people idolise Marilyn Monroe more than Audrey Hepburn. I've read biographies of both women's lives and it is unfathomable to me why anyone would choose someone like Marilyn over someone like Audrey. Granted, Marilyn did have a tragic childhood full of neglect and abuse that left its mark on her behaviour for the rest of her life. But Audrey grew up in a town occupied by Nazis; her father was a Nazi supporter and her mother was head of a resistance group run out of their home. She nearly died of starvation in her village. By age 15, Audrey had already seen more hardships than Marilyn would in her entire life, and she was able to overcome her problems and make a lasting difference on the world.

But I didn't write this post to bash Marilyn. I wrote it because, were she still living, today would have been Audrey Hepburn's 84th birthday.

When most people think of Audrey Hepburn, they think of Breakfast At Tiffany's and/or her classic sense of style, but she was much more than that. She was fiercely devoted to her family, particularly her children. She left the public eye multiple times to take care of both her sons while they were growing up. Even more noteworthy was her dedication to her work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. She felt a special appreciation for its cause after her own tragic childhood and gave back in whatever way she could. She left acting in the late 1980s to travel full-time with UNICEF, completing many, many trips between 1988 and her death in 1993.

If anyone asked me why I like Audrey Hepburn so much, I'm not sure I could give a single answer. Maybe it's her fascinating life story. Maybe it's the movies she's in. Maybe it's her intriguing accent. Maybe it's her timeless class. Whatever it is, she will remain firmly in my mind as one of the most inspiring women to come out of World War II.

And my favourite Audrey Hepburn film? How To Steal A Million, hands down.

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