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Audrey Hepburn wasn’t just another Hollywood actres. There are many people who love her because of her style, or because of the vintage, retro glam vibe that comes with being an Audrey Hepburn fan, and while she was a very influential trend setter, that alone isn’t what made Audrey Hepburn so important. Audrey Hepburn was the very escence of grace, humility, silliness, kindness, and sophistication. Even though people remember her today as the black dress and sunglasses wearing “Holly Golightley” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there was so much more to her than that.
Audrey Hepburn grew up in the Neatherlands during World War two. When the Nazis invaded Arnhem (where she and her mom and brother lived) Audrey Hepburn had to experience the pain that came with living under extreme dictatorship. Her mother changed Audrey’s name to “Edda” for fear that the name, “Audrey” sounded too English. Apparently, at that time it wasn’t safe to sound like you were English. Since they were forced to carry their papers around with them at all times, Audrey Hepburn’s mother, Ella took out an old birth certificate of her own and changed the Ls in her name to Ds. That way, Audrey Hepburn could carry around those papers instead of her real ones. Her family was incredibly poor, and they often went without eating. Living this way helped Audrey Hepburn learn the value of things like family and food and life itself. She wasn’t one to take thing’s for granted.
Most people know of her because she was such a brilliant actress and fashonista, and that is completely true. Unlike Marilyn Monroe, who was a sex symbol who talked in a baby voice and allowed herself to be objectified by anyone and everyone, Audrey Hepburn represented the ordinary woman. She set fashion standards that were attainable, and she worked hard and got very involved in her work. She was a great role model for young girls because she was smart and she was classy and respectable. She showed young girls that a woman could be beautiful and sucessful and kind. “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives- the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”-Audrey Hepburn
As she grew older She decided that she wanted to contribute more to the world than just her talent as an actress. She became a humanitarian and got very involved in UNICEF, all the way up to her death in 1993. She was only 64 when she died from cancer. Many writers begged her to allow them to write biographies about her. They all wanted to get the inside scoop and to show the world how great and selfless she was. But Audrey Hepburn never agreed to any of them. She was too humble. In the book that her son published about her you can see the copies of one letter in particular that was written to her begging her to share her life’s story but the idea of people idolizing her made no sense to her. She didn’t feel like she was worthy. She dedicated the rest of her life to helping impoverished children through UNICEF, and she was so happy to do it. It brought her the most joy. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”-Audrey Hepburn
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