Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Hepburn, that is.

I'm sure it was not expected that after my dear husband, Audrey Hepburn would be on my list of those who inspire me. I tried really hard not to add her, because I'm trying to stick to people who are close friends and family, but I simply couldn't resist. Since I'm trying choose my inspiring people randomly, I'll probably have to extend my list a bit due to this post.

When I was a little girl, I didn't really care for dresses. I thought make up was disgusting, and rather silly. I never wanted to wear heels. My mother would constantly encourage me to be a lady. "Alyssa! Cross those legs! Would a lady sit like that?" My mother couldn't have been a better example of how a lady acts, but I cared too little about prettiness to notice or appreciate it.

When I was around 7 years old, Audrey Hepburn caught my attention. I don't remember the first time I saw one of her movies, but I do remember the first time I saw this photograph of her:

I just loved her from that moment on.
And I wanted to be just like her.

Many of the films audrey stared shared similar storylines, and character descriptions.
Normally, I hate predictable. But for some reason, I don't seem to mind Audrey's films at all.

My favorite audrey hepburn films are as follows:

 #1- roman holiday

People think this movie is just about a European princess who falls in love with an American reporter,
but it's so much more. It is the story of a girl who grows up through the experience of running away, and spending the day with someone who (she thinks) doesn't see her as a princess and all of the responsibilities that are included with the title. It's a film about dreams, growth, maturity, and the sacrifices that are inevitable with responsibility. It's always been a favorite of mine.

#2- sabrina
You might recognise this movie from it's remake filmed in the 90s. It's pretty good, but not as good as the original. I love this story; it's about a girl who finds that what she always thought she wanted can change. After I watched this movie, I had a terrible ache to move to europe and find myself.

#3- love in the afternoon
Another favorite.  This story involves the daughter of a detective; a cellist who is intrigued by her father's work. She, through a whirl of events, saves a man from being murdered and falls in love with him. I have a love/hate relationship with this film, because I feel Audrey's character is too pure and innocent and, well, too good, for the man she ends up with. However, I love that she brings out the best in him, and makes a man with absolutely zero commitment capacity fall head over heels for her: a simple, lovely girl.

There are, of course, countless other Hepburn films that I could summarise in great detail, but it's not only Audrey's movies that inspire me. I love her life's story. To keep myself from writing into the eternities, I'll limit myself to the top 5 reasons I love Audrey.

1. Audrey originally wanted to be a dancer. 
I think this makes me feel like I have some sort of invisible connection to her.
She went to school at a very young age to study ballet.

When dancing wasn't working out for her, Audrey took advantage of the offer to play a leading role in a play. It was the beginning of a legacy. I love that she was brave enough to dream and believe in herself. It inspires me to do the same for myself.

2. Audrey was terribly humble.
She felt much too tall, and would try to compensate for it by always wearing flat shoes, though she would 'longingly stare at women who could wear heeled shoes and still be shorter than their male company".

“I am not beautiful. My mother once called me an ugly duckling. But, listed separately, I have a few good features.” 

“There must be something wrong with those people who think I doesn’t perspire, hiccup or sneeze, because they know that’s not true. I n fact, I hiccup more than most.” 
-Audrey Hepburn

3. Audrey didn't try to hide her mistakes. 
She learned from them, and continued to live gracefully.

Audrey was far from perfect. I know that my writing a novel on her sounds like I worship the ground she walks on, but in many ways I feel like she's an example of how to elegantly learn from difficult situations, and irreversible mistakes. There were several times that Audrey made mistakes that she openly regretted, but she always handled them in the most ladylike manner, and then made quite an effort to correct the problem.

If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.

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.

-- Audrey Hepburn

4. Audrey gave back. 

When I think of a timeless, lovely movie icon, I used to think of pearls, 
diamonds, and false eyelashes.
...now I think of jeans, a powederless face, and eyes of determination.

After her children were grown, Audrey spent a great deal of time with UNICEF giving back to countries suffering from different diseases and poverty situations. Photographers said that she would request not to be photographed, because she wanted to be there fully to help and not for any kind of publicity towards herself.

5. Audrey loved living life to the fullest, 

and had a firm desire to be a mother.

Audrey actually called off an engagement when she learned her then fiance wasn't planning on having children. Her number one desire in life was to be a mother. Have you noticed after she had her first son she sort of disappeared from the big screen? It certainly wasn't because the opportunities went away. 

She wanted to be with her family. 

I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it. 

"If I get married, I want to be very married. "

"I may not always be offered work, but I'll always have my family."

I know I'm not the only person in the world who has dedicated a simple blog post to Audrey Hepburn. But she inspires me. Not only to try to behave as I feel a true lady would, but to be a better person; more full of life, and especially more full of love. 

I hope someday I can be the example Audrey has been to me for someone else.


  1. *sighhhhh* i LOVED this post! audrey is SOOO inspiring!! and BEAUTIFUL!!!! she's so darling, and you are too!!

  2. Alyssa, I love this idea of you blogging about 20 people who inspire you. It makes reading blogs that much more fun! I don't know much about Audrey, but I've read many of her quotes and she is nothing but wonderful. :)

  3. Jeffree and I just watched My Fair Lady. Afterward, I realized that three hours of Audrey Hepburn for him are quite different than they are for me. I loved every minute of them and of your blog posts! I am totally going to do 20 days of thanks :)


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