July 31, 2017

Audrey Hepburn remains one of the most admired women of the twentieth century, and if you've glanced at a picture of her, you'll begin to understand why.  Although most regard her as a supreme fashion icon and actress, her life consisted of so much more than gracing cinema screens and twirling in black dresses.  Because she is an icon to so many, I wanted to shed light on some lesser-known facts about Audrey and the actions that truly make her a person worth remembering.

Prep For A Day

1. First and foremost, she devoted much of her later life to a humanitarian cause.
Audrey Hepburn was named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 1988, just five years before her death.  No partnership could have been more fitting;  indeed, Audrey was one of the first children to be aided by UNICEF's predecessor, UNRRA, during the 1945 postwar liberation of Holland.  As such, she felt deeply connected to UNICEF's mission and traveled abroad to aid and raise awareness about impoverished children in communities across the world.

2. She was a wonderful mother.
Perhaps because her chances of becoming a mother seemed slim at the start, Audrey was especially devoted to her children.  She retired early from her film career in order to become a full-time mother, and she worked tirelessly to make her children and their lives the center of her own.

3. She was adored in many Asian countries--especially Japan--because her appearance portrayed her as more "relatable" than other Hollywood stars.
It's easy to see why Audrey, with her small frame and darker features, was more identifiable to Asian men and women than other Hollywood stars known for their blond locks or curvy figures.  She remains an icon and a role model in many Asian countries.

4. Her dancing enabled her to aid the resistance movement in Holland during World War II.
Ballet dancing was a passion that began for Audrey at a very young age, and she had been training for several years by the time the war began.  She contributed to the Resistance in her own way:  raising funds from secret ballet performances held for neighbors and strangers.  She continued to do so until malnutrition left her physically incapable of dancing. This medical condition partly contributed to the slim figure that was so praised in Hollywood.

Evidently, Audrey Hepburn was a wonderful actress and fashion icon, but I think it's unfair that these achievements are remembered as her greatest.  In the words of Audrey herself,
"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others."
And help others, she certainly did.

Information source:  Audrey at Home by Luca Dotti.

Did you know any of these facts about Audrey Hepburn?


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