Monday, September 14, 2015

Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit inspired

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I read Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit, by Sean Hepburn Ferrer in April. Of course, like so many others, I have loved the works of Audrey Hepburn since I was a child. "Roman Holiday" still makes me cry every time I watch it. She was perfection in that film and "Charade" is such an entertaining ride.

Acting was Audrey Hepburn's career, but she dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina until World War II dashed those dreams. 

"My mother simply couldn't compete with the other dancers who had received proper training as well as proper sustenance during the war years. The war had stolen her dream. She remembered going back to her room that day and 'just wanting to die.' The dream that had kept her hope alive all those years had just vanished."
-Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit

It seems as though after that, Ms. Hepburn's greatest hope in life was to protect all the children of the world from pain and the destruction of their dreams for the future.

Somalia, 1992. Source

Words of Ms. Hepburn spoken to members of the United Nations Staff

"Children are our most vital resource, our hope for the future. Until they not only can be assured of physically surviving the most fragile years of life, but are free of emotional, social and physical abuse, it is impossible to envisage a world that is free of tension and violence. But it is up to us to make it possible."
-Audrey Hepburn

"How fortunate that our memories of her are good. They leave a gentle wake, like a sunny empty room that feels good. It's there, at times stronger, at times gentler--the perfect combination of sweet and sad. The sweetness of her, the sadness of her."
-Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit

This book was so lovingly written by Audrey Hepburn's son; it was beautiful to see her through the eyes of someone who truly knew and loved her. It reads less like a biography than a call to action, to stand up for the poor, hungry, and innocent. Given that Audrey Hepburn devoted so much of herself to UNICEF and encouraged those in developed countries to feed the starving children of the world, this seems like a good way to write her story to me. Coco Chanel said, "Elegance comes from being as beautiful inside as outside," so by that definition, Audrey Hepburn certainly had an elegant spirit. It also has me looking for ways to be more elegant in my own life. 

About this manicure:

3 coats OPI I Theodora You
Stamped with PueenSE02A on thumb, index, and pinky, BP-L016 on middle finger, and BM-620 on ring finger.

Photograph by Henry Clarke, 1971.