During the period including the 1950’s and 1960’s, the United States was experiencing an economic growth due to the ending of World War II which gave cause for celebration. Audrey Hepburn hit the big screen at a time in America that movies were appreciated as wonderful entertainment and considered to be an escape to a make-believe world. Audrey’s portrayal of her movie characters made viewers believe that she was the embodiment of true magic. The image of Audrey Hepburn on the movie screen, and the perception of her by her fans, propelled her into becoming one of the most diversely influential motion picture stars of all time.
Audrey’s background led to her drive for stardom, hard work ...view middle of the document...
This resulted in her living in the Netherlands during the World War II Nazi occupation. The German Army bombed her town in 1940 and eventually took over her family’s home. She lived through poverty, starvation, and illness. She experienced the loss of family members through the separation from her brother, the death of both her uncle and cousin (Maychick 30, 33). She must have experienced devastating fear on a daily basis for so many years while Nazi soldiers took over the country. She endured great destitution while all available food and supplies were disappearing from her family. One can only image how that fear resulted in a tremendous drive to want to live, and to succeed at life.
As a child, the combination of living through emotional turmoil and war driven starvation caused her to develop an eating disorder and resulted in many health conditions. She suffered from hepatitis, asthma, anemia, and bouts of anorexia brought on by anxiety (Maychick 42, 115). Children and young adults who experience health problems usually learn to make self-care a priority throughout the rest of their lives. When mental stress exacerbates the physical symptoms of a known health condition, an adult must take action to recover. The realization and initiation of the process of self-care will empower an individual to succeed.
Audrey’s drive to succeed compelled her to work extremely hard at developing and promoting her talent. Audrey’s passion was dance, and she received professional training in ballet (Paris 13, 18). To support her passion while in London, she started modeling for advertisements and fashion photographs (43). While still in England, her dancing led to theatre work which eventually led to small film roles and bigger theatre roles (44-50).
Audrey’s dedication paved her way to achieving great stardom and international fame. Her breakthrough film, starring opposite Gregory Peck as her leading man, made movie audiences fall in love with her. Roman Holiday, released in 1953, resulted in her winning both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for best leading actress (“Roman Holiday,” par. 2). The first time I saw this mischievous romantic comedy, with my grandmother many years ago, I enjoyed it so much that I watched it many times since. Her films that followed also quickly became my personal favorites. Because of her star appeal, her films captivated all movie lovers and they remain classics to this day.
Her future movie roles started a trend of acceptance in a leading lady being a well-liked, brunette, girl-next-door type, vs. the bombshells of the day. The centerfold look was difficult for most women to achieve and maintain. Audrey’s look helped women of slighter body styles with self-acceptance, which influences women today to embrace their individual body types. Seeing a female movie star with a different body type helped all women see that you didn’t have to be voluptuous be considered beautiful and talented. The popularity...