Sam Levenson, a writer, wrote in his poem, “Time Tested Beauty Tips,” “For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry… As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn demonstrates this quote perfectly.
Audrey Hepburn is one of the most famous fashion icons and one of the most iconic actresses in Hollywood history. You might recognize her from some of her famous works, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” or “Roman Holiday.” With her slim figure and attractive face, she was and is still beloved by people all over the world. But instead of focusing on her outer appearance and her films, I’m going to focus on her inner beauty because that’s what sets her apart from other role models that teens might have.
First of all, Audrey Hepburn was a dedicated philanthropist. She felt empathy towards hungry children and children affected by wars because she also had a tough childhood. Not only was she raised during World War II, but she also didn’t have a father because he left her and her mother. Oftentimes, she and her mother didn’t have food on the table, to the point where they had to survive on boiled tulip bulbs, nettle, and water because there was nothing else to eat. After World War II, she had gotten help from UNICEF and she never forgot what they had done for her and the impact they left on her. She once expressed her gratitude by saying, "I can testify to what UNICEF means to children, because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II.” In 1988, she walked away from the hollywood spotlight and became a special UNICEF goodwill ambassador so that she could spend more time giving back what she had received. She traveled to over 20 countries to spread awareness and help solve and promote different world issues, such as child hunger and women’s rights. In 1992, she received the Presidential Award of Freedom for her philanthropic works. That same year, she was diagnosed with cancer, but even then, she still continued to travel with UNICEF to do charity work in six different countries. Just like Sam Levenson’s quote, she used one hand for helping herself and the other for helping others. She was compassionate towards others, and this an important trait that teens should develop as well.
In addition to being a philanthropist, Hepburn was also a devoted mother. She made sure that her family came first before anything. Even if she was busy filming movies or doing charitable work, she didn’t forget her family. She always made time to spend with her sons and made sure they didn’t miss out on anything. Also, she kept her private life separate from her public life so that she could raise her sons in a normal environment, away from fame. In fact, her second son, Luca Dotti, didn’t realize how famous his mother was until the day of her funeral. He also said that his mother was the happiest when she was with her family. Teenagers these days don’t seem to prioritize their family. Not only are they busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but even if they have free time, they seem to prefer spending time with their friends rather than spending time with their family. By looking at how devotional Audrey Hepburn was, teens can be inspired to prioritize their family above anything else, too.
Also, Audrey Hepburn was wise, since she knew how powerful education and knowledge were. She probably discovered the power of knowledge as she was meeting with both less educated children in developing countries and more educated children in developed countries. She once said, “A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential." She refers to education as a key to success and a brighter future. Not a lot of teens value education and appreciate school, but teens should learn from Hepburn to become more grateful for the education we receive in school and to strive to become the best they can through education.
Audrey Hepburn was beautiful inside and out. She shared her food and wealth with children who were less fortunate than her and used her fame to spread awareness. She really did use one hand to help herself and her family and the other to help others. Her inner beauty is truly something all teens should look up to. Audrey Hepburn was benevolent, loving, and wise, and these qualities are the reasons why Audrey Hepburn should be everyone’s, especially teens’ role model.