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7 Lessons Audrey Hepburn Taught Me About True Beauty

7 Lessons Audrey Hepburn Taught Me About True Beauty

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and forms, and one of the most iconic and recognizable is that of actress, campaigner, humanitarian and Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn is considered to this day a truly beautiful woman, even with the passage of time and the increasing strain and imposing attitudes towards beauty and self-image in the modern world.

But what is true beauty? How is it even attained? Audrey Hepburn found the secret of achieving true beauty, beauty that eminates from both inside and out, and here are seven of her most important quotes and lessons that can help you achieve true beauty as well.

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1. “And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”

Lessons learned: One of Audrey Hepburn’s best lessons in true beauty and how to attain it, lies in the high-pressure paradox of aging and being beautiful. In our society, beauty is regarded as a commodity, and youth in particular in treasured. The older a woman becomes, the less attractive she is perceived to be by society at large, and so every kind of anti-ageing cream, surgery, or procedure is peddled out. Audrey Hepburn’s lesson teaches us that women grow more beautiful with age, as a result of their kindnesses and increasing confidence. Think of natural beauties such as Sophia Loren, Julie Christie, and of course Ms Hepburn, who aged gracefully. Time to put down the face cream advertisement and consider maybe, just maybe, growing old gracefully.

2. “There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”

Lessons learned: Audrey knew that the true definition of beauty is not sexiness; although sexiness in itself can be a strong facet of true beauty. What makes someone sexy and truly beautiful isn’t the kind of underwear they wear or how many calories they eat or how much time they spend on their bodies. True beauty and sexiness comes from confidence and from an innate sense of who you really are. Audrey Hepburn never had to parade around naked in a bikini to be sexy or beautiful. She was beautiful walking down the street, in her day-to-day life. So is everyone, if they truly believe in it.

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3. “Make-up can only make you look pretty on the outside but it doesn’t help if your ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the make-up.”

Lessons learned: This is one of Audrey Hepburn’s lesser known comments and quotes about true beauty, but one of the funniest and most succinct. Make up is used the world over and while this quote is certainly not attacking the people across the world who use it on a regular, daily basis; this quote suggests that all the make up in the world, which is designed to make things on the surface appear perfect, cannot sink beneath the skin and make the wearer a better and more perfect human being. Audrey Hepburn did not go without make up, but she did not mistake it or equate it with being beautiful on the inside, with being truly beautiful. Being truly beautiful is something no amount of make up can ever replicate or create.

4. “The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair… True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

Lessons learned: If ever a quote by Audrey Hepburn advocated the focus on inner beauty over outer, then this lesson from the legend herself surely speaks volumes. Inner beauty is not something that leaks in from the outside; it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing haute couture or have a perfect hairdo. True beauty, inner beauty, radiates from the inside out with the positive traits and qualities a person brings to the world and shares with the world. Audrey Hepburn’s true beauty came from her compassion, her kindness, and her devotion to others, and while she might have been wearing Chanel and Dior, it was those qualities that made her truly beautiful.

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5. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”

Lessons learned: True beauty is not isolation. Beauty is not about being all about the surface. You can have a picture perfect veneer – a toned body, great hair, perfect teeth,.. Audrey Hepburn understood this better than anyone; She spent her entire life desiring human connection and a family and desired a family more than being an actress or a celebrity. She understood that true beauty comes from the connections we have to others. Truly beautiful people cultivate loving and powerful relationships with one another. She also stood that maintaining those connections is the most important thing each of us can do on a daily basis.

6. “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.”

Lessons learned: Sometimes a quote about a chocolate cake is just about a chocolate cake, but in this case, it’s really a comment about how inner and outer beauty is not about self-denial and restraint. Audrey Hepburn’s true beauty came from embracing her flaws and desires and letting them be a part of her life, rather than becoming an anxiety or a distraction. In short, Audrey let herself indulge in her taste for a ‘creamy chocolate cake’ and just let it be that. No binges, no starvation. Just a simple enjoyment of what made her happy, which in turn made her happy and truly beautiful.

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7. “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.”

Lessons learned: Audrey’s most important and potent lesson in true beauty is, surprisingly, one of the most misunderstood quotes ever attributed to the Hollywood actress. Audrey’s quote is not an implication that in order to be happy, you need to be pretty and conventionally attractive. However, the quote is actually establishing that when someone is truly happy with themselves and at peace, it is then that they become beautiful, both inside and out.

Audrey Hepburn’s true beauty concept comes not from aesthetics but from the soul. If you want to be truly beautiful, you need to kind and courteous and cultivate happiness for yourself and do what makes you and others happy. That way, when you smile, you’ll look even more radiant, and you will be truly beautiful.

Featured photo credit: Audrey Hepburn via hdw.eweb4.com

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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