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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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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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