“I think my face is funny.” I’m keeping the original, but prints are available in my shop.
It’s hard for people to imagine just how revolutionary looking she was. Actresses in the 1950s were expected to have curves- Marilyn Monroe was 5’5.5″ and 37-23-36. Elizabeth Taylor was 5’2″ and 32D-21-36. Even ingenue Debbie Reynolds was 5’2″ 36-23-37. Audrey Hepburn comes along at 5’7″ (a giant when the average American man was 5’8″ in 1960) 34A-20-34. And while there’d been tall and slim actresses in the 30s and 40, by the 50s it wasn’t what studios were looking for from new talent. And it wasn’t just her body. In an era of china doll looks it’s no surprise that Audrey Hepburn had been looked over by talent scouts and deemed unfilmable. Her crooked teeth could get a hazy filter for close ups, but her nose was was considered too big and wide to look good on film.
As we all know, she was eventually cast in the stage role of Gigi which led her to Roman Holiday and mega stardom. She consistently played the role of an unusual but charmingly attractive young woman for the rest of her career. While we think of her as an eternal beauty now, there was a time when everyone who looked at her thought she had a, “funny face.”
Each era has beauty standards. Although symmetry is the benchmark for beauty, the details change from century to century, and from decade to decade. At sometime in human history you were beautiful. Personally, I would have killed it in the middle ages. Nowadays, not so much. I think that’s important to keep in mind while we’re being bombarded by constant messages that there’s something wrong with the way we look. There isn’t, and it’s all ephemeral anyway.