Gamine Beauty seeks to empower our audience with stories of women passionate about making a positive contribution to society. Stories of trailblazers that show us that we can make a change! Stories that inspire us to live our truths and to march to the beat of our own drum.
Audrey Hepburn was one such spirit, the quintessential Gamine. We honor her not only for her beauty, talent and style, but also for her fearless acts of humanitarian aid. She did something important with her life. She never let doubt stop her. She aged with purpose, compassion and pure grace. We hope to inspire your inner Audrey!
What does Gamine mean exactly? It’s a definition that goes well beyond a boyish sense of style. It’s a descriptive word, one with many meanings. One of my personal favorites is “a girl who is allowed to roam the streets without supervision”. One thing all “Gamines” have in common is that they march to the beat of their own drum. Unapologetically. We want to showcase women who have inspired us not only with their trend-influencing personal style but who have also demonstrated bold acts that define them as “activists” in their own right. When women have the world stage and our attention, what do they do next? Those who use their influence to create change in the world inspire us. Women whose beauty goes deeper than how they look or the clothes they wear are inspirations. Whether a celebrity or girl next door, we all have but one chance at this life (maybe), so let’s use it as a positive force in this world.
We love a Gamine, dripping in personal style that gives us the inspiration to live outside of trend. To be who we are, proudly and without permission. Whether that is to cut our hair and wear masculine clothing or to embrace our Boho spirit and let our mother earth hippy out, in everyplace between, we celebrate you.
It is only appropriate that our first blog post be a feature on the one and only Audrey Hepburn. The term Gamine was coined for this incredible woman. Of coarse we all know her as the movie star and style visionary who was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. With her short hair style, thick eyebrows, slim body and “gamine” looks, she presented a look which young women found easier to emulate than those of more sexual film stars of the time. She was the muse of Givenchy and some might ask, did Audrey Hepburn create Givenchy or was it the other way around? Women all over the world continue to seek out the perfect “Little Black Dress” ever since Holly Golightly set the bar while shamelessly enjoying an all-nighter breakfast, window-shopping at Tiffany’s.
When starring next to Gregory Peck, he requested her name be presented with equal billing. Peck was quoted as saying about a lesser presentation,” You’ve got to change that because she’ll be a big star and I’ll look like a big jerk.” It’s hard to believe that this woman whose gravitas, admired by so many, was as insecure as the rest of us! Her response to her own self-doubt can inspire all, “You can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn’t conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive.”
There was so much more to Audrey Hepburn than the movie star and fashion icon. She appeared in fewer films as her life went on, devoting much of her later life to UNICEF. She had contributed to the organization since 1954, but she herself participated in many dangerous missions in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America, India and Asia between 1988 and 1992. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992.
Deeply affected by her childhood under Nazi occupation, her health was compromised during the Dutch Famine when the Germans blocked supply lines. Like so many others, Hepburn’s family resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs. She developed acute anemia, respiratory problems and edema as a result of malnutrition. It is sad to learn her envied thinness was a result of extreme health problems. It was long believed that during this time, Hepburn participated in the Dutch Resistance. This was the beginning of her activism and her burning desire to help the children of the world.
Her conviction for humanitarian relief can be felt in this quote:
“I have a broken heart. I feel desperate. I can’t stand the idea that two million people are in imminent danger of starving to death, many of them children, [and] not because there isn’t tons of food sitting in the northern port of Shoa. It can’t be distributed. Last spring, Red Cross and UNICEF workers were ordered out of the northern provinces because of two simultaneous civil wars… I went into rebel country and saw mothers and their children who had walked for ten days, even three weeks, looking for food, settling onto the desert floor into makeshift camps where they may die. Horrible. That image is too much for me. The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much, because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering.”
Clearly it’s only natural that Audrey Hepburn, who helped coin the term “gamine”, be our first to feature. This beautiful, daring woman with a warrior’s heart was passionate about living a life of service. Live boldly, beautiful gamine women. You can make anything happen.