Audrey Hepburn has been said to be one of the most beautiful fashion icons and actresses to ever step foot in Hollywood.
The poem “Time-Tested Beauty Tips” became one of her favorites, used by Hepburn on occasion when she was asked for beauty tips.
It describes what Hepburn wanted to embody -the sort of beauty that doesn’t come from fashionable clothes, makeup, or money, but from the inner character within the heart of a woman.
Time Tested Beauty Tips was written by the late educator-humorist Sam Levinson for his granddaughter and read by Audrey Hepburn on Christmas Eve, 1992. [From Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris, 1996, Putnam]
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.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
God’s Word also teaches us about a woman’s true beauty ~ that her beauty comes from her qualities of heart, mind, and soul and does not fade with time.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” ~1 Peter 3: 3-5
We are not forbidden from braiding our hair or wearing jewelry here. What he is saying is that our real and true beauty doesn’t come from externals. Every bit of our effort towards becoming truly beautiful should be developed by cultivating a spirit that is full of integrity, wisdom, joy, and kindness.
My daughter and I were greatly encouraged (twice) by listening to Carolyn Mahaney’s free Mp3 download entitled, “Beauty.” To see the video mentioned in the message, you can view it on Carolyn’s blog “Girl Talk”, here. Listening to this together would be a meaningful mother/daughter date.
Colossians 3:12 tells us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” We are living in a harsh, unforgiving world. Most people don’t have time for a kind word, but a gracious woman is kind and is genuinely concerned for other people’s needs, even more than her own. It also has a lot to do with being courageous and confident in our standing in Christ. This is the sort of beauty that is the essence of aging gracefully.
Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I didn’t cultivate an inner beauty or give much thought to growing my heart in the lasting beauty of gentleness, kindness, patience, joy, goodness, or unselfish love. I still almost daily have to fight the old pride and opinionated attitude of my old self!
Now as I grow older year by year, I feel the Holy Spirit urging me to earnestly cultivate my heart and mind and to throw off all the worldly hopes I once had and often still cling to. There is no help in money, things, appearance, or position. Even the blessed gifts of family and home from the Lord can be lost in an instant. Our hope is in the Lord alone.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” ~Psalm 39: 7
When my husband and children (and possibly their children) gather around me as the years roll on, and I am increasingly wrinkled, white-haired, gnarly-handed, stoop-shouldered, and frail with faded eyes, will they see the overcoming servant heart of a saint seasoned in love, joy, thankfulness, and compassion speaking blessing to those around me? Or will they see a wrinkled, grey-haired, inward-focused cynical and critical old woman?
I do not know whether Audrey Hepburn ever accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I can’t judge her life. Hepburn did live her later years altruistically for others, and in that she was beautiful. Put faith together with that love for others and you will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The greatest physical asset we can have as women is unassuming joy and a genuine, heartfelt smile. More than dewy youth, a knockout figure, glamorous eyes, or voluminous hair – which will all fade with time- a genuine joyful smile that comes from the Lord will be the number one thing that will make you beautiful. It isn’t wrong to take care of your body, desire to be trim, stylish, and look your best, just don’t get caught up in it.
“Joy and a smile are the most attractive accessories any woman can have.” ~unknown
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” ~Proverbs 31: 30
PS Comparison is deadly~ avoid the comparison trap!