Whenever I’m on my computer in public, I usually see people pointing or staring at me and conversing. Every once in a while, I’ll be approached by men, women, young and old, who want to talk to me about my laptop.
I have a unique decal on my computer that reads, “An Audrey Hepburn Girl in a Kardashian World”. When people actually talk to me, they say things like, “Hi. I’m sorry to bother you, but I love your laptop.” Or, “That’s so cool. I totally agree.” Or something as simple as, “Nice case.”
I’ve always wondered what people think I’m trying to say with this decal? Do they see me as a Kardashian hater? Or a staunch traditionalist? Or something else entirely? In reality, I’m none of these things.
In truth, I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that I am very lucky to be born in a time where women and people of color have more rights than at any other time in American history. But, there is a sense of slickness, a coldness to modernity that doesn’t really jive with my delicate constitution.
And yes, I probably would have hated having my life entirely controlled by men and almost no career advancement opportunities if I had been alive 70 years ago. But, there was a societal emphasis placed on elegance, grace and modesty that I really don’t see in 21st century America.
To find those qualities, you’d have to go back to the mid 20th century. And, no one epitomized the values of the era, quite like Audrey Hepburn. I’ve been an Audrey fan for most of my life. I’ve watched her movies, gone to her photo exhibitions and have several pieces of artwork featuring her. She is not only my fashion icon; she represents my perfect world.
Apart from her physical beauty, she is one of the most celebrated cultural icons of all time. She was a dancer who donated the money she made to the Nazi resistance. She was a successful actress with a career that lasted almost three decades, and near the end of her life she became heavily involved with the humanitarian effort to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and around the world. She was talented, generous and imbued with a beautiful sense of grace.
Coming back to the 21st century, we have the Kardashians. Also, known as the family that is famous for being famous. This raucous family has gone on to be involved in everything from modeling, to makeup, to hosting TV shows and more. I don’t want to take away from their accomplishments, and I truly do NOT hate them. My issue is what they represent.
For me, the 21st century Kardashian world values things are artificial and perfectly manufactured. Twenty first century lives are lived online, where outfits, makeup looks and vacations are just things people do for likes on Instagram or views on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, of course I use these tools in my personal life and at work every day.
I just wish I could live in a world that is closer to Audrey’s. A world that is warm and subtle and real. I wish we could bring the focus back to grace, intelligence, talent and generosity. But, I’m not living in my fantasy land.
I’m just an Audrey Hepburn girl in Kardashian world.