Why We Love Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Audrey and Rex in My Fair Lady

This 1964 flick remains one of our favorite films – the music, the wonderful performances (this is where we first fell in love with Jeremy Brett), and the intricate stage sets. I mean, who didn’t wish they could live in Professor Henry Higgins’ study? Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of Eliza Doolittle continues to motivate and inspire us on our worst days. Let us count the ways…

Wherever you are in life, always remember to dream

Eliza teaches us that you are more than your environment. With a little imagination and a desire to capitalize on the resources around you, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. While she may not end up as a lady in a flower shop, we think she surprises even herself with her diligence. Dream big and dream often. Just keep thinking “wouldn’t it be loverly.”

Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo

Best captured in the scene at the Ascot Opening Race, Eliza is expected to make a good first impression and fit into the swanky “upper crust” crowd. You can tell the minute she arrives that she is not your average racing enthusiast. Her dress may fit into the expected dress code of white and black, but she mixes it up with pops of color in her hat. (After all, a girl’s gotta make an entrance even if it means bending the rules!) She contributes all manner of new conversation starters with her colorful tales and most importantly she injects some much needed passion into an otherwise lifeless event with “C’mon Dover, move your bloomin’ arse!” Remember, just because other people place expectations on your behavior or actions, that doesn’t mean you have to lose who you are! Live in the moment – don’t be reluctant to show you’re passionate about something. After all, you may get a new friend out of it.

My Fair Lady Ascot Dress

photo by popculturegeek

Know yourself and don’t apologize for who you are

Even though Eliza undergoes a remarkable transformation during her time with Professor Higgins, she doesn’t forget who she is. While most woman would envy her new-found position in society, Eliza knows she values hard work and cannot simply be a socialite for the rest of her days. As she eloquently says “I sold flowers. I didn’t sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me, I’m not fit to sell anything else.” It takes a lot of self-reflection to understand who you are, but these are important questions to ask. Once you know more about you, you can go out there and conquer!

Arguments are tough and timing is everything

We all get into tiffs (sometimes with the people closest to us – scratch that – usually with the people we cherish the most) and it can be tough to walk the line. You want to get things off your chest, but after you’ve made your point you may discover it wasn’t worth it. We’ve all heard that nugget of wisdom: pick your battles. Well if you need a good example of turning an epic war of words into an opportunity for learning – look no further than Miss Eliza. She may have coldly said “Goodbye, Professor Higgins. You shall not be seeing me again” (and then walked out of the room like a boss we’d like to add), but she knew all along how much she valued their friendship. She returns, sense of humor intact, after her point is made. Sometimes you just have to give people a little time to process.

Love your family, even if your relationship hasn’t always been the best

Eliza and her father have a tumultuous history at best. As her dear old dad sums up to her new-found gentleman friends, he’s too poor to have morals. Eliza and Alfred P. Doolittle’s interactions usually fall under the category of him extracting money from her. We must admit our collective disgust when Eliza, at her lowest point, hears from her now wealthy father that he won’t give her anything. (The nerve! After all she’s done for him…) But she responds by gently rubbing his arm, giving him a smile, and wishing him well. As hard as it can be to move beyond pain, it’s usually best for everyone to inject a little love and tenderness into the mix.

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady

On the set with Audrey

When you make a breakthrough, celebrate

We all felt like dancing when Eliza made her breakthrough during The Rain in Spain monologue. It feels amazing when hard work pays off and your achievements deserve celebration. Maybe it’s treating yourself to a Starbucks, grabbing dinner out, or getting an extra hug from a friend. However you decide to honor your triumph, just be sure to do it!

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Cause A Frockus would like to thank our tremendous resources: The delightful movie My Fair Lady, YouTube, and the wonderful people who post their imagery on Wikipedia Commons without restriction.

For our readers:
What’s your favorite My Fair Lady moment? Tell us about your beloved memories of My Fair Lady in the comments below!


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