This is my entry in the Great Katharine Hepburn Blogathon hosted by Margaretperry.org. Click here for more about the Great Kate.
What is style? Merriam Webster says it is:
* a particular way in which something is done, created, or performed
* a particular form or design of something
* a way of behaving or of doing things
Katharine Hepburn is one of those rare individuals who incorporate all 3. She is organic, unmistakable, unique and wholly organic. The face follows the form, the voice follows the personality and the style follows the philosophy.
a particular way in which something is done, created, or performed
Naturally, this wonder did not spring forth from thin air fully formed. She had a progressive upbringing. The thought that she was somehow “less” because she was a woman was never imparted. To be yourself meant being a rebel.
“Most people are brought up to believe they are as good as the person next to them. I was told I was better.” KH
“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” KH
“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” KH
“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault, But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” KH
“Without discipline there’s no life at all” KH
“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” KH
“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” KH
“Children needs boundaries so they can know how far they have to go to get beyond them” KH
a particular form or design of something
Being young and quite sure she was destined to be special, she set forth for a life upon the stage. She was armed with a carefully constructed and self-conscious bravado that turned all eyes on her.
“Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant, but inside I was always quaking.” KH
“When I started out, I didn’t have any desire to be an actress or learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.” KH
“Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you’re someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself.” KH
What was Hollywood to do with her?
In a town where beauty is defined as the best of the usual, this unusual woman was a puzzle.
She could be silly
She could be elegant
She could be regal
But she wasn’t Constance Bennett or Carole Lombard of even Jean Harlow.
“The average Hollywood film star’s ambition is to be admired by an American, courted by an Italian, married to an Englishman and have a French boyfriend” KH
Clearly, she was never average at anything.
a way of behaving or of doing things
But, somehow the world was getting ready for this individual and she became a light of possibility for women, not a shadow of someone’s conception of what a woman should be.
And it is only fitting that this woman should wear the pants.
Unlike Dietrich or Garbo, her pants were not a sexual gender-bending tease. No, this woman wore them because they were a projection of her style – her way of doing things: straight forward, simple, no nonsense, humorous and kind of lovely.
“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I've done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” KH
“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” KH
“You can’t change the music of your soul.” KH
“I have loved and been in love. There’s a big difference.” KH
“Dressing up is a bore. At a certain age you decorate yourself to attract the opposite sex, and at a certain age I did that. But I’m past that age.” KH
“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” KH
Kate, you are now as you were then: a very fresh and sassy and wholly admirable breath of Yankee American air. Ah!!!!!!
You've chosen a great selection of quotes and stills here!
Thanks, Judy. As I began to write about her, I realized the best comments about her are those made by the lady herself.
You've captured the essence of Katharine Hepburn, the result being pure, unadulterated, distilled Kate.
Wonderful tribute to this talented and original woman. I notice that, in her everyday wear, Hepburn looks startlingly modern. It's only in her movie garb that she looks like she lived in another era.
Your post reminded me of why Kate is probably the woman I admire the most on Earth. I love her independency, her style, her quotes (especially the one about being brought up believing she is better than the next person, totally me!). And that's why I aspire to be more and more like her.
Thanks for the kind comment!
Thank you, Inge, for you gracious comment. Much appreciated.
Ruth - thanks for stopping by. Hepburn was totally modern - no old fuddy duudy she.
Hi Le - there is so very much to admire bout that woman. I have a feeling she slept very well at night - very secure within herself.
What perfect quotes and images you've chosen to capture why we all admire her so much. I think I need to save this post in my Internet favorites so that I can read them when I'm having a bad day:)
What a wonderful tribute to the great Kate! So many great quotes and images of her. I love how Kate wore whatever she wanted, regardless of what other people thought or were wearing themselves!
Thank you , Leah. It's a good idea to post her quotes around the house - I am sure they will come in handy in almost any situation.
Thank you, Vivien! I agree - she always looked 100% comfortable all the time.
Wonderful combination of words and images, that - together - really show what a wise and unique person Kate was.
Thank you, James. I'm sure she made her share of mistakes, but she always did seem so wise, didn't she?
Chick, I like the way you have described KH with your own words and with hers. She was one of a kind -- sounds trite but true. I particularly like "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased." That attitude shows a strong personal center. My Dad always tried to encourage that in his kids, particularly in school, telling us that anyone can be popular if they just follow someone else's lead. KH seems to have figured that out and put it to work at a much younger age than most people. I know it took me a long time to come to that conclusion.
Becky - thank you. You know, we always say KH is an inspiration for women, but she really is an inspiration for both woman and men. Be yourself and love the skin you're in.
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