How Audrey Hepburn Ruined My Day

by Charlotte on February 13, 2009 · 224 comments

103. 20. Those two numbers have haunted my every waking moment for the past three days. Even though I have a known weakness for numbers – body fat percentage! max reps! weight! calories! IP addresses! (xkcd, I love you!) – the tenacity of these two little numbers in my mind has surprised even me. Every spare moment this weekend when my brain has not been occupied, all I can think is 103. 20. 103. 20. Their power over me is tied to a third number: 5′ 6.75″

That’s right. My height. I’m nearly 5′ 7″ which may possibly be the one number I have always been quite happy with. I have never wished to be shorter and thanks to a weird complex I have where I always think I’m taller than everyone, 6 1/2 foot-tall men included, my height has always been a happy number for me. Good thing too since it’s not like it’s something one can really do much about.

My height also puts me in good company. Kate Moss is 5′ 6.5″. Angelina Jolie is 5′ 7″. Jackie Kennedy was 5’7″. And Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite actresses and style icons, is my height exactly. (Well, she was anyhow. For those of you who missed the memo, she’s dead now. She died a few months before her 65th birthday of cancer.) Why do I care about other women’s heights? Because it gives me the information I need to compare myself. Sigh.

103 was Audrey Hepburn’s weight. 20 inches was the size of her waist. I found this out courtesy of one of the magazines I read that is supposed to promote health (in fact it even has the word “health” in its title so it must be true!). This same article also called Princess Di “normal” with a waist of “26″ at her largest” and Kate Winslet “large” with a 28″ waist. But seeing as I do not share the coloring nor stylistic predilections of the tragic Di or the beleagured Kate, back to Audrey. It is said that all throughout her life and illustrious career, she made it a point to never exceed 103 pounds. And according to all sources, aside from her two pregnancies, she never did.

Let’s get real. 103 pounds (a BMI of 16.2) is a positively ridiculous number for someone of our height. Kate Moss, the Waif of all Waifs, is reported to weigh 114 pounds (BMI 17.9). Angelina Jolie, if you believe the tabloids, is near 110 (BMI 17.2). All are considered underweight to the point of it being a health risk. At my very sickest with my eating disorder, I never got as low as Audrey Hepburn maintained for her entire adult life. For me to get to 103 would require calorie restriction and exercise the like of which I dare not even imagine.

A 20-inch waist is also similarly extraordinary. One of my thighs is bigger than her waist. The only women that I know of that can even approximate that number are Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara) and Dita Von Teese, both of whom use highly restrictive corsets to achieve 18″ for the former and 16″ for the latter. Audrey’s waist was 20 inches even in a bikini. (For the record, it is reported that Dita’s uncorseted waist is a mere 21″.)

I know all this and yet I still pine for a 20 inch waist. Why would I do this? I am healthy – exceedingly healthy if you want to talk those kinds of numbers (you should see the blood pressure reading on this baby!) – so why aren’t I happy with that? It’s because deep down I yearn, like most women I think, to not just be functional but also to be beautiful. And I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but for this beholder, Audrey Hepburn has always reigned supreme.

Part of my problem with this is that for everything that Audrey was known for in her life, being eating disordered was never one of them. She maintained an impossibly tiny figure without making herself ill. Good genetics, I suppose. And I imagine she was very careful with how she ate – there are certainly no records of her being a glutton. But here’s where the crazy voices kick in: Why does she get to be so thin and beautiful when for me that weight would earn me a one-way ticket to the mental health ward? Why doesn’t she look sunken-eyed and gaunt in any of her pictures? I lose 10 pounds and I have bones sticking out in all sorts of wrong places. And where did she put all of her internal organs? In her pocketbook?

I am embarrassed to say how much these numbers bother me. I have spent the last two days looking up corsets online and wondering if I could wear one under my gym tank tops without the Gym Buddies noticing (not likely) and still be able to breathe enough to do my cardio (extremely unlikely). I have been wondering if I ought to take out all oblique exercises just in case my crazy strong ab muscles are actually making my waist bigger – an assertion that Jillian Michaels uses in her book Making the Cut as her reason why she never does them – despite the fact that it would give me an unstable and unbalanced core.

There is a reason that comparisons are odious. Certainly I am stronger than Audrey, she being no fan of sport or exercise aside from dancing in her youth. And other than coloring (and height!), we share precious little with which to draw a comparison. So you would think that I could stop obsessing. But I can’t. I have admired her for so long that to learn that the reality of looking like her is so far out of my reach as to be a logistical impossibility feels terribly sad to me. A loss, even.

What do I do? How do I let go of the numbers? Has anyone mastered the art of not comparing? Seriously, somebody save me from myself (and also Women’s Health magazine).

{ 222 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 4:09 am

103lbs on a 5’7″ body sounds unattractively tiny to me, and while AH was certainly very thin, she didn’t look disturbingly bony. I wonder just how accurate those numbers are…are these actual measurements from medical records (highly unlikely) or clothes she actually wore or are they guesses by random writers? The same goes for Kate Winslet…the woman is absolutely gorgeous and it ticks me off that by today’s screwy standards she’s considered large, but her waist does not measure 28 inches (and that’s not a bad thing).

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Audrey March 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

It was because she was slim, not skinny. Slim, her proportions were small, all of them. Skinny, odd, random proportions. Has a big backside and breasts, but thin everywhere else.

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Karlee February 28, 2013 at 5:52 am

I would like to point out to all of you, that Audrey had the Nazis and the fammon in Holland (among other things) to thank for her figure. (And for a moltitude of health problems as well.)

She, the same as every woman, was made to feel her appearence was inferior. It was the shift in popular discourse that allowed the actress to break through, it was her mind-blowing presence that kept her there, and here endless kindess that made her immortal.

In summary, Audrey’s many illnesses and her resulting death came from malnutrition. I am sure she would roll in her grave at the thought that just one woman was called ‘large’ because they did not meet her own (self-described) “scrawny” body.

I hope you understand the impact ab article such as this would have on many girls around the world.

This is in direct reply to the article alone.

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Ashes August 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Not only the impact of this article on girls but the disinformation. While she may not have been publicly known for her eating disorder, just as Marilyn wasn’t known for her depression, both were definitely dominant parts of their lives. The psychological trauma left after the war, not just the malnutrition is what kept her from eating. She had a hard time getting pregnant and maintaining her pregnancies due to this. If one just simply doesn’t eat they don’t really gain weight, she didn’t have much muscle mass, especially compared to todays powerhouse women. I am only 5’1.5″ and yet when I weighed 103, i still had a 24″ waist. At my skinniest I think I still had a 21″ waist but I was weak and ugly skinny. Like 12 yo boy curves. I like having curves, thighs, hips, booty! BMI, it’s just a number. It’s about being fit and learning to love yourself. If you spent half the energy you put into obsessing over someone else’s body into loving you for you, you wouldn’t be writing this article. I’m actually sitting here watching a Marilyn movie, wishing I had a chest to match my other wonderful assets, but alas, I’m left to just love me for me! All 120lbs, 31″, 27″ 36″ of me! ;)

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Lila June 17, 2013 at 11:48 pm

God these posts annoy me -.- the reason she was so thin was because she starved through out her whole childhood. Growing up during WWII there simply wasn’t enough food to go around and she nearly died several times, which is one of the reasons she was so dedicated to helping people in need. But that kind of starvation leaves permanent damage and she never could regain the weight she lost during her childhood. THAT’S why she’s so skinny

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markiza August 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

another important factor besides starvation, she smoked. just like kate moss, although unlike kate moss, i don’t think audrey had done drugs, but she smoked. and smoking affects your appetite to a point of ridiculous weight loss. another thing, back then the media did everything to promote their stars. claiming “the most beautiful person in the world” every week (they do exactly the same kind of thing today…call it Hollywood) but what you see is someone average or even less than average posted on the tabloids. call it marketing. majority of it is not true, it is a creation of a marketing team to make money, by creating something “unattainable” and fascinating from relatively average people who didn’t have it on their own. audrey was not beautiful, pretty ugly actually. nothing against her, but even the woman was honest about it. unfortunately, merilyn monroe should’ve been honest about it too cuz she was much below average. all these women, average women who were “made” into who they were by hollywood. to everyone else, looking to compare themselves to “perfections”, just get a life and stop your ridiculous obsessions and infatuations. if you don’t like something about yourself-improve it, but by your own standards. all these “stars” are made from the same material you are made from, they are not “special”, they got no secrets but what they were told to do and to wear. teach yourself things you want perform. become a better version of yourself. but do it with a right set of mind.

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Henry August 4, 2013 at 2:02 am

Pretty ugly? You’re joking right?! That is possibly the most ridiculous word I have ever heard in the same sentence as Audrey Hepburn. Audrey was extremely modest but I’m pretty sure she never thought she was ‘ugly’… Even she said that she had ‘some good features’. I mean please, give her a break.

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Gina March 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

“just get a life and stop your ridiculous obsessions and infatuations.”

You’re being a truly bad person. As if it were THAT EASY. How ignorant and heartless of you.

eating disorders are MENTAL ILLNESSES. They’re chemical imbalances in the brain people are either born with, suffer some sort of trauma and develop, or both.

It’s like someone shooting your new born baby in the head then when you get upset saying “Get a life” or “Get over it” like that rancid bitch markiza said. You are both piles of indigestible fuck. People that bully the disabled make me sick. I’d LOVE for you both to have a severe trauma that gave you a severe mental illness such as that.. You deserve it with how you both treat those with mental illnesses. You both say get a life get over it when, genuinely, you both need to get a fucking life and GET OVER YOURSELVES. Never surprises me when I read someone suffering a disability and is brave enough to talk about it then in the comments there’s always stupid ignorant heartless soulless bullies who feel better about themselves by bashing disabled people. I wish people like you didn’t exist, you certainly don’t deserve to. ad the fact you need to verbally abuse a disabled woman seems to me what you really need is some good sex, some rage and anxiety and depression meds (when combined together prevents Heartless Soulless Bitch Syndrome) Have a good laugh at something funny, not someone’s suffering, and know that you will never be beautiful on the outside seeing how fucking fugly you are on the inside. Learn the fact you are not better than her because you are not disabled and she is. In all actual fact plenty of disabled people because of their suffering become stronger, smarter, kinder, and much better people than most of you non-disabled will EVER be. Life knowledge and wisdom trumps book knowledge always and forever because book knowledge won’t help you deal with your life. At all. Common Sense, Good Morals and Ethics, Kindness, Street Smarts, and plain old Common Decency and Respect and knowing when to keep your heartless bitch opinions to your ignorant self is way better than knowing the square root of whatever. I’d say Good luck morons, but you only deserve the worst possible luck. I’ve had some of the worst traumas possible happen to me in my life and I still don’t discriminate like a retarded bitch like you two. Go get fucked, Get a life, get over yourself, don’t be so god damn full of yourselves thinking you know it all and you’re better. You’re not better, you’re worse. anyone replying with respect and understanding, kindness and consideration, wouldn’t be better either, they’d just be different. The only people that are better than others are people who are better than worthless bullies and discriminators (which is EXACTLY what you two are) and rapists and cold blooded murderers. I only hate on haters. That’s my policy. Only to people who deserve it like you two do. and I genuinely mean every word of it I’m not just ranting. Good luck in your recovery/coping with your eating disorder author I wish you the utmost best. It’s hard I know but try not to let others worthless opinions pull you down further. I strongly suggest finding a good therapist (trust me you’ll probably have to weed through some if not tons of bad ones to find a good one.) perhaps see a psychiatrist and or a psychologist and either take prescription meds as prescribed or go with natural medication. That will all help with dealing with your obsession. and a useful tip is to develop a healthy obsession, such as watching something that will make you laugh every day or relaxing your favorite way or something like that. Many Positive healthy obsessions you could switch to (believe me it won’t be easy and it will take tons of time, but it’s worth the effort 100+%) Mostly obsessions are excessive habits, whether habits of behavior or thinking or feeling etc. For most it takes 21 days to get past a habit and 21 days to get stuck into a new habit.. I suggest doing both at once. Trying your damndest to try and stop and sit with the discomfort of the old bad obsession and be ok with being uncomfortable and introduce the new habit as often as humanly possible for you at the same time but don’t over do it. Love for all but Haters Bullies Rapists Ignorant By Choice and Cold Blooded Murderers. Peace and Love not Pointless Bullshit.

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Do not compare that to freaking SHOOTING A BABY. What is wrong with you? calm down.

Dani May 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

“Marzika” : smoking to be skinny is a myth. I know people who are obese and smoke. Coffee and nicotine diets? Really? Shut up. And I agree with Gina. I hope you get an eating disorder so you know what it feels like.

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Gina March 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

“just get a life and stop your ridiculous obsessions and infatuations.”

You’re being a truly bad person. As if it were THAT EASY. How ignorant and heartless of you.

eating disorders are MENTAL ILLNESSES. They’re chemical imbalances in the brain people are either born with, suffer some sort of trauma and develop, or both.

It’s like someone shooting your new born baby in the head then when you get upset saying “Get a life” or “Get over it” like that rancid bitch markiza said. You are both piles of indigestible fuck. People that bully the disabled make me sick. I’d LOVE for you both to have a severe trauma that gave you a severe mental illness such as that.. You deserve it with how you both treat those with mental illnesses. You both say get a life get over it when, genuinely, you both need to get a fucking life and GET OVER YOURSELVES. Never surprises me when I read someone suffering a disability and is brave enough to talk about it then in the comments there’s always stupid ignorant heartless soulless bullies who feel better about themselves by bashing disabled people. I wish people like you didn’t exist, you certainly don’t deserve to. ad the fact you need to verbally abuse a disabled woman seems to me what you really need is some good sex, some rage and anxiety and depression meds (when combined together prevents Heartless Soulless Bitch Syndrome) Have a good laugh at something funny, not someone’s suffering, and know that you will never be beautiful on the outside seeing how fucking fugly you are on the inside. Learn the fact you are not better than her because you are not disabled and she is. In all actual fact plenty of disabled people because of their suffering become stronger, smarter, kinder, and much better people than most of you non-disabled will EVER be. Life knowledge and wisdom trumps book knowledge always and forever because book knowledge won’t help you deal with your life. At all. Common Sense, Good Morals and Ethics, Kindness, Street Smarts, and plain old Common Decency and Respect and knowing when to keep your heartless bitch opinions to your ignorant self is way better than knowing the square root of whatever. I’d say Good luck morons, but you only deserve the worst possible luck. I’ve had some of the worst traumas possible happen to me in my life and I still don’t discriminate like a retarded bitch like you two. Go get fucked, Get a life, get over yourself, don’t be so god damn full of yourselves thinking you know it all and you’re better. You’re not better, you’re worse. anyone replying with respect and understanding, kindness and consideration, wouldn’t be better either, they’d just be different. The only people that are better than others are people who are better than worthless bullies and discriminators (which is EXACTLY what you two are) and rapists and cold blooded murderers. I only hate on haters. That’s my policy. Only to people who deserve it like you two do. and I genuinely mean every word of it I’m not just ranting. Good luck in your recovery/coping with your eating disorder author I wish you the utmost best. It’s hard I know but try not to let others worthless opinions pull you down further. I strongly suggest finding a good therapist (trust me you’ll probably have to weed through some if not tons of bad ones to find a good one.) perhaps see a psychiatrist and or a psychologist and either take prescription meds as prescribed or go with natural medication. That will all help with dealing with your obsession. and a useful tip is to develop a healthy obsession, such as watching something that will make you laugh every day or relaxing your favorite way or something like that. Many Positive healthy obsessions you could switch to (believe me it won’t be easy and it will take tons of time, but it’s worth the effort 100+%) Mostly obsessions are excessive habits, whether habits of behavior or thinking or feeling etc. For most it takes 21 days to get past a habit and 21 days to get stuck into a new habit.. I suggest doing both at once. Trying your damndest to try and stop and sit with the discomfort of the old bad obsession and be ok with being uncomfortable and introduce the new habit as often as humanly possible for you at the same time but don’t over do it. Love for all but Haters Bullies Rapists Ignorant By Choice and Cold Blooded Murderers. Peace and Love not Pointless Bullshit.

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Gina March 11, 2014 at 9:37 am

By the way…If something annoys you DON’T HARRASS PEOPLE IN THE COMMENTS JUST FUCKING LEAVE. Retarded ass…

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markiza August 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm

to the author of this daft post: get over it. I felt only sorry for you reading your post. i felt almost uncomfortable and embarrassed reading your about your obsession. here’s food for your thought: I’m 5’10″ …..112lbs…..32C-23-34….body fat 16% i exercise:swimming, kick boxing, zumba, weights, tai chi. im happy as i could ever be and it is because this is the way i saw myself, this is the was i wanted to be and i respected myself enough by concentrating on these goals to make myself into what i wanted to be…and i became it. do the same thing. get on with your life and get to where you want to be, leave audrey to her own thing.

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Gina March 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

Read my reply to the above poster it involves you a whole hell of a lot you Douche Canoe.

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justagirl September 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

That is my current, NATURAL weight, but thanks?

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Heather Lyerly September 12, 2013 at 5:32 am

I wish I had her measurements. She was beautiful. But inside too. That is what made her an icon.

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Isabelle September 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

At the very heat of my Ed I was down to 98 pounds. I too am 5’7″. And my waist was still about 23.75 inches. Here I am about 10 pounds heavier (still struggling) and my waist is 25 inches. It’s all depending on your body. I’m 32-25-35. Not exactly an hour glass like perfect Audrey. I find myself obsessing with her figure too as my ideal but even mired in my own issues I know logically I am not her. All bodies are different. Also she struggled with an Ed too. It’s pretty well documented how strange she was about food… Which explains why those of us struggling hope to mirror her…

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Brittney perez September 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

I’m 5’7 103, and I don’t look bony, I look bony around 98… Due to my tiny figure, small hips, small bust, my frame…. All is small. Many women wo are skinny but have a gap between their legs is due to their wide hips, in my case, mine are small, I don’t have a gap even though I’m 103, my thighs almost touch

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Kelsy January 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

Well go to hell then. I’m 5’6.5 inches and weight 103 pounds. And so many guys go GAGA over my tiny waist so suck it jealous idiot.

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Charlotte February 16, 2009 at 4:13 am

Anon- I agree, it sounds too tiny to be attractive. And yet she was gorgeous! As for where I got the numbers from , I orginally read them in a Women's Health article but also looked them up online. IMDb confirms it as do several other sources. I added the links in my post. Thanks! PS> Agree with you on Kate winslet!!!

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Nancy Campbell Allen February 16, 2009 at 4:23 am

Charlotte- I love your blog. (Just found it, because I followed a link from LDS Fiction where you won a copy of my book and I need your info so I can send it to you!)

My thoughts on the whole Audrey thing are complex. I’ve also loved her forever, and there are just some people who physically defy all logic. (She must have had a flaw. Give me a while. I’ll find one).

One of my favorite quotes, though, was one my dad told me as a kid. It’s the, “Imitation is suicide” from Emerson, I believe. I was wishing I was someone else or could do something else…I just remember my dad telling me not to obliterate myself, basically, by wishing I were someone else.

Easier said than done, but it’s a quote I’ve thought of often through the years. A world of meaning packed into three little words.

And what I wouldn’t give for your jawline!

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Charlotte February 16, 2009 at 4:26 am

Nancy – I won your book?!? Yipee! And I’ll have to look up that Emerson quote. So I can tatoo it on my forehead;) Thanks for the compliment on my jaw – that is first time anyone has ever said that to me! i love it:)

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Sabrina February 16, 2009 at 4:39 am

Charlotte,

I have read several biographies of Audrey and she struggled with anorexia most of her career so do not compare yourself to her! She had a LOT of food issues. :) Plus I’m sure she had absolutely no muscle and you do.

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Henry May 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I just want to clear up these anorexia rumours. She was not, i repeat NOT anorexic.
She was skinny because of:
1) Genetics. She herself said that she had exactly the same figure as her grandmother.

2) She was starved during the war, and was forced to eat tulip bulbs and make bread from grass. She came out weighing 96 pounds. She carried on dancing throughout the war which altered her metabolism meaning that as much as she ate, nothing put the weight on.

3) There are two types of people in times of stress. People who eat more, and people who eat less. I personally eat less, and Audrey did too. Of course, in Hollywood that automatically made her anorexic.

Diana Maychick wrote a book about Audrey stating that she struggled with anorexia. Her family was furious and took her to court. She did not have an eating disorder, and that needs to be cleared up.
People back then were generally smaller and more petite. My grandma had a 22″ waist! Times have changed….

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Sarah May 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

THIS. Couldn’t agree more. Genetics, her childhood, and the era in which she lived are the causes of her petite figure. That’s right, the word is petite, which can’t be achieved via an eating disorder. Do I believe as a ballerina, then model, then actress, that she was conscientious about what she ate? Sure. Doesn’t make her anorexic though. Quit hating, haters!

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Maggie February 16, 2009 at 4:44 am

I agree with other commenters – she didn’t look as skinny as 103 would mean! I do compare myself to other actresses with respect to height/weight/bmi. (I’m 5’10″.) I love Kate Winslet and I wish people would stop calling her “big”. WHY is our culture so obsessed with this??

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Elsabeth February 16, 2009 at 4:45 am

I know I compare myself to other women. Of course I am not in great physical shape like you are. I would like to believe that I will stop comparing myself to other women and just feel good when I reach my fitness goals.

The important thing to keep in mind is that all women are built differently. She had a tiny frame. I have read in several places that Angelina Jolie has a 27 inch waist (at least she did before she got super skinny). As you said, she is the same height as Audrey, but she would look completely grotesque if she had a 20 inch waist.

Besides, even Audrey herself thought she had small eyes and an unattractive square jaw (according to interviews with her close friends).

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Gym Buddy Mike February 16, 2009 at 9:46 am

Wow Charlotte,

I didn’t think you’d be prone to comparing yourself to others. You seem so strong willed, determined and confident. I had nary a clue you were also obsessed with comparison, to Audrey no less!

From a male perspective, guys also compare, to chest size, biceps, etc. But for our case it’s not about being smaller but basically larger (and no, not going there…).

Specifically for me, since I am training to throw, my biggest obstacle is being compared to other throwers via distance. I am the lowest guy on the totem pole. In my dreams I want to be right there with the best of them and yeah it becomes obsessive at times. Then I have a reality check and have to admit it’s just not going to happen. Its why realistic goals are important. By focusing on goals, you (or me in my case) immediatly ignore others by default. These are things you do normaly (by what I’ve seen at the “Y”), you just need the support of others around you from time to time. To be reminded that you are healthy, smart, brave and yes “normal”. It’s not wrong to compare, it’s a gauge of where you are, a motivator and hopefully just an indicator of managing a goal. If you have no basis of comparison, how does one tell if they are at the ideal range of where they should be, right?

You had to have Audrey as an obsession with numbers, but c’mon Charlotte, reality should also tell you it’s not going to happen. By today’s standards of what is healthy you DEFINATELY rock. So don’t be so hard on yourself if you can’t get her waist line. You’re beautiful as you are.

If you really want to hear about what your waist looks like… let’s just say Audrey has NOTHING on you girl!

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Kari October 4, 2012 at 12:57 am

Wow Charlotte is so lucky to have a smart and supportive friend like you. Charlotte, don’t become obsessed with an unrealistic number from somebody else…be obsessed with becoming the best YOU that you can be!!!

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Shera May 12, 2014 at 10:11 am

Replying to Gym Buddy Mike:

I appreciated your perspective and up building post to Charlotte. A man’s point of view is important in that men haven’t faced the same propaganda as women regarding weight and standards of beauty.

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Shellie February 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

I have to question the accuracy of these numbers as well. Even if they are accurate, it doesn’t make it a good idea. To give you some perspective, my tiny little 7 year old has a 24 inch waist. (I just made her a dress and had to check her measurements, so I know it’s accurate.)

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Sabrina Bella June 29, 2011 at 12:25 am

Are you sure you measured her waist? A lot of people measure too low, but the waist is actually above the belly button most of the time. Also, I’m 16 and my waist has been the same for at lest 5 years, while my hips have grown over time. Little children just don’t have a figure yet. My current measurements are 34-26-36 and I’m 5’11″ and NOT underweight. I weigh 132 lbs.

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Playtank-Jam February 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hey Charlotte. Your post really spoke to me. I’ve been in the place you’re at many times before, and I’m sure I will be many more.

The one thing I’ve noticed is how powerful external influences are. For instance, in my teenage years I watched a lot of mainstream American media. They gave me a very commercialized ideal of what beauty was, which always left me striving to be someone who I knew was not inherently me. It always left me feeling not good enough. When I started to watch European cinema, it presented an ideal of beauty that was so different. Ordinary people were portrayed as beautiful. And it turned my ideal of beauty upside down: making me feel capable of being beautiful AND being me at the same time. It was all about authenticity and owning who I really am.

Another breakthrough came around magazines. For years I was reading women’s magazines, thinking that because they were WOMEN’S magazines, they must somehow be empowering. Until I started to notice that every single time I read them, I either felt bad about myself, or like I needed to change something or be different. I decided that these magazines are not a constructive input for me.

Anyway, everyone has their own reactions to the stimuli around them. But for me they’ve always been powerful — for the good or the bad.

And so, if you want to break out of this, one of the things you might want to try is consciously seeking out input that will allow you to discover the beauty that’s already there inside you, and express it in your unique way. That’s what Audrey Hepburn did for her. That’s what you can do for you.

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Colleen February 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Yeah, I think that’s bogus information on Audrey…either she wasn’t as tall as they say she was, or her waist measurement was wrong. She isn’t shaped anything like Dita Von Teese, and you can tell she has a small waist. YOU KNOW how tabloids are (especially about celebrities), they’re always lying about something!

BTW, I think small waists are overrated, I personally don’t have a waist, so I just say f-it and embrace what I’ve got. You are beautiful as you are, and you’re made more beautiful by the fact that you’re not a carbon-copy of anyone else.

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Gena February 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Hey! We’re the same height! And the last time I weight 100 lbs, I was 5’3″ and 10 years old. Audrey has genetics and really small bone structure on her side. My personal view of beauty has always leaned more toward the curvy Marylin and Dita types than the waifs. Although I may be prejudiced, as this is more my own shape! Except, you know, the 18″ waist. That’s smaller than my thigh.

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Dr. J February 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Most everyone was thinner in those days. Although, I think Audry always wore black, that works also. Did they have photoshop too?

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Tricia February 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Okay, first off, AH is covered up in a lot of her movies. And secondly, media coverage then was different than now: reporters would never create headlines screaming about a star’s drug abuse or mental health. Thirdly, less was known about eating disorders.

I also stopped reading Women’s Health because I found that the thing triggered and normalized my eating disorder.

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I had to smile as I read this article because I’m the same height and have the same obsession as you.

I finally like my body after decades of thinking I should be more like AH.

I recall reading that AH suffered from malnutrition as a child and her body never adapted to eating more than small amounts of food at a time.

Still, now I’m wondering if my 27 inch waist is too much. Only kidding, sort of but if the so called “Fat” Kate Winslet is only one inch larger than me…Woe is me.

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Louise January 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm

If AH’s extreme thinness is from “malnutrition as a child”, how do you explain all of the normal-sized Holocaust survivors?

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Anon3 January 25, 2012 at 6:31 am

Every body and genetics are different. My grandmother’s cousin was in concentracion camp as a 12 year old kid for two years, her body never really looked like a women’s body, she was small framed, and quite small height, she remained extremely skinny all her life (died in her 73). Her sister, on the other hand, was 13 yrs old when she entered the Camp, after the war was over, she became quite chubby, although her body frame was petite.
I used to compare myself with a lot of celebrities, and my conclusion is that body frame is the biggest obstacle for some “measures thriving”. For example, 120 lb on 5′ 7″ petite frame can look even chubby, but the same weight on strong/wide frame can look very skinny.
Most of the celebrities I like are small framed, petite, and I am quite strong framed. I can loose as much weight I can, but I will never achieve that fragile look :( So, I managed somehow to enjoy being athletic. Although that’s not my dream. But details and clothing help a lot.

And for the end, my friend is 5′ 7″ and she is 105lb all her adult life (she is 33yrs now). She is very pretty, small framed, healthy, with big green eyes, like her mother, and she eats like a tornado, or like an average male. You can’t beat the genetics :)

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Anon4 April 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments, but I agree with anon3, sometimes it just comes down to good genetics, not being unhealthy. I have to say I found this page because I was looking up Audrey’s size to make me feel better about myself, and not in the way you might think. I am 5’5, 106lbs, 23″ waist – very tiny frame. I have no issues with food, but I have always been self conscious about being TOO THIN. You compare yourself to her and how you can never be that size – and here I am wanting to be your size! Not matter WHAT I do I can’t gain weight, and just as it must be frustrating to always hear “you’re too big” believe it or not, I can’t stand hearing “you’re so small.” Let’s all just be happy with our bodies! It’s not worth putting so much thought into. The grass is always greener.

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Audrey July 31, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Ladies I have enjoyed reading your comments. Yes, my name isAudrey and my last name begins with H. I am 5′ 5″ and 110 lbs, wondering how I can maintain this in my 40′s so I won’t look skinny as an old person. I have weighed as little as 90 pounds and as much as 120. Don’t believe everything you hear about diets and nutrition. I have gained 10 pounds since I went gluten free. I use Isagenix shakes to help me maintain muscle mass, not loose weight. Find a level of health you are comfortable, not a weight or a measurement. The days of Audrey Hepburn’s driven beauty are over.

dragonmamma/naomi February 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I ‘ve never been an AH fan; I think I’ve seen maybe three movies with her in it.

I was, however, a big Fred Astaire fan when I was a kid, so I did see Funny Face which costarred AH.

I do remember one scene in the movie where AH was prancing around in some black, beatnik type of outfit, and I remember thinking what scrawny little toothpick arms she had! And I was a scrawny little kid at the time, so they must have been pretty puny for me to notice such a thing.

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Charlotte February 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Sabrina – (what an appropriate name!) Thanks for the heads-up about her eating issues. I have not read any biographies of her but I probably ought to before I jump to conclusions. Although I didn't find any mention of anorexia on the web…

Maggie – I know! Kate W. is ridiculously beautiful and not "large" in any way.

Elizabeth – It's true, we all have things we don't like about ourselves!

Gym Buddy Mike – Excellent point about how men compare themselves! Same story just a different means to the end:) PS> YOu are doing awesome with your throwing training! So dedicated!!

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Charlotte February 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Shellie – Your 7-year-old has a 24″ waist? That means Audrey had a waist akin to, what, a three year old? Crazy!!

Playtank-Jam – thanks for your perspective! I think you make an excellent point about our urge to compare being heavily linked to the media influences we expose ourselves too. I need to go on a media diet:) And you are right about Europe being more accepting of bodies in some ways. Although from my experience living there it wasn’t completely ideal but that’s a post for another day;)

Colleen – I love you, girl!

Gena – Dita IS gorgeous isn’t she? But yes, I would look strange witha waist smaller than my thigh.

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Charlotte February 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Dr. J – Well seeing as they didn’t have PCs I’m going with a no on photoshop;) And all the black in the world wouldn’t make me look that tiny!

Tricia – You are so right about Women’s Health! Seriously. Every time I read it, the crazy voices get louder.

Anon 2 – I’m so glad you are at a good place with yourself! That’s my goal!!

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neversaydiet February 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

two thoughts: 1) what if the report you read simply isn’t true?
2) with a 20-inch waist, where do your internal organs go? they’d get all squished!

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nolafwug February 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I think women are programmed to compete with each other in the looks department, sadly. It’s hard-wired. You arrive somewhere and do a visual sweep trying to figure out where you rank.

I’m thin but my waist-hip ratio is higher than I’d like. It’s not fat, it’s just the way I am built and there’s nothing I can do to change that. I saw a gorgeous woman at the playground yesterday with the shapeliset bum and I could have wept because I know I will never, ever have that much beautiful junk in my trunk and I want it bad!

Those AH numbers could be true. Some people are freaks of nature and we are all different. There’s no point in worrying about things you can’t change. In fact, it’s bad for you. You seem to realize this however. :)

When thoughts like these plague me, I try to turn things around by focusing on something else. Something positive about my body, something I really like. If that’s not good enough I try a change of scenery and/or an activity that takes my mind off of things. Oh, that sounds like dreadful, over-simplistic advice. My mom used to say, “Put a smile on your face and a song in your heart” and it would make me so mad! Sorry but that’s all I’ve got.

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katrina February 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I love that you asked where she puts her internal organs! I often think of that when I sit cross-legged and my belly is all over the place and I feel bad, especially when other people are all taught and sans rolls ALLTHETIME. Where are your internal organs people?!

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aboyn3girls February 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I can guarentee you that with a waif of a body like that, she wasn’t able to tote 3 kids up the stairs into the house with a car full of groceries to be carried in afterwords. There is a huge difference b/w tiny and strong. Strong beats tiny in any kind of contest. I try to always remember that when I covet someone elses outer beauty, I would have to take whatever inner demons they have too. I often times look at people on the street and initially think, “I’d like to be her,” but then I realize that all I’m seeing is on the outside. She’s maybe a nasty/mean person, she’s maybe got cancer or some other illness, she’s maybe in an abusive relationship, she’s maybe never had a relationship. It’s all relative and we have to remember that life is about a healthy balance in all aspects. Look at all the beautiful people in Hollywood who are horribly messed up. One glance on the street might send jealousy waves up your spine, but one day in their life might very well be enough to make you run back to your own promising never to covet again.

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

she was reportedly in great shape from ballet and cardio. she also was able to produce two healthy boys.

And no, not in any contest. I’d take tiny over a big bulky female weight lifting body any day. but why not both? I’m both. I’m very similar to Grace Kelly body-wise and other women are surprised by my strength.

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MizFit February 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

man. Ive read this a few times (oh how I adore your writing style. oh how Im amazing at how you do it day in and day OUT!) and still come back to:

103? holy crap.

not compare? not do numbers? is there a chance that this is all hard wired?!
I dont do either but I also almost failed out of algebra, trig and calculus and I was *trying* my best.

Im beginning to think its a brain chemistry thing…please to get your PhD and do your thesis on that.

Miz.

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Crabby McSlacker February 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm

It’s interesting how you can see rationally that these numbers are ludicrous (and may be fictional) and yet they continue to have such power!

I thought AH had a great presence, but her appeal to me had nothing to do with having a small frame. In fact it had something to do with the sense of her NOT being someone to follow the crowd. (Which of course had to do with her characters, not necessarily her own personality; don’t know that much about her). So it seems ironic that someone wanting to emulate Audrey would fixate on her weight, when my fantasy of her character would be someone who wouldn’t care AT ALL what someone else weighed.

Personally, I somehow missed the “must be skinny” gene, and have never had a particular obsession with being underweight. But I’m neurotic about enough other things that I do understand that being rational can be hard sometimes when emotions are pulling in unhealthy directions.

I do think that staying away from magazines that try to normalize anorexic tendencies might be a smart move. Our culture is pretty f-cked up about this.

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm

When I worked retail I was told that you add 20 to a womans size to get a waist measurement. Now I know not all companies size the same (that’s another rant) but that would make her a size 0. Tiny, yes. But I do know some girls who just are a size 0. They don’t do anything crazy to maintain it and they’re just little. It takes all types and some are just luckier in the genetic lottery.

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SpecialK February 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Charlotte,

You have one more thing in common with Audrey, she didn’t think she was beautiful enough either. She was wrong and so are you.

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Sagan February 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I don’t want to offend but I read a bio of Audrey several years ago and the reason that she was that tiny was because when she was a little girl, she took messages to soldiers back and forth during the war. She almost got caught one day and had to hide in a garbage bin or something for days without food. When she was finally found, she had contracted a disease or something and one of the effects of her experience was that her body couldn’t hold onto nourishment.

My understanding of the situation is a little fuzzy because I read it quite a while ago but I believe that’s the gist of it. So that is definitely reason enough to not want to be her size- it wasn’t choice; it was because of a really awful history of growing up in the middle of a war.

But I hear ya on the fixation with numbers. It’s tough not to do it and I fully admit to being guilty of that myself.

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Louise January 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Oh please. If this is the case, why aren’t all the holocaust survivors as gaunt and skeletal as Audrey?

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Tamika May 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm

She struggled with depression which affected her intake of food especially after her miscarriages. But why does everyone have to obsess about her body shape, she was beautiful, talented and gave so much to others in need.

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Moira May 16, 2014 at 8:23 am

I’m feeling really weird for replying to something written two years ago, but I just have to.

I don’t know what happens in the body when you have starved for a long time, which causes you to remain really thin, like Audrey. (Have a few guesses, though, but that’s not the point.)

But I do know that another possibility is that your digestion becomes extremely “careful”, in order to get as much energy out of what you eat as possible. Since this has to do with epigenetics (In this case I think you could call it a previously “locked” gene becoming active), the effect will stay, even when you are being properly fed. In other words, your body will get more energy from what you eat than somebody else’s would. Because of this, people who have starved often gain weight quickly when they are able to eat normally. So having starved can actually cause you to gain more weight than other people, rather than the opposite.

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Jeanie September 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

actually this information IS correct. If you look into her background and read her bios you’ll find this information. I am a HUGE AH fan. Hepburn was starved during ‘the hunger winter’ from November 1944 to May 1945 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands which resulted in malnutrition, leading to several health problems that included anemia, jaundice, recurring blood disorders, edema, and respiratory troubles. Those conditions remained until her death in 1993.

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Iliana January 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

She did carry messages for the resistance and was almost was caught, but she talked her way out of it. She never hid in a garbage can. I have read every biography available and this has never appeared.

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Dr. J February 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I was looking at the photo of Audrey again, and I noticed that her feet are really LONG! What, is she a kind of seal woman, with flippers! No small waist is going to take peoples eyes off her yard long feet!

Feel better now :-)

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Iliana January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

Please. She wore a size 10 and had very narrow feet.. and plenty of fans apparently didn’t mind. Most models wear that size or larger. Why do people have such a narrow, niggling sense of feminine beauty? We just love to peruse celebrity photos and pick them apart. It takes the focus off our our own imperfections, doesn’t it?

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Oddly enough, this month’s Fitness magazine has a timeline of “icon’s” waist sizes through the decades, and while they’re in agreement that Audrey Hepburn had a 20-inch waist, they list Kate Winslet as 29 inches and Princess Diana as 27 inches at her largest. This makes me suspicious of all these numbers — maybe Audrey’s 103 lbs/20 inches is just one of those things that’s repeated so often people assume it’s true.

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charis February 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

is there no one else who thinks that Hepburn aged FAST–you wrote that she didn’t look grunt, but I think she was damn near lusterless by her midthirties. Maybe a few strategically gained pounds (just one dress size) might have made her nice and glowy again

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Iliana January 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

I disagree. In fact, she was one of those women of whom one would never say “she was so beautiful when she was young”. IMO, she kept her extraordinary beauty up until her illness. Unlike women such as Kris Kardashian, and Cher, Audrey didn’t try to look like a teenager. “Lusterless”? She was 34 when she did Charade and 35 when she shot “Paris When it Sizzles.” I’ll take her ” lusterlessness” any day. Plus, she didn’t have her face pumped full of fillers like stars do today.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) February 16, 2009 at 6:32 pm

My gosh, I’m almost 5′ 8″ and have never been anywhere close to weighing 103 – I would look disgusting.

Charlotte, you are so beautiful, and you’ve got a kickin figure. I about fell on the floor when I found out you’d had 4 babies. We don’t have kids yet, and I am SCARED TO DEATH of what a pregnancy will do to my body…but then I think of you, and I feel better…seriously. You look amazing – I would love to have your numbers…Audrey, not so much.

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Well, I’d love to have Audrey’s sexy numbers and might “look disgusting” with yours or Charlotte’s.

see, I can have that nasty attitude towards other women too.

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Sarah February 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I have the same mag and read the same article. My reaction was:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

That’s ridiculous! And impossible! Poor woman! What a sad life at 20 inches. She weighs less than me and I am 3 inches shorter.

I shake my head in sadness. Probably couldn’t ever even a cookie. Poor, poor woman. Beauty at such a terrible cost!

Ignore the numbers, Charlotte. Numbers don’t make happiness. And obviously they can make misery! ;o)

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

You should be ashamed of yourself. Do a bit of research about Audrey (fit woman, always stayed in shape, loved pasta and chocolate!) or use some common sense. how is one unable to “even a cookie”? will her throat spit it back out?

Shame on you for shaming a woman’s body, especially one has stunning as Audrey.

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SeaBreeze February 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I JUST received the two most recent Women’s Health and this post made me not want to read them. I can’t believe they called 28″ waist “big.”

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azusmom February 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm

First of all, Charlotte, you are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! Just look at you!!!!

OK, now, put down the “Womens’ Health” and back away. Slowly. No sudden movements, or it might jump back into your hands and torture you again.

I also wonder about the accuracy of those numbers. And, sorry, but anyone who picks a random weight (especially a freakishly LOW weight) that they will not let themselves go over has issues. I love AH too, but she was only human, and I think her personal life was severely screwed up. That, plus the mishugas of Hollywood can equal SEVERE issues!

It’s ironic: If I were to choose a celebrity whom I’d want to look like, it would be…Kate Winslet. To me, she is the whole package; ridiculously talented, smart, funny, fun, real, and stunningly beautiful.
Go figure. (Pun intended. Sorry.)

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Loey February 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I don’t want to compare myself to other women. I’m strong, confident, independent and assertive. And yet I do compare myself to other women. Not always, but enough to make me just a little bit crazy some days.

For what it’s worth, Charlotte, I’m exactly your height (and Ms. Hepburn’s as well), and I weigh 147lbs, and have a 29” waist. And while it does give me some comfort to know that I could bench press Audrey, I still look at her with some envy.

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Ruth February 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I spent many years as a bulimic. One of the things that helped me get over it (and not relapse) was ditching the scales and the tape measures. Even when I go to the doctor’s, I turn my back to the scale and ask not to know what I weigh.

This might sound extreme, but I know if I’m getting fat. I don’t need the scale to tell me.

I think % of body fat is a much better indicator of fitness/attractiveness than weight/BMI (inaccurate in the sense of water weight during TOM, muscle being heavier than fat, and bone density varying from person to person) and measurements (if your body fat % is healthy, you can only change your body shape through very unhealthy means such as corsets or removing ribs).

Just my 2c’s.

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 11:38 pm

i am 5’2″ 98lbs and i know my waist is larger than 20″… i get a little jealous of small waists because im thicker in the middle and dont have that little hourglass curve… And i get jealous when girls are smaller than me, although i am already very small… i know all about body comparisons and even sometimes ask my boyfriend “is that girl smaller than me?” (ouch im so ashamed!!!) i know where youre coming from charlotte, but i also admire you for your honesty, humor, and dedication to fitness – its truly an inspiration! and i wish i had half of kate winslets talent.

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gharkness February 17, 2009 at 12:53 am

Audrey Hepburn nearly starved to death during World War II. Due to that, she was never able to maintain a normal body weight. (Anonymous had it right).

This is something you DO NOT WANT.

from http://www.filmbug.com/db/572

“After the landing of the Allied Forces on D-Day, things grew worse under the German occupiers. Over the winter of 1944, brutality increased and the Nazis confiscated the Dutch people’s limited supply of food and fuel for themselves. Without heat in their homes, or food to eat, people in the Netherlands starved and froze to death in the streets, their dead bodies stacked one on top of another. Suffering from starvation, Ms. Hepburn developed numerous health problems associated with malnutrition and the impact of those times would shape her life and values.”

Please find someone else to be jealous of!

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Sara February 17, 2009 at 3:47 am

Other people already beat me to it, but I’ll reiterate that you shouldn’t be jealous of someone who was malnourished as a child and had anorexia issues. (Also, honestly, I’ve always thought she looked rather freakish – beautiful face, but her body had no lovely, womanly curves.) Now Kate Winslet – gorgeous. And whoo-hoo, we have the same waist size! :)

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm

there is no such thing as “womanly curves”. everyone has curves. Look at Audrey’s measurements. THAT is curvy.

Kate Winslet looks mannish and has now waist but it’s her ugly personality that truly makes her unattractive. Audrey was blessed with a genuinely modest, charming personality AND hot body and face.

also, how do you know Kate was never malnourished or doesn’t binge eat?

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katieo February 17, 2009 at 4:24 am

1. Love the honesty (even though it makes me a little sad).

2. Cancel your subscription.

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Quix February 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I’ve been dealing with actors lately so I know that they are required to put weight on their resumes, and from college, each production required costumes, which meant measurements, so the information would definitely be out there.

I saw that magazine as well (yay coke points for free subscriptions), and kinda though “damn, that’s tiny” and then turned the page. Just because I know for me, that is 100% unattainable. First of all, I think my friends would drag me to a table, and chain me up, and make me eat pizza. I’m just getting close to the TOP of normal for my range and they’re already asking when I’m done losing…also, even though that would be just 7 lbs underweight for me, I just can’t even fathom being there. Do not want, even if I have moments of weakness where I would like to wear a size 0 and be the skinny girl just to be competitive about it. I don’t even think it would look good or right on me, but it is, indeed, a number.

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Alina February 17, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I have no idea how not to compare, but here are my thoughts:

- I kind of understand how someone could find Audrey Hepburn attractive in a weird way, but I always thought she was not very attractive with her asexual body. I think what makes her attractive are her eyes: baby-like features in women’s faces make them more attractive. However, Audrey’s body – I just don’t get it.

- Audrey has a very very slim frame. Your frame is slimmer than average, but it’s not the 8-year-old boy frame that Audrey has. I think that actually puts you in a more attractive category.

- Angelina Jolie was at her hottest around Tomb Raider… at which point she had a sculpted body with low body fat, but not anything like the creepy bony mess she looks like these days…

So I think if you are going to compare, which I understand is hard not to do, compare to a more attractive/sexier standard – like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider (which, bonus, is already what you look like!)

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

I have to wonder about the state of mind of people who look at what is clearly a woman and see “asexual” or “8 year old boy’s body”. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/02/cd/ca/02cdcae6e02fa093b0b7711a4b585f73.jpg Hot and definitely feminine. Clearly you have some pedo fantasies and need therapy.

and then I heartily say shame on you for shaming a woman’s body. I despise the “jealousy card” but you reek of it. It feels crass to make assumptions but as you’re already a horrible-sounding person, I’d wager you’re just another woman insecure with her double dress size but is too lazy or unmotivated to lose all that access weight so instead she directs her energy towards women she feels are more beautiful than she is.

Angelina has no waist and has always been skinny too. But not sexy at ALL.

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My Ice Cream Diary February 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I have to disagree with your opinion of Audrey. There are quite a few of her movies where here bony fleshless arms and neck freak me out. Those were during her later years when she had lost some of the natural plump of youth. And if you were to discover how she maintained her weight I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t be worth it to you. I know it has never been worth it to me to take up smoking, live on caffeine, and only eat enough to survive in order to boast a mini waist size.

Seriously, the woman lived on cigarettes and coffee/tea.

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Jo July 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

and pasta and chocolate. Not that you’d know since you’re making stuff up, but yeah.

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Kira February 18, 2009 at 3:22 am

Meh. I’m 5’1.5″. The skinniest I’ve ever been in my adult life was 123 (severe divorce diet). I looked like hell. It hurt to sit. There are all sorts of body types. Don’t make yourself crazy – compare yourself to me and feel wee and dainty. (Especially right now. I’m 34.5 weeks pregnant, and affecting the orbit of satelites with my gravitational pull. I’m lovely, and I mostly mean that without sarcasm.)

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SeaBreeze February 18, 2009 at 6:46 am

I like Katieo’s advice item #2

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Zandria February 18, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I thought of something recently along the same lines. There was this article in Vogue (I read it online), written by a woman who was 5’9″ and 120 lbs, and she looked perfectly beautiful in her photos. (The article was about how she went to a few plastic surgeons and they all recommended she have certain procedures, even though she doesn’t “need” them.)

I’m 5’9″, and at my lowest eating disordered weight, I weighed about 120. I looked AWFUL. I know I did; I’ve seen the pictures. I think this totally has to do with how people are built and how they carry their weight. There’s no way I’d want to be 120 lbs again, because I was miserable.

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Anonymous February 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm

If you do a quick google search, you will find numerous sites reporting her weight at 110 pounds, not 103. It is also reported that she put on some weight shortly after the war when she went to London. She was a “chubby” 131 pounds.

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Kara February 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I’m pretty certain AH never set foot in a gym or lifted a barbell. I don’t think you could live without the gym, so would you rather be Charlotte at the gym or AH with her tiny waist? I vote for Charlotte!

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rachel February 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Why is it humans compare bodies so much? Men and women seem to do it equally, even though we all know all that uniqueness-individuality stuff we constantly hear is true.

I get frustrated with waist size comparisons because that is the only area on my body sure to hold on to fat. At my lowest weight (eighties, stupidstupidstupid) my limbs were sticks, the bones on the back of my pelvis were visible through my butt-skin, my breasts had disappeared to show chest bones… but my torso remained impossibly fleshy. It’s depressing that of all the feminine, beautiful areas that could hold body fat my belly and upper torso (excluding my bust, for some reason) do that.

I’m envious of women who complain of “it all going to their hips” because I’ve never had hips or a butt that doesn’t resemble a twelve-year old boy’s, whether I’ve been under or over-weight. I dream of having a muffin-top when I’ve spent most my time just looking like a muffin on skinny legs.

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Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm

hey charlotte–
I am obsessed with Audrey as well; I have tried my entire life to imitate her from her looks to her manner of speaking…I’ve read several books on her. And I have found that from the book written by her son, Audrey went from 131 to 110 in a month so she could be a better ballerina. She swore she would never got above 110 because that was the weight she felt best in. But, yes she had an abnormally small waist at 20 inches. I take pride in the fact that I am her same height, however, I know that no matter what I do, I can never get under 115. And seeing as I am extremely athletic and fit, I doubt I will ever attain a 20inch waist…sad. AH seems to ruin a lot of girls’ days :/

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Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 10:57 pm

In her autobiography she said she got up to nine stone five, which is 131 lbs, after the war ended. Near starvation circumstances make it hard to put on significant weight. She may have preferred to be thin, but she was not necessarily healthy.

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Alex April 23, 2009 at 3:37 am

The report you read was definitely wrong.

AH weighed 110lbs, her height was actually 5’6 and 1/2 according to her passport and she had a 22inch waist.
She never suffered from Anorexia or any other eating disorder. She looked beautiful because she was born that way.

For the record I’m 5’7, 100lbs and I too have a 22 inch waist and believe me I look fine, albeit a bit bony but you are the way you are.

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Anonymous May 3, 2009 at 5:01 am

Audrey didn’t have any eating disorder but she was nearly starved when she was young. You don’t need to worry about what ANYONE else looks like and you are who you are.

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Anonymous May 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Audrey was so skinny because she was starved during the war when food was restricted. Her son said in her bigraphy that she had a ”perfectly healthy diet, just respected food and didn’t like generous portions”. I Doubt anyone could be that skinny if it wasn’t natural to some extent, Audrey had a tiny frame too
Xx

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Anonymous May 22, 2009 at 12:16 am

Um, this is kind of a sick post. Basically, you are saying that you would like to look like someone who was starved during wartime. Why do you think she had four miscarriages?? The fact that you still obsess over the numbers sounds like you are still not recovered from an eating disorder. You sound like you need to do some self esteem work STAT. Please educate yourself on body image and media. You can start here: http://www.about-face.org/

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Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I'm 5'8 and 100 lbs exactly, with a 20-inch waist, and I don't look skeletal at all. My frame is very similar to Audrey's. It's nearly impossible to find clothes that fit me – luckily I can sew, so can alther things. I guess it's genetics (my father is 6 feet tall and about 130 lbs).

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Anonymous July 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

dear charlotte,
first of all i believe that having all ur fingers and toes and general health are reason enough to think urself as one of the luckiest and most beautiful women on the planet, secondly muscle weighs about twice as much as fat, thirdly u also have to take into consideration bone density, and genetics….

human beings should be criticized on weight just as much as birds should be criticized on feather color,some is history , some is genetics, and some is luck and all are god

i dont know if u believe in god, but for me when image pressure gets too much i just say that god created it all and its not for me to judge
i also believe in heaven, were the most beautiful woman on earth wouldn't compare to all women who go to heaven, all perfection will be yours then

life is short, enjoy it and what u have now and dont worry so much

hj

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Anonymous July 19, 2009 at 3:34 am

you definitely have a body image problem. on top of it, you are insecure and disappointing! please stop contributing to the female epidemic of body image/distortion. you may be brunette and 5'7, but i am sorry: you resemble nothing like audrey… stop the madness. it is in vain and i hate to say it, but you are (unattractively) vain.

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Natalie July 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Audrey was 110 lbs, she says so in this interview (it's at the very end of the clip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHqApH_S7W0

Obviously that's still tiny and underweight. I don't know if she had an eating disorder or not, but if you examine her movies, she sure seems tiny enough to. I hate all these comments that claim that she did not look underweight, SHE DID. I adore her as well–but if she were in today's Hollywood, she'd be all over the tabloids for her "gaunt frame". For some reason, however, we refuse to think that someone in old Hollywood could look too thin by today's standards.

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 at 6:07 am

Audrey Hepburn no doubt is an icon and a great woman, but honestly she looks unhealthy and too skinny. I think she is a very pretty woman woman but she is much more than that. I don't think she is the most beautiful at all. Do not compare yourself with her, do not compare yourself with anyone for that matters!

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Anonymous August 12, 2009 at 5:08 am

Audrey Hepburn suffered severe malnutrition during the time in puberty when a young woman’s skeleton grows broader and heavier leaving her with a child size bone structure. That in combination with her anorexia and other severe illness following the stint in a dumpster, also petite genetics would explain her diminutive but unattainable body proportions. I have a 6 year old that weighs just over 40lbs hasn’t much more then an ounce of fat on her, she seriously has to struggle to not sink in a swimming pool. Anyhow my runty little six year old has a 21 inch waist. A 20 inch waist is not something for any adult to strive for.

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Mandy (Pregnant with Nutrition) September 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm

I bet she weighed more than 103. Celebrities always fudge the numbers. Have you ever noticed that male actors on imdb.com always add a few inches to their heights?
She IS thin, but she has NO muscle tone. Also, I think she smoked, and I wouldn't be surprised if she used amphetamines or other diet pills popular at the time.
I bet she wore tight garments under her clothes too, just like celebrities do now.
I would rather weight 15 pounds more and look muscular and toned.

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Anonymous September 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Those numbers are wrong Audrey Hepburn is consistently reported to have weighed 110 lbs, not 103. While still very thin, that raises her BMI to 17.5, which is underweight, but not emaciated. BMI is mostly crap anyway.

As for her tiny waist, she carried her weight in her hips. She was clearly a pear shape, with a small upper body. Her hips were reported to be 34-35", which is "wide" when compared to her tiny waist.

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Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 2:46 am

AH seemed perfectly happy and healthy. Restricting your diet to mostly veggies and tiny portions is better than eating fast food anyway, any day. I know I'll be hated for this, but I say go for it! AH was gorgeous!

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chuzanne December 4, 2009 at 6:40 am

The thing you're forgetting is that Audrey Hepburn was famous because she was so unusual. If it were normal to look like Audrey she wouldn't still be a legend. You sound lovely to me! Stop coveting when you have so much.
Someone wrote about Audrey having flaws. She certainly did, much as I admire her (We named our child after her!). But she did commit adultery and she smoked. But she cared more about children and family than fame, money or her appearance. Now that's a great example for today's women. I don't guess it really matters how thin she was.

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ann January 28, 2010 at 5:36 am

I am so relieved that many others are as obsessed if not more so than I (hard to believe) about Audrey Hepburn. The good and or bad part is that I have been told I look somewhat emphasis "somewhat" like her. I watch Two For the Road , not because it is a good movie,which it ain't, but for AH in her Givenchy and great sense of chic. I was so disheartened to hear about her 20" waist yikes! I was a professional ballet dancer many years ago MANY years ago and even then on my best day I had maybe a 26" waist. Love the blog conversation. Thank you, AK

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baoise April 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

Good lord, such vanity!! Get over yourself…

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Saoirse May 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm

As the anonymous poster said, Audrey grew up during a war, when food wasn't exactly plentiful, all the while training as a dancer… Clearly this had an effect on her development. Indeed she is a great style icon, one of the most beautiful people ever, but that has nothing to do with her waist measurements or weight!!

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Anonymous July 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You have to remember Audrey Hepburn smoked a pack a day, wanted to quit at times but couldn't. So that alone is enough to curb your appetite. She also died shortly after 60..everything is life style choice. Embrace you there is one one out there!

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littlem August 2, 2010 at 4:14 am

"Part of my problem with this is that for everything that Audrey was known for in her life, being eating disordered was never one of them."

That's true.

It didn't come out till recently that the great Audrey did, in fact, suffer from an eating disorder.

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Anonymous August 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm

wow.. audrey didnt have an eating disorder. she starved when she was younger. thats not something to envy or be bitter about… get your facts straight!!

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Lily December 13, 2012 at 3:32 am

Actually, after her death, it was released by her estate that she suffered from anorexia and depression most of her life. She said in an interview that when stressed she simply stopped eating, not intentionally though.
I read her bio because she was a real hero to me. Her work with UN inspired me at my current job. It’s sad to learn that she had issues with herself because to us she’s perfect.

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Anonymous October 18, 2010 at 5:18 am

Audrey was NOT anorexic, it really bothers me when people say that. She was starved as a child because of the war and it affected her weight and how she ate for the rest of her life. She was actually insecure about how thin she was. That being said, you should be grateful that you didn't have to go through what Audrey went through. You're beautiful the way you are!

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Anonymous November 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

1. Yes, 103 is a ridiculous number, because Audrey Hepburn did not weigh 103 lbs. She was too pretty to weigh that little. I believe she weighed closer to 110-117, because she was taller than average. I say this as a person with a very small frame, who at one point in her life, was just a little over 5 feet and weighed 85 pounds. At the time, my BMI was 16.1. I did not look like Audrey Hepburn. I was wearing a child size 6X at age sixteen. My hip circumference was 27 inches. People worried for me and I was ill. If Audrey Hepburn weighed 103 and was 5'7, she would share my same BMI of 16.1. Audrey Hepburn was very slim, yet, she wore woman-sized clothing, and had 36 inch hips. Though, she might have weighed closer to 103 later in life, when she was ill with cancer, or when she was starving during the war.

2. Part of her low weight was due to her slim figure, but also due to the fact that she starved. Severe starvation decreases bone density.

3. Yes, Audrey had a small waist. Audrey was small all over! But, the photograph you have posted of Audrey looks unnaturally small, because it is. Audrey is clearly wearing a very tight merry-widow (a kind of corset popular at the time). It is easy to tell by her "squeezed appearance." A tight merry-widow is what causes the dramatic and angular difference between her hips and torso. Her pose is somewhat stiff, artistic, cat-like, and unusual as well. This pose is perhaps on account of the stiff merrywidow she is wearing, or maybe, to dramaticize the difference between her hips and torso even more.

4. Hollywood exaggerates weights and measurements, because it is showbiz. It is all about "the entertainment factor" and marketing. If a star has something that is very different like an unusually slender-looking frame, they are going to say she weighs less than she does, because that is more dramatic, and therefore, more entertaining. If a star appears to have an hour glass figure, you better believe they are going to squeeze it for all they got. If a star wears 34D, Hollywood will stick her in a push-up bra, and tripple that figure.

5. Audrey Hepburn would not approve of you comparing yourself to her. She would have been saddened by this this blog posting. In Audrey Heburn's own words she would have said, "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 is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years."

Finally, Audrey Hepburn would have been beautiful and delicate no matter what size her waist was or what the scale said, because Audrey Hepburn was beautiful and delicate in spirit.

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andrea November 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I weight the same as Audrey and I'm 5'3". My waist is 25 inches. I have a really small upper body like Audrey but then I have these shorter but 'average' size legs : ) She is quite unusual and beautiful… if I could grow four inches I would haha… but for the most part I'll always be jealous but I know it's silly to compare two different people's bodies. But sigh… she is so beautiful and elegant and long… see I have to stop myself..

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andrea November 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I also do have the book her soon wrote that said she also weighed more like 107-110 lbs…. not 103.

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 at 6:25 am

Agreed! 103ibs is definitely way underweight for a person that is 5'-6/7". Yet, in AH defense… she suffered great irreversible physiological damage during wartime… you name it… but mainly major bone density loss [which, in a healthy person attributes a lot to your body mass]. She had a promising career as a ballerina, but could never even be considered as a Prima Ballerina because of her weak frame.

So, the lesson? Just thank your lucky stars that you are in good health.

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Vasilisa Romanenko November 24, 2010 at 7:49 am

I stumbled across your blog recently and this entry struck a chord. I really enjoyed this post.

First off, I have to say that I was never a fan of Audrey Hepburn's looks. Yes, she is beautiful, but it was always clear to me that she is abnormally skinny. As a young girl, I would see her in films and I was always taken back by her freakishly small frame and lack of butt and breasts! I always women with fuller bodies like Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was sexy and appeared confident with her body.

Audrey Hepburn had very small bone structure, and she had gastrointestinal problems her whole life. What may have been a blessing for her was also a curse. There are even theories that her anorexia had exacerbated her stomach problems and caused the cancer that she later died from.

Growing up, I have always been pretty small and not too curvy. I always envied girls with curves and wanted a bigger butt. To me, curves and femininity go hand in hand, and there is nothing sexier than a woman who is confident carrying the weight of her body, whatever it may be.

Now that I am older, I realize that what makes me feel sexy in my body is the way I treat it. I eat healthy (no processed foods!), I work on my posture, and I take dance classes in order to understand my body and to feel in tune with it. No waist cinching corset can compare to confidence of a woman who is happy with her body.

When you begin to compare yourself to somebody and envy parts of their body, just look at yourself in the mirror and think about all of the things you like. Be THANKFUL that you have your body, and take care of it, because this is the one body you get in this lifetime and you will not get a second chance. Sometimes I think about people who are paralyzed of missing limbs, and I feel guilty that I even have thoughts about being ungrateful and unhappy about my own body.

p.s. You are beautiful, so don't ever think otherwise! Good luck!

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Clarissa November 29, 2010 at 9:53 pm

The trick, as well as, the key to not obsessing is to make your own numbers for yourself! Look at famous and beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, past and present and I am very sure that you will find that the thing that makes them most beautiful was that they owned up to their own unique beauty, and really made it their own. I LOVE Rachel McAdams and I think she is a perfect example of being healthy and thin, but not too thin, plus she still has a curve or two! I love her figure and her acting!!! I LOVE Audrey too! Her look was soo unique thats what I think drew people to her back then as well as today. But having said that I do remember reading somewhere that the late Mrs. Hepburn did in fact suffer from a small eating disorder, as well as depression contrary to popular belief. It was not widely known.

http://www.edreferral.com/Celebrities_who_died_or_have_Eating_Disorders.htm

All you and anyone else can do is to simply be the best you, that you can be. That's all that should matter.

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Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and my understanding is that during WWII she suffered from malnutrition & developed acute anaemia, respiratory problems, and oedema. Being malnurished in childhood caused her to have a very small frame as an adult. Her close friends have said that she did indeed eat & because of the lack of food she experienced early on she considered food a blessing & never wasted it.

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unstable ballerina December 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

AH is also my idea of perfect!
thing is, i have had a 20" waist… but i tell you now, i'm only 5'3" which makes me want a 17"waist… it is rediculously unhealthy… fuck ED's…
AH was alive during the war, had to ration and well was malnurished when she came back from war time… i think that can explain to a degree
when i had a 20" waist my BMI was 15.4… my mam thought i was going to die and very often threatened to take me to a clinic
remember health is more important, we can't do things when in such bad physical condition AH was a lucky girl not all of us are so lucky…
something she had you may try to obtain, but would you rather do that and die, or continue and become the most beautiful you =)
x

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Caroline C. December 25, 2010 at 5:55 am

Hrm, well I am 5 feet tall (because I'm Chinese, lol) and have a very small frame. I weigh about 110 lbs and my wrists, hands, and feet are puny! Audrey is one of my icons too because I can relate in breast size to her, there are not too many celebrities that are beautiful AND have A cups. One thing I would like to mention though is Audrey has some ugly looking hands, they're really gaunt and thin if you watch the scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's where she's playing Moon River on the windowsill. So while I covet her slimness, I really enjoy how my body looks because everything is quite proportional. Plus I have nicer, tiny little hands but still normal looking when compared to Audrey's gaunt looking hands. I'm mostly making the hand comment in jest because what I'm trying to say is, everyone has flaws! I know that I will never get a smaller waist than 26" and while I am at 27" right now, I'd like to go down an inch and I know I probably wouldn't be able to get down to 25" so I won't be making that my fitness goal. 26" is my goal and that's because I know my body. I know I'm short which makes me a little stockier, but I also have small bones and a small frame so I know I can be a perfect size 2 (borderline 0) if I tried (right now I'm around a 2 to 4). Realistic goals are the best!

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Anonymous December 31, 2010 at 6:23 am

Audrey smoked cigarettes. Many current thin stars we all envy also smoke and all the while we are envying them, they are causing terrible damage to their bodies. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss, Lindsey Lohan, Jessica Alba, and on and on…all smoke. If I smoked I would weigh 110 lbs. too. I hate the way magazines make it sound as if stars are somehow superior to all of us because of their superior lifestyles when all it really is is cigarettes in most cases.

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Anonymous January 28, 2011 at 2:33 am

Audrey hepburn was in the Holocaust and actually due to her ordeal she was never able to really gain much weight. She wanted to become a dancer originally but because she didn't have the muscle mass she was unable to do so. That's why she became an actress. It doesn't have to do with smoking or much exercise. I imagine if she had avoided the holocaust and her body was healthy she would've gain more weight

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Anonymous February 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm

For those of you talking about 27-28" waists… you're right, that is NOT fat! Trust me, I've spent the last 4 years learning about health and related topics in university. The best thing you ladies can do for your bodies is to eat properly by following a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You can all be beautiful in your own ways, you just have to believe it! Just because a celebrity has a certain weight, waist size, etc doesn't mean it's healthy for them or for you.
Societal views won't change if the women living in the society don't change theirs. Women's magazines will continue to spew what often is crap if people keep buying them without complaining about the content.

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Deena Dolly February 20, 2011 at 5:09 am

I'm 5'5 and have a 21" waist. Last time I checked I was about 100 pounds, could me a little less/more that was a few months ago. I definitely believe you could be that tall and tiny and still look healthy if its natural. Not because the natural "skinny" gene gives you some entitlement, but because your body will be used to/and expecting less food so you wont have that drained look. Although I am shorter I don't look unhealthy at such a low weight. In clothes I look thin, similar to audrey. The negative is out of clothes I look BONE thin. Skinny collar bone, no boobs & stick legs. Yes its cute to have such a tiny waist but what a huge expense on the rest of my body. I'm naturally skinny and have always had a low appetite. I use to pray every day that I could put on weight- tried protein shakes, weight gain powders, ended up feeling sick from stuffing myself when im not hungry. I'm 23 now and have given up, and accepted this is who I am. You are gorgeous how you are, forget being rack skinny, and I mean it, not that cheesy crap people say to be polite – you really are beautiful! Lots of love, from Deena, London -UK!

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Anonymous February 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Deena.. i'm similar to you and agree with everything you've said. I'm 5'6, 24" waist and was 104 pounds the last time I checked. I also don't look unhealthy but i'm very bony. I have a tiny, tiny frame. My arms are like matchsticks! I used to hate my shape (and still do to some extent) but i've slowly come to accept that this is me. I'm 24.. it's taken a while, but i'm getting there! It's nice to read i'm not the only one and I agree.. everyone is beautiful as they are.

Rae, Manchester -UK.

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Fellow Audrey Fan June 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Hello Charlotte!
I haven’t read through any of the other comments, so someone else has possibly (probably) said this to you. And I came to this blog over two years after you wrote it, so the chances of you even reading this are most likely slight. But I must speak my mind :)
I am also a huge Audrey fan (as are many others) and I, too, have longed to look and act exactly like her. It stressed me to the point of thinking that I could not be anything unless I was Audrey. Perhaps it’s not that extreme for you. Audrey’s own advice is what changed my perspective. She said that she always thought she was too skinny and wanted to change (which of course only made me wish that I had her “problem”). What she said helped her to be beautiful, and what she longed for every other woman to do, was to accept herself as she was and not try to change anything. While this might make you wish that you could be beautiful while being yourself, let me assure you, as Audrey would, that you are and will be beautiful as long as you are yourself! The best you can do is eat healthy and exercise in a normal sense. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Audrey (as you probably know, being a fan yourself) thought her feet were too big, her waist too small, her face ugly, and her teeth crooked. Yet she didn’t wallow in guilt or self-pity trying to change this. Instead, she let her ideals of beauty take a backseat to her love of living. She focused on working hard, loving deeply, and living to the fullest. So I encourage you to do the same! Everyone’s frames are different, and just because you’re the same height as Audrey does not mean you should be the same weight and width. Most likely you have larger bones and larger frame, which does not make you ugly, just different. Be healthy and be yourself, and learn from Audrey’s personality, not her looks :)

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anon July 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I read from a different source that she was 110 lbs, which I find to be more believable. I am the same height and when I weighed 110 I looked about as thin as her. When I was 103 I was even thinner than that. I doubt she was ever 103.

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Misty August 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

Audrey just had a different body complexion. Her skeleton was very very slender. That’s something not many people take into account when comparing measurements and weights.

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Jennifer October 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Audrey grew up during WWII in Germany occupied Europe and was very malnourished until it ended and Allied forces brought in food donations. At that time she reportedly ate herself sick with a can of condensed milk because she had been suffering so long from malnutrition. She was basically starving during the years where her body was supposed to be developing the most. The reason she couldn’t become a prima ballerina is because her body wasn’t up to the physical stress because of her malnutrition in her youth. That’s why she went into acting.

I wouldn’t be surprised if her small frame was due to the malnutrition she experienced in her youth, rather than winning a genetic lottery.

I hope that makes you feel better. You had a healthy childhood, and now you have a healthy adult body. :)

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Orion October 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm

You people are so ill informed. Weight is meaningless. I hate how very attractive and fit girls worry about getting their weight down, to tell you the truth they should be trying to gain more weight. I dont know if any of you have scene sports illustrated models or scene the list of mens health hottest women in sports but if you have I’m sure you would all be wanting to compare yourselves to them. What you fail to realize is that every one of those women weighs about 150lbs if not more. Now a lot of you people probably think that it dosnt make any sense, how can some one weigh that much and not look fat, there is a simple answer, muscle. Muscle not only makes your body look more toned/ attractive, but it also helps you do things! like walk or lift things without passing out. Seriously if you will do some research and honestly commit yourself to eating healthy foods and lots of them, you will find that you not only look healthier and better but you wil also feel better to. As for audrey, she may have had some sort of eating disorder but to tell you the truth their are some people who are just born with extremely high metabolisms and will always stay a certain weight. Sorry. For all the rest of you though you can gain muscle mass and look good.

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maria November 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

I always compare my body to Audrey’s. I’m a lot shorter than she was, I’m 5’2, and I have a 19in waist. Yes, I admit, I suffered from an eating disorder from when I was about 13, so right as I hit puberty, and it made me develop very slowly. But I’ve always had a tiny frame and height – yes, my waist is only 19 inches, but my bust & hips are about 31 inches, my thighs are probably 16in, I can connect my pinky and my thumb around my wrist; I know you might all be thinking I’m still sick when you read this, but I swear to god I just have a really small bone structure and frame. I’m not afraid of eating now and my diet mainly consists of high-cal foods (nuts, avocado, full fat dairy products, and I have the worst sweet tooth for chocolates and baked goods; but I am a vegetarian and eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains as well) and I exercise. I take after my father who was also really small – probably about 5’4, maybe 125lbs? People always comment on how tiny I am, I’ve heard many comments “oh you’re so skinny!” but people agree that it suits me based on my small frame and bone structure. I wear the smallest size in clothing, but adult sized. I’ve tried size L girls clothing but it can’t fit past my hips (pants, dress) or bust (tops, although I am just an A cup).
The point is, some women just have really small frames and bones, although it’s rare and it’s much more common for women to have bigger frames and bones. I’ve learned to accept my tiny-ness and I love it. Maybe there are people out there who think I’m too thin or whatever, but the way I see it, I just have a small frame and my waist-to-hip ratio is big enough; I’d consider myself to have an hour glass figure just in very small dimensions, as my waist obviously cinches in from my bust and my hips; guys and girls have told me the same thing. I think Audrey is the same way and I don’t understand how some people say she has a boyish figure considering her waist-to-hip ratio; to go from 20in to 34in (or even 22in to 35in, whatever her measurements really were) creates an obvious curve.

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Sarah November 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I am currently reading Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn (published in 2005) which was exhaustively researched and he writes she maintained a weight of 110 lbs. her entire adult life. This was after blooming to 150 lbs as a reaction against the starvation she experienced during WWII in Holland. She did look very, very thin but 110 seems more reasonable and likely than 103.
Since it has been two years since this post perhaps you are less concerned with that number now.

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Haydevs November 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I love Audrey and have longed to look like her too. Her grace, body and entire appearance were incredible, but remember, beautiful women come in all kinds of shapes.

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Susanne Brunton November 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Audrey Hepburn did have anorexia and was said to be very weird about food. Love the form the divine has gifted you and never skip breakfast. For core work do plank pose and lots of yoga. Enjoy the embodiment gift and remember compare = despair. All women loath their bodies and want to be 5 lbs thinner. It is normal.

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Jessa December 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I understand she was very small but I’m not sure why when embracing our own bodies we have to criticize others? It’s strange to read in the comments that she was too bony and looked like an 8 year old boy. Is that what female empowerment is? Insulting body types that aren’t your own? She was a beautiful woman, and so are others. If we could all just accept our own bodies and embrace other body types we would be so much happier as a society. I’m a tiny curvy girl. I’m bigger than Audrey but I’m not going to insult her appearance to feel better about my own.

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Anna December 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Hi Guys

I completely agree with Jessa, Audrey Hepburn was one of the most beautiful women ever. But I also have to stand up for Audrey on the anorexia comments.. I, myself am 5’7” and have a BMI of 16.2, and I understand that people think that is severely underweight when they hear those figures.. But I do not have bones sticking out of me, I can’t put on weight, I tried when I was younger when I was picked on and called anorexic (am 20 now), but I’m now happy with the way look, I’m a size 32(in European sizes).. I do get upset when people tell me to eat, even thoough I would be able to eat so much more than they could in one sitting and I’d still be able to eat more.. My whole family are thin also.. So please don’t say it’s an eating disorder that I have or what she had, it’s probably just genetics.. It plays a huge role in who we are, inside and out.

So, please don’t insult her body type, I’m sure, like me she has heard it all.. And with all the good she has done in the world, she does not deserve it.. Respect her, she was a great woman.

RIP

x

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Kathleen December 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

@ Anna :

I agree, some people are just really thin and that’s just the way they are. I’m 5’8″ and I’m always between 98-105 pounds. I’m 27 and 105 is the MOST I have ever been in my entire life. The last time I was weighed by a doctor I was 99 pounds(I think most people range between about 5 pounds or so). My waist is not quite as small as hers though(mine is more about 23.5 or 24 inches around). I’m glad it’s not smaller or I’d have a much harder time finding things that fit properly.

I eat whenever I’m hungry and even eat chocolate and cake sometimes(although I’d say in general I eat much more healthy food than I do junk food). I’ve just been thin all my life though. When I was a little girl my mom actually took me to the doctor because I was only growing upwards and not outwards and my mother wondered if I had some kind of medical condition but the doctor told her I was perfectly healthy and it’s just the way I am.

People constantly make assumptions about my health though(and my bones don’t show anymore than they do on most people). I get tired of people assuming that I don’t eat and I’m sure a lot of guys won’t ever be interested in me because they see me and probably think I’m a starving unhealthy girl before they even try to get to know me.

I think that people come in all shapes and sizes.

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Anon. December 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

Audrey Hepburn was a wonderful person, and is my idol. In the book “What Would Audrey Do?” they talk about why this amazingly gorgeous woman was so skinny. She lived during WWII and became malnourished when there were food shortages. This permanently affected her weight. One of AH’s favorite things to eat was pasta. She just COULD NOT gain weight!

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yunlucao December 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm
Frederique December 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

I very much understand how you feel. Also, this is very well written and quite accurate I think.
I’m sorry that I have no real valuable or interesting input to make, but it feels good to know you’re not the only one expecting the unreasonable. And Audrey Hepburn DID have an eating disorder! I mean come on, she even died of “appendiceal cancer” (notice the quotation marks)

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Twinkler February 4, 2012 at 5:19 am

I nearly cried reading this. I have had the exact same fixation with Hepburn for the past couple years…and I’m not even a real fan! I’m slightly indifferent, and yet I can’t deny I think she was the most beautiful women I ever saw in films. I don’t get it as badly as I did, but I used to cry at the sight of myself if I just saw her in something and fix and try to be more like her. I’d even start to resent, not so much her but the almost pornographic fixation on her face and body in pictures that many woman have. It’s very hard when one takes an idea of beauty and narrows it down to just one type of person, and if one doesn’t fit that, sorry. Then the pain is worse when people nearly vomit with joy over some current starlet as being, “The new Audrey!” as though that’s equal to the Second Coming and some sort of blessed gift!

At current (and for a long time,) I’ve been under 110 at 5’4″ and measuring something like 31-25-34. In ways, I see I’m alright and healthy and that that’s beauty in itself. I would never starve or punish myself to be something I may never be, and even if I got there, would it ever be enough? No, I’m not yet living my own Audrey Hepburn-free ideal, but I’m at least seeing the possiblities that I can.

Thank you for writing this article!! :)

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Charlotte February 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

And thank you for writing this comment! I so agree!! Nice to know I’m not alone in my struggles

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Lizzy February 7, 2012 at 9:49 am

So, intrigued by the fact that Audrey Hepburn battled with anorexia… (see bios). I did some searching.
She maintained a weight of 110 with 20 inch waist. 103 came from a quote of hers where she vowed to never be above 103. During the war as she starved because of war conditions, she decided to ‘master’ the need for food. Her lowest weight was 91 lbs. This struggle to survive in horrific conditions, eating tulip bulbs at one point, produced the mind over matter approach to hunger and food… ( read eating disordered).
Take heart… she struggled for the magic 20. I always like to think naturally thin people “can have their cake ( ice cream, chocolate, potato chips, canned cheese) and eat it (thinness) too.
A myth. Even my idol, Audrey Hepburn, battled.
Besides, while you can sculpt and starve a waist down to a ridiculous number, you have to accept your face (unless you are into plastic surgery). You are lucky that your face is GREAT!

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Mel May 13, 2012 at 8:33 am

Thanks for reminding folks that her approach to food came out of horrific wartime conditions and remained disordered afterward precisely because of this traumatic experience.

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ds February 10, 2012 at 6:24 am

My ex g/f had a 33C-21-32 figure. She was 5′ 5″ and 105 pounds and very muscular. She was used to be a gymnast and ate like a horse. Even after she quit gymnastics (bad knee) she only put on 7 pounds. When she was a gymnast she weighed in at 98 pounds. I have seen her wolf down Whoppers and milk shakes like any line backer would.

At some point you just have to admit to yourself that genetics plays a major role in your metabolic rate and ultimate body shape. Some women will never have an hour glass shape no matter what they do, and that is OK. To me, healthy is beautiful.

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Regina February 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi, I am 5’7 and at 103lbs. I am also 19 years old and have always had a small body frame. I don’t look extremely bony or gaunty and my eyes are not sunken in and I don’t have bones protruding everywhere. I eat well, I sleep for 8+ hours everyday and I do not restrict myself from eating what I like whenever I like. I just wanted to say, some people are born this way- it’s in their genetics. I appreciate you for not attacking the fact that Aubrey can be 5’7 and weigh 103lbs without some sort of extreme dieting. I have been so self- concious of my weight until about a year ago and now I feel much better about myself because this is who I am, I am not sffering from an eating disorder, everyone is different. There are soo many different body types out there, no two people can be the same.

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Molly February 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I am an Audrey type. 5’8″ and 105lbs. Disturbingly thin and sickly on a “good” day. Like me she also suffered from digestive problems in which she gained very little nourishment from anything she ate. She ultimately died from complications and progressions. Just a thought.

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jewels March 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Audrey is also someone I look up to not only for her physical beauty but her beauty as a person. I would guess that her childhood has much to do with her figure as she does appear slim but not disordered in eating (her face glowed and was not sunken in). It is noted in biographies that during the war she at times had very little to eat and her bone development likely was affected. I don’t really know alot about BMIs but it seems it does not account for this. Audrey had a very delicate frame and I wonder if this is due to malnourishment in her youth. Lovely regardless!

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B March 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I would like to first state that I myself have a 22.25” inch waist, I am just over 5’6, and I am 95.2 lbs. I was not born to be this small, and I do not look anorexic. I could be compared to Audrey Hepburn, and I would like to be, however being this small is really not attractive. I do not have an eating disorder, and I used to be at a healthier weight (120 lbs). I lost a lot of weight due to stress and lack of nutrition due to my financial situation. I was still a teenager when this started to affect my body, and I’m afraid that I have not developed properly. I used to love the look of extremely thin women (who could pull it off with style) – but never enough to put the will power forth to look this way myself.. as you stated, it would take much excercise and cutting down to practically starvation. Which is in fact what happened to me, but not by choice (I walked everywhere as the bus costed money and I still had to get to work and other necessary places). Things were so terrible that not only could I afford the bare minimum to feed myself, but I lost my appetite from stress as well. Audrey Hepburn may have been beautiful in her time, but by no standards does she look healthy. I understand her style is lovely, and I would love to wear those clothes myself. However, notice the type of clothing she wears, a lot of it helps to hide how frail she really is. I have a hard time wearing tank tops because the bones in my chest stick out, as they did with Audrey as well. Her arms are twigs, as are mine, and it’s embarassing to try to wear anything that requires curves. I can’t find jeans that fit, manufacturers simply don’t make them this small in North America. I can’t find shirts that fit properly either. It’s lucky for Audrey that she had a stylist, otherwise I don’t know if she would be able to find clothing to fit her other than children’s clothing. In the end, it’s a huge burden to be that size, you are different than everybody (I don’t know anybody in person that is as small as I and the same age – I’m turning 22 by the way)… people think you are much younger on a constant basis (and I mean they think you are a child). I can’t gain weight, and it’s terrible. Think of it this way, you always have the option of losing, or staying the same. Audrey Hepburn suffered through starvation during the war because her region’s already-short-food supply was cut off due to a retaliation from the Germans. In her developing years, she was starving and fighting for freedom. She even resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs for pastries and such. Maybe she never went over 103 because she simply couldn’t.. a body like that is not natural, and if malnourished from a young age will only remain that way.. it cannot develop properly. Please, be happy for the fact that you have control.. we all want what we don’t have.. and once we have it, we realize we were only filling a void in the first place.

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Audrey March 31, 2012 at 8:52 am

Oddly enough, my mother named me after her, and we share extremely close proportions. I’m 5’8, 110 pounds. I never go up, I never go down. It’s quite odd…

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blah June 20, 2014 at 2:22 am

First world problems, you guys make me laugh. Keep eating your cotton balls.

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Hay April 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

Audrey is so great and gorgeous and by the way you talk, you’re beautiful too! You also sound VERY confident! You sound gorgeous as well!

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Connie Forbes May 1, 2012 at 12:50 am

Audrey Hepburn was a “controlled” eater. When she was a child there was not a lot of food because of the war. She decided as a young child to “never be wanting of food, hungary”…so she willed herself to never desire food. Food to Audery was a luxury. She did not live to eat…she trained herself to Eat to Live.

This is powerful and haunting things for a little girl to do….and it followed her all of her life. I still adore this amazing woman.

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Charlotte May 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

(I noticed there’s another Charlotte already posting here, but I’m not her).

You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. It’s a well-known fact that as a teenager, Audrey Hepburn suffered through the Dutch Famine of 1944 (known as the “Hunger Winter”). She probably never developed a full “womanly” figure because starvation kept her at a “teenage” size. I’ve never starved, but I was her exact height and weight when I was 17. A decade later, I’m a good 20 lbs. heavier and I don’t mind it, since it’s pretty much all on my bum. (This only puts me at a BMI of 19.3–and my grandma still tells me I need to “put more meat on my bones”!)

So, think about it: famine. Do you want to be forced to make bread out of tulip bulbs, as she claimed to have had to? I didn’t think so.

(Fascinating side note: according to Wikipedia, “The discovery of the cause of Coeliac disease may also be partly attributed to the Dutch famine. With wheat in very short supply there was an improvement of a children’s ward of Coeliac patients. Stories tell of the first precious supplies of bread being given specifically to the (no longer) sick children, prompting an immediate relapse.”)

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shannon z May 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

1) I love Audrey Hepburn … she will always be my icon
2) I’m sure her fashion designer had alot to do with always looking so small ( though she was small to begin with.
3) I am 5’11.5″… I weighed in at 145 for years (high school and as an active duty Marine) while pregnant with my son 10 years ago I reached a whooping 168 pounds. When my son was 15 months old I was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) and went through a very long and intense regiment of treatment. When all was said and done I weighted in at 120 pounds. I looked awful. A&Fitch jeans size zero were too big!!! After being denied access to proper fitness and being fed steroids for 18 month’s, I topped out at 260 pounds in 2007. And my life has been a constant struggle to come off of that. I am currently 225 pounds, and I have no idea what size clothes I wear anymore… just that they all have “x”s in them… and I hate it! The worst of it all is that my ams, legs, tush, and back look great, I just look forever 5 months pregnant! !! (And I can no longer be pregnant)

I still love Audry.. not for her size… but for her. A beautiful smile doesn’t have a size… an awkward shy girl that thinks she not pretty enough… comes in all sizes… a woman with poise and class comes in every shape and size.
She remains my icon not because I strive for a 20 inch waist, but because I know that I am a confident, kind, strong, and loving woman who walks with my shoulders back and my head high… just like she would have wanted each of us to do… you don’t have to look like Audrey Hepburn to project Audrey Hepburn …

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Mel May 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

I realize I’m late to this conversation and you may not get this, but I just wanted to respond to your post. You obviously share Audrey’s inner strength, having overcome something like Leukemia. I hope that you are now healthy and thriving. I’ve been overweight due to medications, too, and I can tell you that it is possible to lose the weight if the odds aren’t stacked against you with that medication. 5′ 11′ is incredibly tall and I’m sure that whatever you lose will be noticeable on such a long frame. 145 sounds very, very slim for someone at 5′ 11” – so maybe your new goal weight should be higher – certainly not a zero, as that was only indicative of your poor health. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I empathize with you with your weight struggle and hope that you are past your struggle with cancer. Sending good thoughts your way.

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Mike Felber October 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Most all of these comments are sensible endorsements of natural variety & opposing the internalized body image disorders that many woman, & some here, have absorbed. But this single one stands out as just factually wrong.

5′ 11″ is very tall for a woman, but nothing like “incredibly tall”. Any more than 6′ 4″ is incredibly tall for a man. Many many woman are ~ 6′, it begins to thin out after that.

Mainly, 5′ 11″ is not remotely “very, very slim” for a 5′ 11″ woman. She was very fit & young: now runway models average 5′ 8″- 6′ & 100=130 lbs. Take the middle of that, 5; 10″ & 115 lbs.: THAT you could say is very thin, & much too lean for most to be healthy. Though a small % are naturally small in bone structure & weight.

5′ 11″ allowed her to be strong, have muscle but be lean! If she was truly so skinny, she would have likely been too weak to be (at least an effective) marine. My applause to how well Ms. Shannon Z. has done with a difficult illness.

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KAte May 25, 2012 at 2:12 am

Actually, if you’re done making people feel bad about themselves, the reason Audrey was so tiny, is because she grew up in a war-torn country, she did not have food growing up, and did ballet classes until the teacher made her leave, because she was too under- and mal- nourished to continue. She even spent (I believe, but can’t recall the exact number) 10 days hiding without food in a building, as she’d volunteered to be the messenger as nobody would suspect a young girl on her bicycle, but when army men ransacked the building, she was forced to hide, or be killed.
This set her body and metabolic rates for the rest of her life.
So while you’re calling her unattractive and a whole host of other discriminatory terms, it’s nice that you didn’t bother to look into the tragic cause behind her body size.
Really, so not only do those of us who are naturally slim have to put up with people like you calling us unattractive, but you see this poor person’s tragic and brave past as reason to pick apart her physical being.

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Samantha June 19, 2012 at 2:55 am

I really believe that it is all in ones bone structure and genetics because one person at that height and weight may look fine where another , on their death bed.

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AM July 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

audrey hepburn <3 my role model for her kindess and yes, her enviable figure. But she was malnourished during the Holocaust (Germany took the supplies from the Netherlands. AH and others had to make flour out of tulip bulbs to survive) so it probably stunted her growth. She said that living in starvation changed her relationship with food so she probably rarely overate like everyone else does occasionally.

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SR July 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

Hi,

I thought I should just say that the reason Audrey Hepburn was so thin is because she grew up during the war. So there was no food for her to eat. Therefor her bones were tiny.

You should read my blog, there is some famous quotes on there that might make anyone who isn’t happy with their weight feel a little better http://gossglossandglam.wordpress.com/

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kelsea m July 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Might I just say that she was terribly small boned. But I can’t say that it was an almost eating disorder thin. I mean, I’m 5’9″ and 115 pounds. If I were to lose the leg muscle from dancing my whole childhood, I’d probably be closer to 100. But I’m extremely small boned as well. And healthy. And healthy looking. My waist is 23 without a corset, though I’ve never worn one. It’s genetics.
No problem in being small and tall.

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Tegan July 17, 2012 at 2:49 am

…You do know that Audrey’s weight was due to the mal nourishment that she went through during WWII right?

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Smerby July 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

I know this is an older post, but I would like to point out that there has been MUCH controversy over Audrey Hepburn’s eating habits. I believe even one of her sons (I think Luca?) mentioned that she was essentially anorexic her whole life.

Just pointing out that your insecure fear has something to make it go away!

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Gracie July 31, 2012 at 5:07 am

I see your point! Audrey is to, for me, a style icon. However, sometimes there are other factors that play a role outside of your control, for instance your genetic makeup. In psychology, this is commonly referred to as the nature vs nurture argument and it has been proven that with the same environment and conditions, two people can turn out to be very differently. If you have ever read Audrey’s biography, then you will see she was incredibly under nourished (possibly even malnourished) due to wartime conditions whilst growing up. This could have played a part in determining her weight. Also, Audrey was accepted into dance school because of her natural dance-esque figure and found herself at the larger end of the dancing girls. This just goes to show that there are some naturally incredibly slender, tiny girls out there, and we can control it to a point…the rest determined by our genes. Finally, culture and background contributes to factors such as our height and weight. British women have typically the highest BMI in Europe (26ish) and are known for being larger frames than Frenh women who rank typically at the bottom with an average BMI of 23. All this into consideration, Audrey’s mother was Dutch, her Father Anglo-Irish and of Jewish decent, over generations surely this plays a part? To conclude this, what I am saying is it is more complicated than surface factors, such as diet and exercise. At the end of the day, some people are also naturally tiny!

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Cam August 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Was Audrey Hepburn signed with any of the large movie studios? Because in old Hollywood, it was common practice for studios to control everything about their stars’ image and they would lie about their star’s measurements to make them even more glamorous and inaccessible. For example, they billed Judy Garland’s height as 5’3” when she was really just 4’11″.

So we need to question if it’s true that Hepburn had a 20-inch-waist or if it was just a publicity stunt by the studios of her time. If the figures don’t add up, most likely, they’re inaccurate.

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Slickcat August 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I remember Audrey Hepburn in 1950′s when I was a little girl. My mother was just about the same size. Believe me, women were much more slender in that era than they are now. You just didn’t see many heavy people. People actually walked to places they had to go and moved around more. Kids played outside more. So, Audrey Hepburn’s measurements don’t surprize me. Also, she may not appear to have been that size in photographs, but remember photography adds twenty pounds.

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Isabanana August 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Like others mentioned, in that time, people were much naturally slimmer. For Hepburn, I think that bone structure also has a lot to do in this. So I think that she just have very small bones and that surely helps her a lot.

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Jennifer September 7, 2012 at 2:26 am

Hi Charlotte! That is some deep stuff you wrote. It is deep and COMPLETELY relatable to so many woman…including myself. I have struggled with comparisons for so long! I must say though, lately I’ve been working towards getting into modeling and I’m not feeling as insecure about who I am or what I look like. The way I view myself and my beauty is this…I am unique. I have a look that no one else has and it is beautiful. This is what has driven me to begin pursuing modeling. It is knowing I am uniquely beautiful. If I were anyone else ( for me it’s Candice Swanepoel…I’d kill for her long legs and upper abs!, but I am not her, even if I worked out more than I already do, I’d never have the legs she has) anywho, I wouldn’t be me. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful. She was also a darling actress, but she has a very rare petite frame that also comes from her bone structure. Not all of us have her bone structure…nor should we. I know I haven’t seen you, but I’m sure you are beautiful. I’m sure you’ve worked so hard to get your body in the best shape you can and many girls would envy you. You are who you are and beautiful the way God made you and you are so special and unique that way! Sometimes it okay to admire someone’s beauty, but it’s also okay sometimes to be thankful for who you are. :). You are so special and beautiful without a 20in waist! So put away the corset for the gym and take a deep breath and be calm for a moment (maybe even look in the mirror at the beautiful traits of your body), smile and be happy in knowing you are beautiful the way you are

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Mameha September 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I’m not so sure what you’re talking about. I just watched “My fair lady”: When she’s wearing the white dress at the ball she looks very bony. The collar bone is showing and her back looks positively frightening. There’s nothing but bone and skin. That’s what you aspire to?

I’m 5″7 and not an awful lot heavier than Audrey (117 lbs), so I can tell you this: Bones are showing. Less than 50kg on a 5″7 body will always show! I mean, it’s a lot of space that needs to be covered by very little meat. Usually you don’t see celebrities without their clothes on and if you do, the pictures are photoshoped.

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malory November 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

because she was a war ophan durring ww2 in Europe and didnt receive proper amount of nuetrition as a child leaveing her to develoup tiney a tiny fragile bone structure and she was a ballarina and the work out alot. It’s not really something to be jealous of, in fact she spent a lot of her life working with unisef to try to help childred that were going threw what she had gone threw as a child.

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anon December 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

GUYS!!!! this is wrong the reason audrey hepburn was so thin was bc she lived during world war 2 and as a child was nearly starving so her organs never functioned properly, allowing her to be very skinny without trying. She never ate much bc her body was unaccustomed to it.

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aprilspring December 14, 2012 at 1:27 am

I’m a female writer. My eye’s skimmed the above because your website looks interesting.
I find myself sad that you’d waste precious moments desiring a 20 inch waist.
Instead of focusing and being grateful for what you have.
What you compare———stop—————start listing things in your head or on paper what you’re grateful for.

If not—-seek professional help or travel to 3rd World Countries and see how people in poverty live.
It will get you out of yourself.
Being obsessed/comparing ———- is ‘selfish’.
It’s time people get out of the media and what it dictates and become a VOICE.
Be a THRIVER in PRESENT TIME.
Once dressed the best you can in the morning—-walk out the door and leave the mirror at home.

Use your skill writing about the collective whole.
It’s not about ‘ME’ it’s about ‘WE’

Hope you begin to ‘love yourself’.

Meditation will aid your self and it’s journey to love———–immensely.

Regards’

April Spring

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Anonymous January 13, 2013 at 3:43 am

Audrey Hepburn smoked 3 packs of cigarettes per day. That must’ve accounted for a great deal of not eating. And she only lived to 64. As woman who has recovered from an eating disorder, I would encourage you to focus on healthy living for yourself and not be so influenced by what are myth-truths of celebs. Yes, Kate may weigh 114 for a shoot but on holidays I bet she may go up a few pounds. When my brother wrestled in college, he would drop as much as 3 pounds in 2 hours by sweating it out in exercise but he only weighed the designated amount during weigh in. He didn’t weigh that amount on-going. So find your place where you feel healthy and comfortable and stop comparing yourself to others.

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Imogen January 15, 2013 at 12:44 am

Audrey was just shy of 5’7 but actually weighed 110 pounds (except for a brief stint when travelling to the states). The reason for her impossibly tiny waist is due to being starved as a child during the war. Eating very little food, and tulips caused her growth to be stunted. In addition to this she is naturally thin.
So it takes extreme environmental and genetic conditions to create an Audrey. Save yourself the turmoil and aim to be healthy and fit, instead of idolising someone who was starved as a child.

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Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 1:12 am

Reading all this about malnourishment about the Late Audrey Hepburn may be true,
I am very tiny myself. Im 5’5 107lbs 32-23-34
I eat hearty healthy meals, I work out appropriately, take vitamins and I hardly gain any weight. My doctor says I am very healthy and strong.
My mother after having 2 children went back to being 98lbs! (shes shorter than me mind you!)
Genetics has a lot to do with how tiny I am! Audrey was graced with great beauty all around.
But beauty doesnt mean tiny, Beyonce is a curvy gorgeous woman,so is the thick Xtina, so beauty come in all shapes sizes and colors!!!

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Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 1:20 am

and to be honest, as someone who is so small, I aspired to have a body like beyonce, but my weight wil never sit the way it does on her.
I think people forget that as much as it hurts o be called “fat” in any way, it hurts to be called skinny as well. I am not skinny because I choose to be, i would choose to look like Selena, Beyonce or Christina Aguilera! Curvy!!!! But I am thankful that i am small, but sometimes i cant buy the clothes i want to because i dont fit into clothes as i would like.

I wish that we could accept all body types and not just the bigger ones. There are alot of women like me that are naturally thin, and tiny but we dont like to be put down for that either. I dont like people telling me to eat a burger or put meat on my bones because if i could choose to be curvier i would be.
We should all start raising not only our daughters with a positive body image, but raise our sons as well, on a healthy womens bodies, not “Perfect” womens bodies.

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Leslie January 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I’m way late to this party, but I’ve read that Audrey was 110 (which is still very thin). My sister, who is naturally very thin, has a 21″ waist and probably always will, at this point. (She inherited my dad’s metabolism. I am also thin, but my waist is more like 27″ so I didn’t get that tiny waist gene.) However, my sister always got accused of being anorexic. I know for a fact that she isn’t, and has never purged or starved herself. I guess you can’t ever make everyone happy.

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Anon January 27, 2013 at 4:39 am

I’ve done quite a bit of research on Audrey myself and in fact she was slightly ‘pudgy’ as a child (being from Belgium and having quite a liking for chocolate!) her mother would keep tab on her weight and weigh her regularly.
She even admitted to being self conscious about her weight after many years because of her Mother constantly making sure she wouldn’t be ‘fat’.

It’s possible that she could have an eating disorder because there are stories that float about saying that she used to eat minuscule portions and chop her food up ritualistically and in to small pieces etc…

There is also a story where Audrey did gain past 103 pounds when she was on a boat trip and had a stash of Chocolate, which she ate her way through. After getting off the boat the producer she met up with told her that they wanted her ‘for her bones’ and that she had to ‘lose’ the weight she had gained. THAT is when she vowed never to go past 103 pounds. Which is utterly ridiculous!!

I’m sorry, but there is no way that she couldn’t of had an eating disorder. ):
Just remember that people didn’t know an awful lot about eating disorder until the 70′s when more light was shed on the subject!!

Sorry, but I had to say this! (:

I’ve been rather aware of her tiny waist too and have constantly looked in to waist training. But we have to accept ourselves for who we are because everyone’s bodies are set up differently! (:

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Amanda January 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

I read this blog post today and thought it might help some.

http://franklymydear-blog.blogspot.de/2012/07/classic-hollywood-all-shapes-sizes.html?m=1

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Bella March 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I am also 5’7 and only through extreme dieting and a severe eating disorder do I find myself at the dangerous weight of 101 pounds. I find it quite strange that Audrey was able to maintain such a low weight and remain such a prominent figure in the media.

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Arlett April 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This totally describes me. I have an obsession with knowing famous people’s heihgts and weights. Your article has really helped me. BTW- I’m 5’5 so your lucky ;)

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Bri April 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

The grass is NOT greener on the other side!! I am 5’2″ and 90lbs. It is so hard for me to find clothes that fit, people always think I’m a teenager (and treat me like one!), people assume I have an eating disorder(and I never have) or tell me i look too skinny, not to mention, i feel self conscious about my boney shoulders, arms, and hips. Oh…another thing…it is humiliating to go shopping for a bra and find nothing small enough! I have to get my bras tailored to fit me. I feel like I’m unusually small,but it’s really just the way my body is. When I try to gain weight, it is ridiculously difficult, and I can’t keep it on. BUT, It’s really just that bodies are built differently, and if you are healthy, then you can’t focus on the numbers. You are not Audrey Hepburn, YOU ARE YOU! God made you just the way he wanted you Charlotte!!

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Tracy May 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

You are a very beautiful woman. You have a great smile that lights up your entire face, you seem to be a very friendly person from the comments your friends have left, and you also have some pretty decent talent. You are not lacking in any way, especially not in beauty. And yes, it is possible to stop comparing. I’ll admit, I still get caught up in the desire to be a perfect beauty sometimes. But at the end of the day, I know that I have other, further reaching desires to put my energies into accomplishing in this short life. The idea of “wasting” any of it worrying about the size of my waist has become laughable. Why make that a goal when you can travel a world filled with beauties that will take your breath away? Why self-inflict a degree of self depreciation and contempt when you were given an entirely unique canvas from which to create your own work of art?

From what I’ve read, part of what created the woman we all saw on the silver screen were terrible experiences and painful personal secrets. I doubt your idol would ever want to know that there are young women today that would put their mental and physical well-being at risk in an attempt to mirror the results of such experiences in her life. If ever I’ve had an “image” of what a strong, beautiful woman is, it is the woman who creates something personal and original from what nature gives her and takes pride in her creation.

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Dwyn Larson May 24, 2013 at 9:51 am

Try 20 Types of Beauty – what to love about yourself! Your inner gifts including your kind of energy, your innate talents as well as your type of beauty.

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Elizabeth May 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

She has small bones (esp. a small rib cage) and was starved while growing up. It’s as simple as that.

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Don'tgosolightly June 18, 2013 at 2:23 am

To compare yourself to others is the beginning of unhappiness. It does not lead you to become what you admire. No one but she knows what led her to become the teeny person you are obsessed with being. Likely only she could tell you that her size did not make her happy – if, in fact, she was happy.
I found this site because I wanted to see the size of her waist. Watching “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” tonight made me ache for how hungry she looked. It made me sad to think that she may never have had pleasure from eating good food. She may have been filled with the all consuming thoughts that occupy your mind – how to be and stay miserably small, or that her size came from suffering through WWII. Would you not be happy to never be burdened with these things?
Yes, she is lovely. She is a tall, willowy beauty. She is not the only kind of beauty. I am healthy, a 5 foot 6ish woman who goes between a 24 inch waist and days that I wear Summer dresses because I’m more 28 inch wasted than Summery.
I am happy. I (usually) have the discipline to control myself when it comes to food. I don’t over or under eat. What I put in my body is healthy, for the most part. I also REALLY enjoy every part of life that leads me to having a larger-than-20-inch-waist. So, to answer the question of whether or not anyone has mastered the art of not comparing: YES I have, by recognizing what is within reach and realizing that comparison to anything else is a waste of time. I do not suffer to achieve a body I can not and should not have. I work to protect and love the one I was born to have.

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Jordan June 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Audrey Hepburn DID tight lace. Tight lacing isn’t something that went out of vogue with the Victorian era. The majority of Hollywood stars up until the 60s at least (and even many today, like Jessica Alba) waist-trained, often from an early age. When a woman waist-trains (especially if she starts early), it actually changes the shape of her ribs over time. That’s why women like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, &c. had tiny waists even in bathing suits. If you study pictures of Norma Jean Baker, you’ll notice that, even though her arms and legs are just as thin as Marilyn Monroe’s, her waist is a little wider and more natural looking. Also, I would imagine that anorexia is going to affect bone density too, which is maybe why two women who are the same height and can fit into the exact same clothes can still be 15lbs apart? Just guessing there, though. Women used to be so much tinier because, yes, they didn’t eat as much as we do and they exercised more – but that unattainably tiny waist you see in vintage Vogue magazines is due more to tight lacing than to an active lifestyle and salads for dinner. Once you know what a trained waist looks like, it becomes very obvious when you look at Audrey’s shape.

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Henry June 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

No, Audrey didn’t tight lace or do any sort of waist training! As the majority of the comment’s say, she got her figure from genes and being starved during World War II where she was forced to survive off of tulip bulbs and grass. Other actresses may have gone through tight lacing, but Audrey did not, even if it does seem so. And anyway, if you look at pictures of Audrey in a bikini, such as here: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9c8caGGyf1rubozqo1_500.jpg
you can see that there is no real definition to her waist — she is generally just skinny. The only time Audrey may have worn a corset was for period films like ‘My Fair Lady’, which would be correct for the era, but otherwise, no, she didn’t tight lace.

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lizzy June 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm

yeah, audrey most definitely did have an eating disorder. i was diagnosed with anorexia when i was 17 and can spot the ritualistic/restrictive tendencies from a mile away (i’m 25 now – happy and healthy <3)

http://www.elegantwoman.org/audrey-hepburn-anorexia.html

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Beth July 6, 2013 at 7:03 am

My mom grew up in the South during the Great Depression. She had six brothers and sisters. All were skinny in their photos as kids and all never really gained a lot of weight as adults. However, they are of normal weight now. My mom was 5 ft. 2 inches tall and weighed around 98 pounds in her late teens and early 20s. Her lack of nutrition as a kid probably did affect things like her muscle mass, her height, and especially her bone health and density. What always gets me is that the women in my family have skinny arms and legs, and knobby knees, but they also have this thick waist—really no waist. I was looking at some photos on both sides of the family the other day and truly, all my female relatives have that rectangular body. No waist at all. So, I think we humans are 75 percent genetics and 25 percent environment/what we choose to do to our bodies. Maybe in the future that will change as medicine becomes more advanced, but right now, you’re very probably going to look Ike your mom, your grandmother, your aunt, etc. So just embrace your genetic heritage.

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Linda Lee August 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm

FYI,

Audrey Hepburn was bulimic. Yup. She binged and purged regularly. Her friends and husband kept it a secret.

So what she had a 20″ waist. Maybe if she had healthier habits she wouldn’t have died at 65.

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Henry August 20, 2013 at 4:00 am

Firstly, get your facts right. She died when she was 63. And secondly, if it had been kept a ‘secret’ all these years, how is that you have managed to come to that conclusion?! Please enlighten me! I’d love to know what kind of evidence you have for the biggest piece if garbage I ever heard!
For goodness sake. It’s obvious that you’re just doing this for attention.

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Sophia October 2, 2013 at 10:30 am

I definately think Hepburn had some restrictive principles that we today can recognize as somewhat disordering behaviour. Although, eating disorders was no well-known matter before the seventies. People with behavior similar with an anorexic/bulimic/etc did might not even know there was such a thing as “eating disorders”, it was propably just seen as good dicipline.
So as today, when we are well informed of eating disorders being classified as a self-forced disease, we automatically think all of the symptoms is bad for us. Like watching our weight and restricting what we eat, the ideal for us would be to just not care at all, wouldn’t it? But if you have no idea (propably like Hepburn and other people of that time) those “symptoms” could be bad for you, how could you think you are suffering?

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PzychoNoir October 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hi!!

I read you, and then the first thing that I noticed, is that you don’t seem to take into account is the bone density, each one’s is different, or the muscle too… When I was a youngster, 13 I was so horrified to know I weight heavier than the fat girl of the group, it was just aweful.. I was ok, no muffin top or anything, she was the same height or even smaller and big arms, big muffin top and in general bigger all over. I am 5’4 and weighed around 130 at the time… now 15 years later I am the same height but 118 lbs.. and I’m already to start looking a bit too slim, in some pics I can see my cheekbones a bit much or my shoulders and ribs… but to me, my legs are still big, however, in comparison to my mum, who is the same height as me but that number that ruined your day, I can totally say that I prefer my legs to hers, she has Audrey’s type, a bit more chesty, in fact younger pics of my mum somehow remind me of her.. as she also had very dark hair and brown eyes, and yes her body is very thin, yet her cheeks are always plump, it’s just genetics… don’t beat yourself over it, enjoy being your unique shape and what is most important, even if you don’t like your own body like Audrey’s didn’t like hers, make the most of it nevertheless! :D

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Jen November 21, 2013 at 10:21 pm

You’re not alone

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Dan December 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

I read her biography. Audrey was a teenage girl during WWII when the Nazis occupied .her hometown and rationed all the food. She and other children would carry messages from the Allied Resistance across town. One day Audrey almost got caught by the Nazis and hid out in a basement with no food and little water. When her friends found her over a week later doctors thought she would die. Audrey said after that she could not gain weight and always had health problems, including miscarrying several times.

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Brianna December 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hey! You know Audrey Hepburn’s frame was incredibly tiny. Dita Von Teese does not have the same frame, which is why she is so hourglassy and why she needs a corset to achieve that waistline. Audrey had an extra small frame, you may not. Don’t compare yourself. Figure out YOUR body shape and YOUR frame and try to be the BEST THAT YOU CAN BE.

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XOXO January 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm

hey
I don’t think people should be using her childhood as an excuse for her body. Maybe it effect her as a child but not as a grown women. I truly think she was a phenomenal actress and also, that her body and personalities was what made her stand out and made her sort of “one of a kind” because she made her body work for her and that’s all we have to do. First learn to love your body not someone else’s and just look after yourself try not to make bad choices in wardrobe sense and yes you can try and lose weight if you want but don’t force it.
P.S I loved her little black dresses

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Taylor January 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Okay, I think something miffy is going on with some of the celebrity measurements. Kate Winslet is listed w/a waist of 28 inches. My waist is 27.5 and I’m much thinner looking than her(nothing wrong with that, curvier is much more pleasing to look at than being sticklike like me in my opinion). I wear a 0-3 in clothing sizes, depending. I seriously doubt Kate Winslet, even in her youth, wore anything less than a 5/6. Same goes for Pricess Di.

I don’t have a particularly big frame either with a 30” underbust measurement at 5’6.5. Kate Winslet’s height is the same as mine at 5’7. And I’m not completely ruler-shaped(.81 WHR) bc I have a defined waistline.

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Majo January 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

BMI and weight are just numbers. What you really watch out for is the percentage of fat that those pounds contain. In reality, you should also watch for your level of visceral fat, which is the cause of many diseases and is hidden within the organs. The rest is “vanity” fat… doesn’t hurt to lose it but it certainly won’t kill you as the visceral one.
I URGE you to please go talk to a nutritionist and have your fat percentage checked with the appropriate scale. For example, my sister is fit and has been exercising and looking at her diet. I have been eating junk food and whatever fits my cakehole… zero exercise. We were shocked to learn that her body is 40% body fat, while mine is 50%. Both are really bad, but this is just to show you that we need to be assessed by a professional and take care of our body. I am finding it extremely difficult but I will certainly change my lifestyle after I understood the risks. Thanks.

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Cat January 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Ok, you must first know that exercise is not the thing to make you as light as Audrey. Muscles weigh a LOT more than fat. You are still losing weight by exercising but not as much as you could by just dieting. The only exercise Audrey ever did was to walk everywhere and sometimes just do a walk of the park. She also did ballet. Audrey stayed at 103 pounds (and sometimes less) by dieting. I believe most of the foods she ate had MUFA’s (look it up) even her afternoon snack of one square of dark chocolate is said to have lots of MUFA’s. It was only VERY rarely that she ever had something like ice cream or a milk shake, and by that I mean VVVVEEEERRRYYYYYYYYYY RARELY!!!!!!! Also, Audrey must have just had good genes. So my advice for you is to stop with your usual exercise and instead take up ballet (if you are not quite ready for ballet you could try Pilates) and also try to walk everywhere, DIET! Look up MUFA foods and you should be good, if you are CRAZY about having that Audrey waistline, you could try the RAW diet (again, look it up.)
Anyway, I hope I’ve helped and provided some unique advice!
Yours, Cat

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Jo March 8, 2014 at 8:55 am

Audrey grew up in Holland during the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
One day when walking home from school, she was rounded up with a lot of other girls to be taken away to work in the Nazi military kitchens, however while a Nazi officer was rolling a cigarette she managed to escape. She hid in a cellar for a month, and all she had to eat in that month were old bread crusts and a flask of apple juice, she never fully recovered from that starvation and always looked very thin because of it for the rest of her life. She glamorized being skinny, but she never purposely tried to look skinny, she said that she always felt hungry, but she would never put on serious amounts of weight because her metabolism didn’t recover.
Also after returning back home (she was not a war orphan) after being in the cellar for a month, Holland was in famine, so she had to eat turnips and flour made from tulip bulbs, once the war ended she was left with jaundice, anaemia, oedema and all things that come with severe malnutrition and lack of vitamins.
She did smoke cigarettes, especially when dealing with her depression due to a miscarriage, so this would have added to her low weight.
I’d say that trying to have a 20inch waist is almost impossible to achieve healthily.
Hope this helped!

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LS March 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm

102 is my weight at 5′ 6.25″ and it is not ridiculous, it is NORMAL – for me, for ectomorphs, which are about 1.25% of the population, for women who are NATURALLY underweight, which are less than 1%, .07% of the population, to be exact.

103 lbs on a REGULAR woman, meaning an endomorph, or a mesomorph, or a combination of all three – is what is ridiculous. 103 lbs on your ‘average’ woman is ridiculous. 103 lbs on a woman who wears ‘regular’ jeans and not ‘slims’…is ridiculous, and not achievable goal.

But when will ‘regular’ sized women, stop complaining about the low weights and BMI’s of women, who are naturally meant to be that way?

Perhaps when they stop looking at us so much…?

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LS March 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Just read the rest of the article…….a 20 inch waist is NOT something to aim for – if you wish to present a slim appearance (and who doesn’t?). A waist that small just makes your chest and hips look wider for it. Just look at Vivien Leigh and Dita what’s her name……..

Rulers, with a normal waist size of 24″, or even 25″, are the slimmest looking. (This is why Miranda Kerr looks slim and not ‘curvy’ in the hips.

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Derek May 4, 2014 at 2:00 am

Are you big boned? Audrey Hepburn had that perfect feminine petite build with the wide hips. The difference in your bone thickness and hers could easily account for your inability to achieve her 103lb weight without becoming sick in the process.

Healthy for her – not for you.

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Zardos May 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

What made Audrey a cut above the rest wasn’t her figure so much as her posturing. She presented herself with class, the way she dressed, the way she walked and the humbleness with which she treated others. A woman’s body is a work of art not because of the size or it’s shape but because the different ways it presents itself to the world. I have seen the most beautiful women being plus side and some thin women that are not so pretty. You shouldn’t worry so much about how she looks and worry more about how you portray yourself. You will shine brighter if you realize that you are already beautiful, it about maintaining your health. As your confidence rises other will see you the same way. Correct your posture and remember the way you portray yourself will change every like a rough gem that has been polished the result is a jewel that shines far beyond the rest of the rocks.

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Paula May 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Audrey barely survived during wwII she was malnourished and had to strugle to get some sort of food, some days she wouldn’t eat. She was still a kid when this happened, and that had consecuences in her body and systems.
She expended the rest of her life fighting hunger and poverty, helping starving children. I guess she wouldn’t like much having someone talking about her and eating desorders…

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shelley May 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

You also have to take into account frame size. I also am that height and was that size (103) throughout high school and now I weigh about 112lbs (which I feel is a lot healthier, and I get made fun of for my weight less). I have never had problems with an eating disorder, although people were concerned that I did because of my size. But my point is that weight is dependent on frame. My sister is the same height but she has a very large frame in comparison with mine and weighs about 30lbs more than me and is also healthy and great looking. Don’t compare yourself to others, but compare yourself to yourself. What’s important isn’t the number on the scale but how healthy you feel.

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Katie May 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Audrey was plagued with eating disorders for her whole life. She experienced World War II firsthand and starved in a cellar with her family for 3 weeks; after this, she attempted to “master” her hunger through starvation instead of feeding herself. She was from a broken home (her parents divorced, a very big ordeal for the time) and had two failed marriages. She was desperate for a happy home life with her husbands, which she couldn’t make happen, and was very nervous. In addition, she was very self-conscious; she wanted control over all photography of herself. She was a perfectionist, and she absolutely had eating disorders. She suffered with anorexia and bulimia at different points in time. While she is much more than her eating disorders, it’s incorrect to say that she maintained her figure naturally or in a healthy way. There’s no need to compare yourself to her, and she wouldn’t have wanted that. :)

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Anonymous July 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm

She had an eating disorder, although not much attention was ever brought to it…

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