An Ode to Greatness

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Ms Katharine Hepburn

I don’t know when I fell in love with her or even the first film of hers I saw. I think it was Bringing up Baby. It was her voice that drew me in; that distinct Connecticut, Bryn Mawr-influenced twang. She was different to her contemporaries. I draw inspiration from what made her different, magnificent. I aspire to be like her, but not to be her – no one can. But to reflect my own individualism and truth, a reflection of what she embodies. I admire her, idolise her, and even obsess over her.

There is always a risk of investing so much in idolising another. The risk of being disappointed by their failures and imperfections. She was far from perfect, but to me she was. This is a woman who had her pants confiscated for refusing to wear a skirt onto a movie set – instead she showed up in her underwear as a protest. It was a small, but powerful statement. She was not just an actress or Spencer Tracy’s lover, but a woman, proudly true to who she was and what she believed. She held herself in high esteem and never apologised for it.

She was once famously criticised for failing to emote with authenticity, to show the delicate skill expected of an actress; “she ran the gamut of emotions from A to B” accused film critic Dorothy Parker. Her apparent steely gaze, aloofness and frigidness makes her The Misunderstood Hepburn. But it was her composure and presence; her ability to transcend her legendary male co-stars including Cary Grant, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Peter O’Toole and her love Spencer Tracy to name but a few, was in of itself, legendary. She was an expert in her field, winning a record four Academy Awards® in the Best Actress category – an achievement yet to be matched let alone surpassed, in the actor or actress category.

She represents so much for me: timeless beauty, fearlessness and strength.

She was formidable and ahead of her time. She is enduring.

Thank you, Katharine Hepburn for your enduring Greatness, and thank you for inspiring me toward becoming the greatest version of myself I can be.

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