dressed up like a lady: Grace Kelly vs. Audrey Hepburn

Jul 19, 2012

Grace Kelly vs. Audrey Hepburn

Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn: two Golden Age Hollywood icons of immeasurable beauty and poise! We lovers of cinema and style heap praise upon them both.

But that's no fun! 

It can't be denied that Audrey and Grace belong to the same weight class, and are comparable enough as stars to make a worthy match-up. So why not pit them against each other in a hypothetical battle for supreme awesomeness?!?!

Audrey and Grace: both feminine ideals of beauty.
Chicks will not shut up about either of them.


 Audrey: Was the muse of Givenchy.
 Grace: Got a Hermes bag named after her just because she liked it.

 Audrey: Has come to represent sophistication, timelessness, and perfection.
Grace: Has come to represent all of that, plus was also a REAL PRINCESS.

Who looks better in aviators? 
This is a totally valid question. Polled my cubemates and got a unanimous 4/4 vote.

This is the silliest picture of each actress that I could find. 

Grace: Appears to be licking a gourd.
Additionally: Notoriously slept with every sexy actor she wanted to, and yet somehow kept this from becoming public knowledge at the time, skirting the pathetic double standards in 1950's society regarding men, women, and sex.
 Audrey: Happily responding to something off camera.
Additionally: Kept a baby fawn as a pet to prepare for the film Green Mansions.

Baby deer and awesome sex are probably pretty comparable in terms of embracing awesomeness in life.


They're both dead.
Nothing adds mystique to your everlasting image like not being around to mess it up.

Audrey: Was a devoted advocate for UNICEF, traveling to Ethiopia, Sudan, Turkey, Guatemala, and Somalia on humanitarian missions.
Grace: Hung out with nice guys in wheelchairs. Just kidding. Grace actually organized massive fundraising and lobbying efforts as president of AMADE, and international NGO that campaigns for children's rights. However, it was the position of either her or the Monaco royal family that advertising your charity efforts was backdoor bragging, so this fact about her isn't well known.

Either way, she wasn't camping out in any warzones.

Unfair comparison pictures, I know. Sadly, there aren't many bathing suit shots of Audrey out there. However, this rather effectively illustrates the point. Do I even need to spell out the winner of this category?

You can point out that Audrey herself most likely cultivated her ethereal, guileless, non-sexual image -- that it was intentional, and part of her own branding. I'm not knocking her for that. But the thing is, for the purposes of this semantic fight, she still loses against Grace in this category. For all her poise, refinement, and (dare we say) grace, Grace emanated a sensual, touchable, smolderingly physical desirability that Audrey never projected. Grace's gaze and body both convey lean, athletic, knowing warmth. However, Grace could also turn this quality on and off at will; she could radiate sultriness one moment, and delicate, untouched sophistication the next. Whereas Audrey only had the one mode: all non-sexual elegance, all the time. This limitation is a liability for Audrey in the ring, and in my opinion, is where Grace lands her most crucial blow. 
The whole reason these two stars are worthy hypothetical adversaries is because they have both become feminine ideals. And while the snapshots of these actresses that fill women's minds and Pinterest boards are obviously representative of the mere fictions we've agreed upon for each of them, even the most explicitly fictitious image of female perfection rings just a little bit too hollow without the presence of sex.

There's no doubt an entire school of girl-worship devoted to the coltish, fragile bird style beauty of Audrey Hepburn, and I love it myself. It has its place. But held up for comparison, this example of 20th century mythology just can't compete with a fuller-spectrum paragon of womanhood, no matter how unattainable. I'm not talking about some kind of dumbass misnomer like Girl Hot vs. Guy Hot -- seeing as how my ability to enjoy the sensual side of female beauty is absolutely not intrinsically linked to the opinion of a hetero man, thankyouverymuch. That's just the point: Audrey's mythos is linked to the fantasy of remaining a 12 year old girl forever. Which is an awesome fantasy to engage intermittently, but only for so long. Namely, as long as it takes for the knowing, mature, proactive side of the womanly mind (and body) God gave you to creep back into your thoughts. 

Ladies and gentlemen, it appears we have a knockout.
Fight Winner: Grace Kelly!


 In all fairness, the only reason these two were worthy of a match-up in the first place is that they both possess such overflowing beauty, luminosity, style, allure, seemingly effortless grace, and personality.

Audrey and Grace, backstage at the 28th Academy Awards.

Audrey and Grace, each posing for Philippe Halsman's Jump! series.

So don't take these shenanigans too seriously. I love, love, love Audrey. :)

But by all means: if you don't agree with the judge's ruling, speak up and make your case! :D


  1. I agree - Grace is a winner and Audrey is nice.

  2. That picture of them at the Oscars is amazing!

  3. Amazing pics and analysis!
    Love this post!


  4. you are grace kelly for the modern day women, cammilla.

    however, audrey is my favorite.

    1. Way to butter me up before voicing your disagreement, sweetie. ;)

  5. fun post! my vote goes to grace, too.


  6. I LOVE this post!
    Both are so beauiful ladies! :)


  7. Love both, but my love for Audrey is just.....beyond (probably) the love I have for some members of my family :)

  8. Loved reading this! And I love both ladies equally. The baby deer/awesome sex tie was my favourite part!

  9. Great post! Grace wins, hands down! Because of her ultra-femininity, which was a total must for a woman of her time. Audrey was an icon but too boyish.

    Love, Jen

  10. Loved this! BUT I AM ALL AUDREY!!!

  11. nice xx :))

    Saving Thousands of People Hundreds of Dollars a Month


  12. I will always love Audrey, but when it comes charm miss Grace Kelly wins by far!

  13. Although I love Audrey, I completely agree Grace is the sexiest! And definitely looks better in aviators :)

    Lana, xo

  14. Grace <3
    I just found your blog and I think it is amazing.I will come again for sure If you want we could follow each other? If you want just follow me and send me your link on lavieenrose.blog8@gmail.com and I will follow you immediately

  15. I agree that much of what we all love about Audrey is that she feels eternally pubescent. She holds a place in our hearts like a child would. This is something very special about her, but it limits the scope of her meaning as an idol, since as you point out, Grace could project this kind of innocence if she wanted to, but more often projected knowingness and confidence. As cute and sweet and lovely as Audrey's image as a gangly but precocious-girl remains, it's the fantasy of a girl. Whereas Grace's playful sensuality and sophistication make her the fantasy of a woman.

    Clearly I see you as the real life Grace, the fantasy made real. So perhaps my opinion is biased.

  16. You are so witty. I am smiling right now at this post.

  17. What a fun post! They're both very lovely ladies<3

    Dearest Lou

  18. What a massively fun, witty, creative post! I can't recall the last time I saw a piece on two classic Hollywood stars that I enjoyed more.

    Wishing you a stellar weekend, honey!
    ♥ Jessica

  19. Your aviator round cracked me up. In the silly photos of the ladies, Audrey looks like Natalie Portman.

  20. It's a tie for me; both amazing ladies. The aviator round is amazing!

  21. Gorgeous post. I ♥ Audrey Hepburn. :) Btw, I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll follow me back. :"> Thanks!



  22. Couldn't agree more!

  23. There's a certain kind of hipster girl that just HAS to say Shenanigens.

    1. Baby, everything seems hipster when you're looking at it from Florida.

  24. I wish Audrey Hepburn's nobility lineage was mentioned... she may not have been a princess, but she had the blood of one!


Leave a comment. It's good for our relationship.