Katharine Hepburn: Hollywood Star, Fashion Icon and a Modern Woman

The next informative article is ready and waiting for you. This time we present Katharine Hepburn. 📝

Not only is she one of the glorious Hollywood film stars of the previous century, she also had a significant impact on the living experience of women: if it wasn’t for her daring move to wear trousers, who knows if it was normalized today? 👖📽🎞

Get acquainted with another woman who shaped our society with a small gesture that had such a great impact by reading the article below!

Katharine Hepburn | *12-05-1907 | † 29-06-2003 | USA | Actress

Dresses, kitchens and mothering; nothing of that for Katharine Hepburn. The famous Hollywood actress from the previous century opposed gender convention throughout her professional and personal life. Maybe it is unimaginable nowadays, but not that long ago it was a radical move for women to wear trousers. She was one of the first pioneers that helped normalize wearing trousers for women and Hepburn even received a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in recognition of her influence on women’s fashion in 1986. Thanks to influential women like Katharine Hepburn you do not have to go outside necessarily wearing a dress or skirt.

But Katharine Hepburn is much more than a fashion icon of trousers, of course. Her Hollywood career, that spanned more than sixty years, started when she was spotted by Hollywood agent Leland Hayward in the play The Warrior’s Husband in 1932. She debuted in the film A Bill of Divorcement, through which she already made a great impression on the movie industry itself and director of the film George Cukor, with whom she eventually made ten more films. Hepburn was a great success in Hollywood, where she received a number of Oscars, for example for her role in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1968). She was nominated for Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and Tony Awards, among other things. 

As an actress she was an important and influential cultural figure, which can be seen, for example, by her inclusion in the book Women Who Changed The World, which honours fifty women who helped shape world history and culture. Sheridan Morley, one of her biographers, stated that “she demonstrated that it was possible for even a strong-willed independent woman to survive the male-dominated studio system”. Katharine Hepburn often played the role of an independent and educated woman, through which she made it possible to bring feminist issues to the screen. She paved the way for future women to play a strong independent character and she was for even more women an important role model.

Her legacy as an important and influential cultural figure is perhaps the result of something that started way before her career as an actress: her childhood. Her parents namely fought for social change in the United States of America and raised their children accordingly with those progressive views. The children of Thomas Hepburn and Katharine Houghton were raised to exercise freedom of speech and were encouraged to think and debate on any topic they wished. The younger Katharine Hepburn liked to call herself Jimmy and to cut her hair short, which proves the progressive and open-minded upbringing of her parents, because those things were seen as ‘outlandish’ in the time Hepburn grew up.

Katharine Hepburn brought her upbringing with her to Hollywood. Something which we only can be happy with. By playing roles of a ‘modern woman’ and being one herself, she inspired and changed the world. And perhaps you might recall the influence Katharine Hepburn had the next time you go to the cinema wearing jeans.


Author: Jeroen Vos
Image: Unknown


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