Style Icon: Charlize Theron
There’s only so much you can do, but if somebody doesn’t give you a chance there is nothing you can do.
- Charlize Theron
This South African beauty has been on almost every best-dressed and most beautiful list known to man. Crystal clear blue-green eyes, blonde hair and a statuesque frame made to show off the work of the world’s best designers, Charlize Theron is the embodiment of the Hollywood dream. Today, Theron is one of the most highly acclaimed actresses of our time with a body of work up-and-coming actresses can only dream about. She is also a new mother to a beautiful baby boy she recently adopted. Prior to her acting career taking off, Theron started off as a model and then won a scholarship to study ballet at the prestigious Joffrey School in New York. She had aspirations to become a professional ballerina before an injury to both knees changed her future. It was at her mother’s suggestion then that she give the film industry a try, and as they say the rest is history.
After starring in a string of successful movies in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Theron shocked audiences with her turn as Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster. It was one time that her beauty nearly cost her a role, and she had to fight to win the lead because producers and directors thought she was too attractive for the part. It was her unbelievable transformation into this woman and her superior acting ability in a film with an extremely difficult subject matter that garnered Theron her very first Oscar nomination. She had swept the 2004 award season, so when Oscar night arrived everyone was sure she would be taking home acting’s most prestigious award. They were also tuned in to see what she would wear on the red carpet. Theron did not disappoint, emerging fresh off a Brazilian vacation in an exquisite champagne-hued Gucci dress.
In all of its simplicity, from the silhouette to the front slit to the delicate beading to the beautiful open-back, the dress was one to be worn by someone at a very big moment in their lives. She was the picture of happiness on a night that turned out to be one of the most important in her career, and when she took the stage to accept her award no one deserved it more.
Proving to be the style chameleon we have come to know today, the following year she turned up on the red carpet at the Golden Globes with a drastically different look. Having gone from blonde hair to black for a film role, Theron played with her new style by making new, darker wardrobe choices as well. The iridescent fabric of her mermaid Christian Dior gown glowed and its navy blue color was the perfect compliment to her dark hair, which looks absolutely fabulous on her. Several years later, this is still one of her best looks.
Growing up in South Africa, Theron knew of the devastation that affected the country she called home. As she grew into a Hollywood megastar she created the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) in 2007 to support African youth in their fight against HIV/AIDS. The epidemic in Africa has been horrifying and Theron is working to do her part to help through education and providing free mobile health clinics. In only five years Theron, who is also a UN Ambassador of Peace and the CTAOP have been able to help thousands of young men and women learn more about this disease, how to prevent them and how to treat them. While the primary focus has been on South Africa, the CTAOP seeks to provide more support to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, as they are the ones most susceptible to the disease.
Charlize Theron will always be known as one of the most talented women to walk the Earth. With grace and an unshakable sense of character and resolve she has paved the way for all young women with a dream. She is an icon who has worked with some of the best the film industry has to offer and who fights for the future of the youth in her homeland. She sees in them a bright future if we are able to get a handle on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and where there is a bright future there is hope that anything is possible. Theron is living proof of that.