1. Elizabeth was known for her toughness in a world that values meekness in women. She said, “I’m a survivor–a living example of what people can go through and survive.”
2. She had 8 marriages. Say what you will about the woman, but she never gave up on love.
3. She was an early champion of HIV and AIDS charities when it was taboo to speak out about it. That’s the perfect combination of do-gooder and badass.
4. She knew that while dealing with mental illness, divorce, and disease, there’s more to life than gravity. Living in the moment, enjoying diamonds and a glamorous existence is the yin to her AIDS work’s yang. Very few people can balance high and low brow like this.
5. Elizabeth broke the glass ceiling, becoming the first film actress to earn a million dollars for a single picture, Cleopatra, and she became a beauty icon doing it.
6. She possessed extraordinary self-knowledge. While other celebrities would put on a show about being a normal person or downplaying their success or skill or artistic vision, she simply said “I don’t pretend to be an ordinary housewife” and “If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.”
7. Elizabeth pushed the boundaries of female sexuality for all of us. She took her clothes off onscreen and posed in Playboy long before that was an acceptable thing to do.
8. Taylor’s mother forced her to practice her craft as a teenager until she could cry on demand. And everyone’s impressed at Beyonce’s work ethic?
9. She had the good sense to divorce Paris Hilton’s great uncle.
10. Her jewelry collection. Girl was a BALLER. When she died her collection was worth $150 million and included famous pieces such as the Krupp Diamond, the Taylor-Burton Diamond, and the La Peregrina pearl. Sometimes people think this makes her materialistic, but jewelry is an art form, and if you wouldn’t make the same complaint against someone who left a $150 million art collection, STFU. More photos of her incredible collection here.
11. She was a muse for Andy Warhol. Art imitating Art imitating life. Who wouldn’t want to be inspiration for a famous, cutting-edge Artist?