Browsing the Stylist website recently I saw the trailer for the up coming Marilyn Monroe film, ‘My week with Marilyn’. “We have to go see this” I shared the link with my friends, it looks like a good film and of course, it has Marilyn in it! We all love Marilyn Monroe.
Clicking further through the site I found an article on the 10 Most Stylish Women of all time. Having a quick flick through the pictures of these beautiful women, there she was again. Beside Audrey Hepburn, Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe stood out by far. While she is not be the most stylish in the list, just like her popping her head out of the bed curtains to talk to Jack Lemmon in the train scene of ‘Some Like It Hot’ , her charm oozes out of each photograph.
It made me think that no woman today, no matter how beautiful or talented, has a hope to encapsulate what Marilyn achieved in her time. While not being the best actress or singer, she is forever immortalised as an Icon. Style Icon, Pop Icon, Cultural Icon, the ultimate Sex Symbol, the titles matter little, she has them all. It was once said of Marilyn Monroe that she appealed to everyone, ‘Men wanted to be with her and Women wanted to be her friend’. There is a definite public fascination with her.
Like most teenage girls I had my Marilyn time. I wanted to be an actress when I was younger and my dad , (as you may know from reading this blog), is old fashioned and watched all the old movies. He would talk about the great actresses of his time and one caught my eye. I watched ‘Some Like It Hot’, ‘The Prince and The Showgirl’, ‘The Seven Year Itch’, ‘Bus Stop’ and loved ‘Some Like It Hot’. (The charm of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon is infectious, if you haven’t seen it, I dare you not to love it.)
Despite her dying over 40 years ago, Marilyn still holds her place as an Icon. I was not the only young girl who loved Marilyn, most of my friends loved her too, our school books were adorned with her images, her quotes scribbled over our journals.Today’s teenage girls are the same, many have the quote, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” on their facebook page. Marilyn never hid from her sexuality, she revelled in it, her career was founded on it but she saw it for what it was. “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”
What was it she had that was different? What was it that captured the hearts and minds of so many men and women and still manages to do that so long after her death?
Marilyn is still cited as the ultimate Sex Symbol, a natural size 14 with curves, she is celebrated for being a real woman. Marilyn said of herself, “I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.” She has a point, I don’t think another woman will ever come close. Marilyn’s untimely death means we are left with a limited legacy of images and words. It alludes to a certain amount of intrigue, and intrigue will always keep us interested.