With her own estate, run by Authentic Brands Group, using her image to promote wine, diamonds and vibrators Marilyn Monroe has become a valuable commodity in the marketing world. Marilyn Monroe SELLS. She has become the face of GAP, Mercedes, Sexy Hair, Mac Cosmetics, cigarettes and more.
For decades, even when she was alive, Marilyn’s image has been used sometimes with, but more often without, her permission. For items, she used and enjoyed personally but also for brands that never existed in her lifetime. She’s not here now… And her image is now the face of Womanizer sex toys… Now I am not sure about the history of the sex toy or whether Marilyn used them but I do know Marilyn isn’t personally endorsing this product. Nor did she wear diamonds in her day-to-day life (other than her wedding ring in 1954). And of course, there is nothing wrong with female sexual pleasure, but it seems that as long as the price is right her image is available to the highest bidder.
With the “famous for being famous” B-Listers parading themselves in Marilyn’s historic garments, untruthful biographies constantly being written, and misogynistic fictional movies depicting her as nothing but a delusional sex object, it’s no wonder the Marilyn fan base is feeling a little exhausted. But this is nothing new. Marilyn spoke several times in her life about how she felt she was seen as nothing but a machine. Here are some of the quotes of her discussing the strains she felt.
I want to be an artist, not an erotic freak. I don’t want to be sold to the public as a celluloid aphrodisiacal.”My Story
People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn’t see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.”My Story
In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s 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.”My Story
Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one…”LIFE interview with Richard Meryman in 1962
You know, most people really don’t know me.”LIFE interview with Richard Meryman in 1962
I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. … Goethe said, “Talent is developed in privacy,” you know? And it’s really true. … Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer. You’re gay, you’re sick, you’re nervous or whatever.”LIFE interview with Richard Meryman in 1962
I never quite understood it, this sex symbol. I always thought symbols were those things you clash together! That’s the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.”LIFE interview with Richard Meryman in 1962
I sometimes feel as if I’m too exposed. I’ve given myself away, the whole of me, every part, and there’s nothing left that’s private, just me alone. If you feel low, you might worry there’s nothing new to give. But that’s not true – not ever. You discover things inside yourself you never knew were there. You always go on developing.”Conversations with Marilyn by WJ Weatherby, 1961
My problem is I trust people too much. I believe in them too much and I go on believing in them when the signs are already there. You get a lot of disappointments.”Conversations with Marilyn by WJ Weatherby, 1961
Fame causes such envy. People sometimes just because you’re famous. They’re phony to face. See you around—like never. I like to be accepted for my own sake, but a lot of people don’t care who you are. All they’re interested in is your fame—while you’ve got it.”Conversations with Marilyn by WJ Weatherby, 1961
I refuse to let articles appear in movie magazines signed ‘by Marilyn Monroe.’ I might never see that article and it might be okayed by somebody in the studio. This is wrong because when I was a little girl I read signed stories in fan magazines and I believed every word the stars said in them. Then I’d try to model my life after the lives of the stars I read about. If I’m going to have that kind of influence, I want to be sure it’s because of something I’ve actually read or written.”Marilyn to Pete Martin in 1956
I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human. We all have our areas. We all feel inferior, but who ever admits it? I do think I’m human. I do have my down moments, but I’m also robust more than down.”Marilyn to George Barris in 1962
My body is my body, every part of it.”Fragments
I can’t really stand Human/ Beings sometimes-I know/ they all have their problems/ as I have mine-but I’m really/ too tired for it. Trying to understand,/ making allowances, seeing certain things/ that just weary me”Fragments
I have a little temper, and I really lose it when people write untruths about me.”Motion Picture magazine, 1954
Her estate, celebrities and “film-makers” aren’t doing what they do for the love of Marilyn. They’re doing it for fame and money. That is why it’s so important fan pages exist – so we can celebrate the films, life and times of Marilyn. So we can share the truth and the content that does provide a look into her world.