She’s beautiful. She’s sexy. But why does Marilyn Monroe still draw so many people to her, despite passing away almost 60 years ago? Here are 30 reasons why Marilyn fans love Marilyn Monroe:
- Marilyn worked hard for her craft, especially earlier on in her career. She studied acting, speech, dance and singing to try and increase her chances of getting movie roles.
- Marilyn proved that a girl from a poorer background with an unstable family can star in some of the biggest movies in the world and be known as a legend.
- Marilyn was open about her sexual abuse as a child. She spoke about it in My Story saying she discovered sexual contact when she was nine to a man called Mr Kimmel.
- Her book collection displayed her desire to learn, her passion for literature, art and history – something which people don’t expect from a sex symbol.
- Looks in other men weren’t important to her. She married Joe DiMaggio, a world-famous baseball star and playwright Arthur Miller, not. exactly heartthrobs like James Dean or Marlon Brando (although she did temporarily date Brando).
- Marilyn loved animals. It is said that when she was married to her first husband, Jim Dougherty, she wanted to bring a cow into the house because it was stuck outside in the rain.
- She wasn’t afraid to break the rules, embrace her body and her sex appeal. Marilyn wore clothes that were not the “norm” for women in the 1950s. Her plunging, tight gowns had much of Hollywood in horror but also encouraged women to be more open about their bodies.
- Marilyn wasn’t afraid of telling the truth. For example, when it was discovered she posed nude in the 1940s for a calendar, the studio wanted her to deny that she was the one in the photos. But she didn’t lie, she embraced it.
- Marilyn loved children and desperately wanted her own but unfortunately, she suffered from an ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages leaving her childless. She worked with various charities involving children and when she went to an orphanage in Mexico she donated $10,000.
- She was very generous. Marilyn’s friends often commented on how Marilyn would buy them gifts despite not having much money. If they commented that they liked something it would most likely be delivered to their door the next day.
- Marilyn didn’t talk badly about others. Even when she was angry at her studio after she was fired in 1962, she didn’t mention any names.
- Marilyn stood her ground. When filming the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she questioned why she was not given a dressing room considering she was “the blonde.” She wasn’t going to be walked over.
- She had the courage to stand up to the studio and made her own production company to ensure she wouldn’t be typecast in “dumb blonde” roles.
- She saw the best in people and forgave those for their wrongdoing (with the exception of a few). Seven years after her divorce from Joe DiMaggio, he had her released from Payne Whitney after she was wrongly institutionalised. Marilyn spent a lot of time with Joe before her death meaning she put all bad feelings aside.
- It was easy for Marilyn to talk about equal rights at a time when it was still a subject of taboo, whether it be sexuality or race. She was also very happy to socialise publicity with people of colour and those from the LGBT community.
“People who aren’t fit to open the door for him sneer at his homosexuality. What do they know about it? Labels – people love putting labels on each other. Then they feel safe. People tried to make me into a lesbian. I laughed. No sex is wrong if there’s love in it.” – Marilyn to Journalist W.J. Weatherby on friend and co-star Montgomery Clift in 1960 recorded in Conversations With Marilyn.
“I think you’ve got to love people, all kinds of people, to be able to have an opinion about them that’s worth anything. The whole idea of judging people is crazy. We do what we have to do, and we pay for it. We’re no better than we have to be. We can try to be better, and part of trying is not to condemn other people.” – Marilyn to Journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960 recorded in Conversations With Marilyn.
- Marilyn knew what worked and what didn’t in the makeup and fashion department. She had many beauty techniques, doing things that made her stand out from the crowd.
- She was a feminist. Check out this book by Michelle Morgan [x]
- Marilyn truly cared about her career and wanted to do well at it. She wouldn’t give up just because there were those who doubted her ability or talent.
- She always believed in being true to herself.
“I believe in myself, even my most delicate, intangible feelings.” – from a handwritten note.
- She wasn’t ashamed of her insecurities or anxiety. In fact, she wanted to overcome them and better herself.
- Marilyn appreciated and loved her fans.
“And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.” – Marilyn to Richard Meryman, 1962.
- Material possessions weren’t important to her. Marilyn didn’t own lavish gowns (they were often borrowed from the studio and worn on several occasions) or jewels or large homes. She was very modest in her decorating and lifestyle. In fact, when she died she had only a few thousand dollars, not much for the world’s largest movie star.
- She was a great comedy actress as well as a dramatic actress.
“She was an absolute genius as a comedic actress, with an extraordinary sense for comedic dialogue. It was a God-given gift. Believe me, in the last fifteen years there were ten projects that came to me, and I’d start working on them and I’d think, ‘It’s not going to work, it needs Marilyn Monroe.’ Nobody else is in that orbit; everyone else is earthbound by comparison.” – Billy Wilder
- Marilyn didn’t sleep her way to fame (if she had she would’ve made more money, a lot faster). She spent time with men who would be able to further her career via networking, and she spent time with them so she would be fed as she had no money to live on. This is why she posed nude in 1949, so she could get her car to travel to work (the shoot had the photographer’s wife present).
“I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.” – Marilyn in My Story
- She was witty! This is one of my favourite moments [x]
- Marilyn wasn’t afraid to dress down or go without makeup in public. She was very down to earth and not as vain as some make-out.
- Her laugh was sweet, her smile radiant and her heart warm.
- She believed in respecting others.
“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures.” – Marilyn to George Barris, 1962.
- Marilyn knew exactly how to get the attention of those around her. She studied body language and movement and was able to switch it on as soon as she had to become the Marilyn Monroe that people expected to see.
- She wanted to be surrounded by intellectuals, not Hollywood stars. Her friends and associates were acting coach Lee Strasberg, poet Carl Sandburg, husband and playwright Arthur Miller and author Truman Capote.
Marilyn was more than just an image, she was a person. A human being who worked hard and suffered for her art. Why do you love Marilyn?