True or False: 7 Misconceptions About Marilyn Monroe
Who was Marilyn Monroe? Marilyn Monroe’s real name, the one she bore at birth, was Norma Jean Mortenson and was later baptized as Norma Jean Baker. This iconic starlet began her life on 1 June 1926 in Los Angeles and left this earth in 1962 at the young age of 36 – in the prime of her life. She succumbed to a drug overdose, something that plagued her throughout her short life.
As a child, Monroe grew up in a fatherless home without even an inkling as to who her father may be. Her mother was a troubled soul who developed psychiatric problems and eventually had to be institutionalized. Although she did have a half-sister, they were never on close terms.
Marilyn would later reveal her earliest childhood memory was of her mother trying to smother her. This sets the tone for the troubled life this star would endure early on and the depression that would follow her around like a shadow of doom throughout. As a young child Monroe was passed from foster home to foster home where she fell victim to sexual assault on more than one occasion.
Her escape from the life she knew came at 16 when she met and married Jimmy Dougherty in 1942. Her merchant marine husband was sent to serve in the South Pacific a short while later, leaving Monroe at home working her daily job in the ammunitions factory in Van Nuys. This is where her break was made. She was discovered by a photographer and by the time her husband returned she had built a lucrative career as a model and changed her name.
Norma Jean was now Marilyn Monroe.
The Proverbial Dumb Blonde? I Think Not
Marilyn was always perceived as nothing more than a gorgeous face and a sexy, curvaceous body. The transition to model then actress saw her change her appearance from the proverbial girl next door with the mousy brown hair to the bleached blonde bombshell that we all know.
Is it perhaps this outer appearance that led people to instantly assume she was, as the saying goes, a typical dumb blonde? The truth is in fact the complete opposite. With an IQ of 169, Marilyn was what we in the modern day would call a genius. She simply used her intelligence to figure out what she needed to do to get where she wanted.
Behind the Smile
Marilyn was far from the confident, overt, happy individual she was portrayed as. Behind that gorgeous smile hid a dark, depressed soul; and no wonder given the family history of mental illness, living life from loveless home to loveless home, enduring sexual assault at a young age and her string of short-lived marriages. The misconception that her famous smile was a true reflection of the inner-Marilyn is one that is largely portrayed.
Pop Culture and Society Have Turned Her Into Something She Wasn’t
Society and pop culture have transformed Marilyn Monroe into not only a sex symbol but also a role model for women who want what she had; confidence, a care-free attitude and men falling at her feet.
The physical Marilyn is perceived by the world as something she wasn’t at all. Portrayed as a curvaceous fuller figured, sexy woman in photos and pictures, this was not the case. In modern day sizing she would be a size 4 or 6 which is far from fuller in figure. She had the perfect figure for the era in which she lived and while the pictures and portrayals may be meant for a good cause, they are false.
Marilyn had to adjust to what the world viewed as feminine beauty and she did it so well that she became the ideal that all women sought after. Marilyn Monroe tattoos proudly displayed on women of all races is a tribute to that. Women want to be like her and men simply want her. But it’s the mythical Marilyn they want, not the petite woman she was.
Sex Kitten or a Regular Girl
Marilyn didn’t perceive herself as sexy at all and definitely didn’t ooze the sex appeal she appeared to in the public eye.
Death – Conspiracy or Tragedy
Many rumors have done the rounds as to the circumstances surrounding her death. She was involved with some high powered people and it is often thought they were the cause of her untimely demise. This is far from the truth. Marilyn suffered severe depression which ran in her family history. The fact that she died of an overdose of pills is no surprise to those who really knew her.
Marilyn appeared to be the epitome of confidence and many women dreamed of having an attitude and a persona like hers. She was however not so. She was actually an insecure, fragile person who questioned her every action on a daily basis.
Difficult to Work With
She suffered severe stage fright and some days just could not bear to face the stress of it all. She often came across as difficult and uncooperative but it simply wasn’t the truth.
There is so much about Marilyn Monroe that has been a creation of society. We have turned a beautiful, vivacious, iconic figure into a picture of perfection with the hourglass figure, gorgeous face, those infamous red lips and quirky comments (often not even hers).
Marilyn is remembered for how she was portrayed and not for what she was. Of this I don’t think she would be proud. She is remembered for her beauty but wanted nothing more than to succeed as an actress. She was treated as an object her entire life instead of a person with feelings and thoughts and this saddened her deeply. Isn’t it ironic that in death she is remembered for the same.
Read the ‘Last Days of Marilyn Monroe’ by Donald H. Wolfe on Geeker and find out what this starlet was really all about. Experience her pain, feel her loneliness and then decide for yourself whether a picture really speaks a thousand words.