Half A Century Without Marilyn

“If you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

I have an appreciation for Marilyn Monroe as a quote lover, a vintage girl and as someone who is mentally ill. For me she’ll always be an inherently tragic figure, an example of a woman pushed so far into herself that she couldn’t find her way back.

People may dispute this, but hey- it’s only my opinion.

As a vintage enthusiast I don’t know Marilyn particularly well- I’m more well acquainted with the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Anne Shelton (40s girl all the way…) but I do appreciate her for making trousers sexy (even though I still hate them) and for showing us that dressing to suit your shape is far more attractive than dressing to suit fashion.

As a mentally ill actress I have a possibly unhealthy fascination with the troubled stars of yesteryear- and something about Marilyn’s isolation, her fluctuating identity and obsession with therapy strikes a chord with me.

I see her a little like the Titanic, a beautiful disaster waiting to happen- it seems to me that she spent a great deal of time unhappy, and that’s what makes me sad most of all, the idea that anyone has to spend so much time being unhappy is just horrible. As someone with depression this is what really strikes me- life’s not worth living if you can’t be happy- so maybe her death was a relief in that sense.

No-one really knows whether what happened was an accident or not, and to be honest at this stage in time I don’t think it matters.

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous people in the world ever– she went from nothing to everything in a relatively short space of time and has inspired countless people to do the same. She embodied glamour and sexuality and was an example of how an attractive woman can take control over the men around her- intentionally or not.

Of course she was and is also the leading example of the pitfalls that can come with fame and beauty.

Half a century on have we learnt any lessons from Marilyn Monroe? Well the short answer seems to be no, celebrity culture has boomed and so have rates of depression- as a society we’re becoming more and more plagued by mental ill-health.

However I do think we can take something from Marilyn- and that’s her body confidence. Rates of eating disorders are only growing, especially amongst teenage girls, and I think that by familiarising ourselves with a wide variety of body shapes we can take a step towards tackling this.

But all I really wanted to say tonight was: cheers Marilyn for being amazing and sparky and glamorous, I hope that wherever you are you’re happy.

“A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe and leaves before she is left.”


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