June 1st marked what would have been the 88th birthday of Marilyn Monroe.
It’s amazing what power those two words still have, even half a century after her death. We all know of Marilyn Monroe, even if some of us weren’t even born in her lifetime.
From her doomed marriage to playwright Arthur Miller to her infamous alleged affair with President John F. Kennedy. From her iconic performance in that scene in Some Like It Hot with that dress being lifted up with a blast from the subway vent to her eventual overdose and untimely death, Marilyn Monroe was a chaotic whirlwind that wreaked havoc wherever she went, and she was utterly fabulous.
At the height of her fame in the 1950s, every man wanted to have her and every woman in the wanted to be her. She appeared to have the world at her feet and everything she could ever want, but unfortunately her excessive fame didn’t bring her happiness.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926 to a mother with a history of mental illness, Monroe spent most of her early years in foster homes as her unstable mother wasn’t able to care for her.
She frequently suffered attempts of sexual abuse and was pushed into her first marriage to her boyfriend at the age of 16 after her foster parents had tired of her. So it’s no wonder that Monroe was just as famous for her massive tantrums and mood swings as she was for her sex appeal and rendition of Happy Birthday Mr President.
Many people dismiss Monroe as simply a ‘dumb blonde’ whose looks were her only talent. But this simply isn’t true.
Marilyn Monroe was a commercial item to be sold to the public, and she knew it. She knew how to captivate every person in a room, and how to make her public adore her. She didn’t just know how to play the game, she actually invented it.
Marilyn Monroe once said ‘women who seek to be equal with men, lack ambition.’
And that is why over fifty years after her death, she is still a role model for women everywhere.