Had she not died at the tragic age of 36, Marilyn Monroe would be 90 years old today. The Retro Set pays tribute to the icon with a look back at Marilyn Monroe … in her own words.
Marilyn Monroe was and always will be the definitive Hollywood legend. That legend, marred and twisted beyond recognition, belied the human being beneath it all: an envelope-pushing businesswoman, a hell of a good actress, a socially progressive forward-thinker, and an emotionally troubled, tragic figure whose inner demons were often as vicious as those that occupied the world around her.
Endless volumes have been penned and countless movies have been made about Monroe. (This past weekend, Lifetime aired a two-part miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, which, to it’s credit, was actually pretty decent.) But for the most part, her troubled life has been picked at and analyzed, her death speculated on and sensationalized, her beauty idealized and romanticized—her dignity stripped, reducing her to a mere caricature. This has led to a profound marginalization of the woman herself into a projected idea of her that our star-worshiping culture has created.
Even the more educated movie fans among us might shrug their shoulders at the notion of watching a Marilyn Monroe film having inadvertently bought into the ‘a woman that beautiful couldn’t possibly have talent’ idea, making assumptions that her worth as an actress doesn’t extend any further than her measurements. After all, those are the only assets she had going for her, right? Or, perhaps her ubiquitous image is reason in itself for many to shrug her off as an empty Hollywood creation.
Well, pardon me, but that’s not only bullshit it’s also shockingly ignorant and very sad. Even in death, the woman who tried so hard to be known as an actual actress, is remembered primarily for what was most profitable to mass consumerism: sex.
This being the case, The Retro Set has resolved not to rehash her history, not to throw around salacious gossip and rumors, not to fawn over her exceptional beauty, but rather do something that, even now, many just don’t seem to be interested in doing: let Marilyn speak for herself.
This birthday tribute may be humble, but it’s sincere in its admiration of a talented, deeply intelligent lady. Enjoy the following gallery and quotes … hopefully they’ll provide you with a glimpse inside her beautiful, troubled soul.
Wow. Excellent piece on Marilyn Monroe, with whom I have have always been fascinated. Her story pains my heart, like she was caught in a whirlpool with no one to throw her a rope. She was born the same year as my Mom. We’ve talked of her a lot. Rest in Peace, Marilyn.
Thanks, Christine! I think that is a perfect way of putting it: “caught in a whirlpool with no one to throw her a rope.”