Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Your love is a lie: Falling out of love with Marilyn

I've been a bit obsessed by Marilyn Monroe for my entire adult life. Lots of my love for for this bombshell is based on a series of lies, often called poetic licence. Or something like that. Here's my story.

One Sunday night I happened to catch most of the telemovie Blonde. Blonde captured me in its telling of a sad and used young woman who grew up to be sold out by pretty much everyone she ever cared about. I felt like I could relate to Marilyn with her rather useless best friend and being taken for rides by men who appeared to love her and actually didn't. Blonde also makes a lot of reference to Marilyn's desperation to be a mother.

As awesome as Blonde was, it is actually a fictional movie based on some facts of Marilyn's life. Blonde had its beginnings as a novel by Joyce Carol Oates and was never intended to be biographic piece of literature. The beginning of the movie states this fact, but of course I missed the start and didn't realise. In my experience, books on Marilyn's life are hard to come by, especially when compared to other pop icons - the Beatles should probably have their own section in bookstores for example - and the internet is notorious for inaccuracy about Marilyn.

For a very long time, this was my quote I used everywhere from my Facebook profile to helping my poor mind process life and/or love going wrong:

Never one to shirk from my love of Marilyn, people would remind me "Oh, she was addicted to drugs, probably not be best role model to have." Wrong wrong wrong. People make mistakes, even my Marilyn. But, what I didn't realise is that quote, which I had loved for ten years was also a lie. As much of a lie as this one:

This brilliant "quote" comes from a nice little collection you can find here.
Of course, my personal favourite misquote opens itself up for a lot of criticism, and it seems that I am probably in the wrong with this too. Basically, this quote says for some women that it is okay to be the very worst person possible. Or, as I like to say "it's not classy for a woman to refer to themselves as a bitch just because they want to seem tough". This quote is probably the passive aggressive version of self-bitch-naming. I am quite glad Marilyn never did say this now. If you want to read more of Marilyn's most misquotes quotes, check out Janie's Take on Marilyn.

The last thing I have always loved about Marilyn is her supposed body measurements. I have been told she was a size 12 (or 14), that she would not be accepted as a sex symbol now due to her size  and that curves rock.

Okay, have you ever looked at an actual picture of Marilyn? She was not a every-day-icecream-eating woman like myself. Yes, she had that perfect body shape, and in today's world she might find herself on magazine covers for her amazing weight loss/gain/loss again. Just because Marilyn rocks the curves, doesn't mean she makes it okay to be overweight. Look at her, no one would, could or should be questioning whether she is at a healthy body weight. I have found a long list of possible measurements for Marilyn, but at the end of the day we don't really know, and it probably isn't that important.

My love is a lie, but I have decided to get real on my Marilyn interest. No more internetz for me, I'm sticking to books and then deciding what could be true. At the end of it all, we won't ever know much more than what we do now about her life and the issues surrounding her death. But from now on I won't be quoting her misquotes. Marilyn Monroe is better than that.