If you’ve met me for a split second or spent even a couple minutes perusing this blog, then you know I have a more-than-mild obsession with Marilyn Monroe. This infatuation began in high school when I was a curvy girl who hadn’t quite grown into her woman’s figure. In an attempt to accept myself and feel more comfortable in my own skin, I began researching vintage fashion and old-Hollywood actresses; and, slowly but surely, all the magazine clippings of Kate Moss on my wall began being replaced by photos of Marilyn, the queen of curves and coy smiles. I immersed myself in her movies and biographies, and even read numerous conspiracy-theory books about her death, all secretly with the hope that if I surrounded myself with images of this hourglass-rocking woman who was so undeniably sexy and beautiful, I would eventually start viewing myself that way… As a knockout and a powerhouse of femininity that all the mean girls who called me “chubby,” “fat,” or a “heifer” simply couldn’t compete with. I’m not saying I ever quite succeeded at seeing myself solely in this bodacious, positive light, but Marilyn got me close.
While I actually do think these images of Marilyn’s beauty did wonders for my self-confidence, I believe it’s a certain pathos behind her poise that has kept me enthralled by her for all these years. Even back as a teen, it was this contemplative image of her looking out over New York City that captivated me the most… She’s gazing down at the world lost in thought, looking a little sorrowful, and — in that sense — part of what makes this photo so beautiful is a thoughtfulness that goes much deeper than her bosom and cinched waist.
As I ponder this way Marilyn has helped challenge my ideas of what it means to be female, sexy, and spectacular, I’m inspired to more openly celebrate the less conventional aspects of famously beautiful women as well as the unconventional beauty of less-than-famous women. In fact, I think I’ll start a new column. Let’s call it Monday Muses and see where this takes us.
Photo via Pinterest.