Google+ Badge

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Marilyn Monroe -- No One Compares

20 year-old Norma Jeane Mortensen became the model and actress Marilyn Monroe in 1946 and, in turn, ascended to the crown of Queen of Female Sex Symbols, a position she has never relinquished.

What made Marilyn the sexually attractive icon she became? She had the complete package of platinum curls, hot red lips, fatal shape (bust 37 in., hips 37 in., waist 24 in.), and voice like a seductive moan. Of course, all of these physical features helped create her legendary status; however, Marilyn Monroe was more than a fleshy phenomenon. 

And, for nearly 70 years now, Monroe has remarkably remained the most famous sex symbol who ever assumed the title -- more than Raquel Welch in the '60s, more than Farrah Fawcett in the '70s, more than Madonna in the '80s, and more than recent contenders such as Sharon Stone, Angelina Jole, Halle Berry, and Megan Fox.

Just why does Marilyn remain the girl with the most appeal?

Monroe once said, “Sex is a part of nature.  I go along with nature.” Other starlets were more physically beautiful than she was, but, in her, people saw and recognized a luminous quality – a combination of wistfulness, radiance, yearning -- it set her apart and made everyone wish to be a part of it, to share in the childish naïveté which was so shy and yet so vibrant. Marilyn was unabashedly sexy, tortured, and she was the ultimate damsel in distress, a seemingly vulnerable princess.

Famous American writer Carl Sandburg put Monroe's special appeal this way: "She was not the usual movie idol. There was something democratic about her. She was the type who would join in and wash up the supper dishes even if you didn’t ask her." Yes, folks, even old Carl had the hots for sharing a meal with Marilyn.

George Master, Monroe's personal makeup artist believed she had the most beautiful mouth ever. He said, "No one has ever been able to convey so much sex appeal with just one feature." Can you imagine a man who could say he was fortunate enough to share a kiss with her? Perhaps he melted into an indiscernible lump at her feet.

Yet, Masters disputed Monroe's unsurpassed beauty. In fact, he is quoted with this rather unkind remark about Monroe:

"She was among the least ‘naturally’ sexy or beautiful women I’ve ever worked on. Ann-Margret, Jennifer Jones, Cyd Charisse, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, without make-up-I could name dozens who are more naturally sexy and beautiful than Marilyn Monroe was."

According to the The Daily Telegraph, Monroe applied layers of Vaseline, hormone cream and Erno Laszlo Active pHelityl Cream or Nivea to give her a glow under studio lights. "I'm personally opposed to a deep tan because I like to feel blonde all over," she famously said.

"She had the heaviest peach fuzz beard of any actress in Hollywood," Monroe expert Gene London said. London claimed the downy blonde hair grew on Marilyn's face as a result of the hormone cream. He stated. "They [studio chiefs] wanted to remove the facial hair, but Marilyn absolutely refused. She said that when the light hit the fuzz it caused her face to have a soft glow, so they didn't have to photograph her through special lenses, lace or Vaseline the way they did with so many stars."

(Lisa Niven. "Marilyn's Secrets." Vogue. March 15, 2012)

So, how did this "normal" woman create a stir that quickened every male heart in the 1950s and early 1960s? Perhaps it was her amazing alter-ego that sprang from her certain common nature. American film producer, director, and screenwriter Lawrence Schiller claimed, "She comes out of the dressing room Norma Jeane. When she stepped in front of the camera, she was Marilyn."

She once said, “sex is a part of nature.  I go along with nature.”  She was unabashedly sexy, tortured, and the ultimate damsel in distress. - See more at:
Her publicist Roy Craft once said, "She had such magnetism that if 15 men were in a room with her, each man would be convinced he was the one she’d be waiting for after the others left." Her magnetism was apparent in her "insufferably suggestive" Marilyn moves and gestures according to Henry Hathaway, film director and producer. Monroe was evidently a master of allure and seduction.

Marilyn Monroe made herself "more" as she consciously realized and accentuated the desires most appealing to the male species. In short, Monroe "delivered the goods" with a sensible, provocative tease irresistible to men. According to Milton Shulman, Canadian author and film critic, "Dietrich made sex remote, Garbo made it mysterious, Crawford made it agonizing, but Monroe makes it amusing. Whenever a man thinks of Marilyn, he smiles at his own thoughts." 

"Smiling At His Own Thoughts"

Believe me, every man had "thoughts" about Marilyn Monroe. She was a temptress that appeared within reach. Her image portrayed a charmer who was both innocent and faithful. She appeared to be attainable exotic fruit, and males craved every taste and image of the luscious girl.  

So, for all of those nonbelievers who say Monroe did not have the sexiest body or the most beautiful face, the points are moot. Her mesmeric actions and her charismatic presence made her the greatest female sex symbol of all. Worldwide she still claims the fame of Sex Goddess Number One.

Even the striking, gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor admitted, "She seemed to have a kind of unconscious glow about her physical self that was innocent, like a child. When she posed nude, it was ‘Gee, I am kind of, you know, sort of dishy,’ like she enjoyed it without being egotistical."

And, if you're looking for the paragon of sweet, classic style, be sure to view beautiful Audrey Hepburn. But, for unadulterated, "come and get me" sex appeal, look to Marilyn. She managed to be so hot, yet she also seemed free from deceit while being so.

What was real and what was processed? Was the sex symbol half Norma Jeane and half Hollywood Marilyn? It doesn't matter. The key to understanding Monroe is the word symbol. A symbol stands for something else by reason of relationship. Monroe was the vehicle that defined the relationship, and that relationship was undoubtedly sexual by both its nature and its suggestion. Never was it ugly, stick-it-in-your-face pornographic -- bewitching perhaps, certainly frolicsome, but not crude.

Her life ended much too soon. Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at age 36. Upon hearing of her passing, many a well-intentioned distant man thought that if he could have known her, she would have been all right. Thus began Monroe's reign as a martyr for love, so sweet and yet so openly sensual that her end on a wicked, unforgiving planet was inescapable.

Monroe once said, "I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." And, as silly as this may sound to some, most of us men bought it hook, line, and makeup. You see, we all thought we could love Marilyn, and, somehow, we did.

Marilyn went from actress to icon to licensed brand name; only Elvis and James Dean have rivaled her in market share. The sex symbol stands, now ageless in her young demise, and shows no sign of having a rival. Monroe quipped, “A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left.” It's too bad whatever took Marilyn Monroe from us, took her before she had the chance to escape and beguile us for many more days.

Enjoy the many photos. Each gives insight into the enduring legacy.

Post a Comment