Marilyn vs. Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn had developed the character of Marilyn Monroe.  Her sweet voice, naive/innocent behavior,  her perfectly designed little wiggle when she walked and the oozing sex appeal were all an affectation that she crafted.  This turned out to be a “lethal” combination.  She was able to win anyone and everyone over.  She was endearing and sexy at the same time.  Women were not intimidated by her because they were drawn in by her sweetness, and men were easily seduced by her flirtatious charm and sexy curves.

If you watch old interviews of her, you can see her carefully constructing each response in her head before she spoke.  She always have the most witty and thoughtful replies.  There was a very smart girl behind those doe eyes.

Here is an interview of Marilyn and Arthur Miller before their trip to England.  They held a press conference because they had been in a car accident.  They wanted to make sure the press got the facts straight.  In this interview, you get to see Marilyn go in and out of character.  We get to see glimpses of her “Marilyn Monroe” mask… on and off.

She was able to turn it on.  There was a saying that Marilyn could walk along 57th street and not be noticed, but she could then push a magic button to become MARILYN MONROE and madness would ensue.

When she was Marilyn Monroe, she could cast a spell over a whole room.  One party goer at event said: ‘Marilyn walked in and everything stopped, everyone stopped. It was magical, really. I’ve never seen anyone stop a room like that.”

She struggled with her reality, which was this…

 “All people ever see is Marilyn Monroe.  As soon as they realize I am not her, they run.”

This was who she was and her desire…

“I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent. ” 

Marilyn was very keen to be taken seriously as a thinker and loved learning… I would guess that not many people knew that about her. One of my favorite examples of Marilyn vs. Marilyn Monroe comes in the form of two pictures.  I came across an interview with a photographer that worked with Marilyn on a couple occasions. The photographer, Eve Arnold, said, “I asked her what she was reading when I went to pick her up. She she kept Ulysses in her car and had been reading it for a long time. She said she loved the sound of it and would read it aloud to herself to try to make sense of it. When we stopped at a local playground to photograph she got out the book and started to read while I loaded the film. So, of course, I photographed her.”

Here was Marilyn being Marilyn before the photo shoot started…



I then searched for photographs from the actual photo shoot.  Here is the photograph that I found..

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Mask 

*Photo Credit 1, 2*

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