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The myth of Marilyn Monroe: how her ‘sex bomb’ image buries the truth

The myth of Marilyn Monroe: how her ‘sex bomb’ image buries the truth

It goes without saying that Marilyn Monroe was the subject of the photograph and the person who once donned the outfit to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. The most well-known of Andy Warhol's pop art pieces is the brilliantly colored screen-print of her. When criticized for wearing a deceased woman's attire, Kim Kardashian, whose stunt it was to wear the Monroe outfit at the Met, oddly insisted that she had "so much respect" for her.

In contrast to the cheesy "sex bomb" stereotype that dominates current iconography, Monroe achieved fame outside of Hollywood and in ways that were substantially different from how she is remembered now. She started jogging 20 years before it became fashionable to work out.

Monroe's dramatic influence on global culture—only Diana, Princess of Wales, equals her grip on the public imagination—does not, however, allow for subtlety 60 years after her passing. From Istanbul to Penang, Cannes to Vancouver, there is a ton of street art featuring the actress as a sexy sexpot. It costs £42 to purchase a silk Monroe hair scrunchie that honors "[her] honesty, self-acceptance, and self-confidence." For about £13,000, you can get a "lifesize hyper-realistic silicone figure statue."

Monroe is still a valuable asset that can be changed in a positive way. For £660, you can get the Montblanc Marilyn Monroe Special Edition Pearl ballpoint pen. A Marilyn Monroe lamp with her skirt billowing in the breeze costs only £148. Monroe's likeness may be seen on everything from ties to purses to cooking books to coffee cups all around the world. Numerous websites and social media pages, including Marilyn Remembered, Our Marilyn, Immortal Marilyn, and the Irish Marilyn Monroe Fan Group, are dedicated to her.

In 1985, I attempted to go through the maze of facts about the celebrity and produce a biography of her that came close to revealing the truth about her life and contentious passing. Since its release, interest in all things Monroe, particularly the seedier side of his life, has increased.

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