I adore Marilyn Monroe. I consider her one of the most beautiful women in visually recorded history. She’s the #1 most famous person named Marilyn, just ahead of Marilyn Manson – who is no where close to being as attractive of a woman. She was the sexual desire of one of the greatest baseball players of all time, one of the most popular presidents of all time, and the president’s brother. If I had a big enough wall, I’d buy one of those 18 by 20 inch fake paintings of her beautiful face, construct an altar in front of it, and start each day staring at her beauty mark.
Yet as much as I worship the glorious perfection of Norma Jeane Mortenson, I dread seeing her name online. She has become an overused and incorrect cliche in the “debate” of body image (quotes denote sarcastic condemnation of such a word describing the insipid mewing of the masses on the topic). You cannot even broach the topics of the unrealistic bodies of female models, the beauty of plus-sized women, or positive self-image (again, for women) without the mighty Name-Dropper Debater pulling Marilyn’s name out of their bag o’ tricks like a rabbit from an old magician’s hat. Gleefully, she spouts off on Marilyn Monroe being a size 12 (a 16 in Britain) as if the discussion is over and dead upon such a fact being revealed.
So Marilyn is the new Hitler. She is the Adolf of body-image debates, which I suppose makes Hitler the Monroe of political debates. One cannot join a political discussion online without running into a nut-job who equates an opposing viewpoint to Hitler’s reign of terror. According to “tubesockluvr69,” there is a concentration camp somewhere in Nebraska where thousands of interior designers and WNBA fans are killed every day because conservative Republican Senator Suchundsuch wants to keep his religion’s definition of marriage. And according to “momwishesmedead1975,” the evil liberal media is Barack Hitler Obama’s special propaganda machine intent on making every Christian American worship Gumby’s horse, Pokey.
Internet debate, thy motto is “Most extreme hyperbole wins.”
Now it is happening to poor Marilyn Monroe, and it’s just as inaccurate. Elizabeth Hurley once said, “I’d kill myself if I was as fat as Marilyn Monroe.” Perhaps Ms. Hurley isn’t aware that her listed weight on the Internet of 125 pounds IS as fat as Ms. Monroe, whose weight was listed as 118 pounds by the studio (and it possibly fluctuated up to about 125 pounds). I eagerly await hearing of Elizabeth’s suicide… or apology to the memory of beautiful Marilyn. Marilyn’s measurements (from her dressmaker, and easily found online) were 35-22-35, and she was 5 feet 5 inches tall. Ms. Hurley’s measurements are 34-24-34, and she is 5 feet 7 inches. I’m fairly certain that Ms. Hurley doesn’t fit into a size 12 dress, so neither would Marilyn. Marilyn’s famous white dress from “Seven Year Itch” was sold at auction and wouldn’t even fit on a size 2 mannequin!
Now I’m on the side of wanting to see more realistic models. I would love seeing a size 20 model strutting her stuff with confidence down a Victoria’s Secret runway. In fact, I tend to prefer larger sized women in my personal romantic endeavors. Medically speaking, I know it’s possible for a large size woman to be “healthy” and for a size nothing woman to be “unhealthy.” I’m going to continue advocating this side of the body image debate with knowledge and facts, not misleading myths about a Hollywood icon. I ask the rest of you to do the same with this pledge…
“Marilyn Monroe is NOT Hitler, and we shall not use her as such in body image discussions.”
Her true fans thank you in advance.