This is something we hear a lot of. Anytime someone who is talking about size issues or the perception of beauty or how curves look good on curves, they bring up Marilyn Monroe. “Marilyn Monroe,” They say, looking at you levelly as you picture the be-white-dressed, curvacious, smiling sex symbol of the 50s and 60s, “Was a size 14” And then they let that sink in.
But here’s the thing- Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, but she was a size 14 in the 50s. A little-known fact is that clothing sizes are altered so that they better represent the average weight and measurements of the population. Even if you took a size eight from the seventies it would be different to a size eight today.
Here are Marilyn Monroe’s measurements:
Height: 5 feet, 5½ inches
Weight: 118-140 pounds (Hollywood studios listed her between 115-120 lbs.)
Bust: 35-37 inches
Waist: 22-23 inches
Hips: 35-36 inches
Bra size: 36D
In fact, many of Marilyn Monroe’s clothes, especially from the earlier years, were around a size 6 or 8 in today’s terms and even at her largest she was only around a ten or a twelve, probably looking a bit like this:
And it is obvious that she is no where near a 14 or 16 as is often stated. Additionally it is speculated that she was pregnant here.
So why is this important? Isn’t it good to have a role model who is beautiful whilst not being stick thin? Well, yes, it is but Marilyn Monroe is not that role model. She was curvy, that’s undeniable but throughout most of her career she was also quite slender and it’s important to acknowledge this. So next time you hear someone telling you this well-loved fact, take it with a pinch of salt.
However, she was beautiful and she was brave and bold and brilliant and she really has some wonderful quotes. Elizabeth Hurley (who said about MM: “If I was that fat, I’d kill myself”) is a fool.
Additional Fun facts!
Marilyn Monroe was not a real blonde- she actually had dark brown hair that she bleached after hearing that models with lighter hair were better received.
When the people who owned Marilyn’s house after she died attempted to replace the roof, they found an eavesdropping and telephone tapping system implemented that was very similar to the ones used by the FBI
Marilyn Monroe was originally called Norma Jeane Mortensen
Monroe spent a lot of her childhood in various Foster Homes and Orphanages and her Mum ended up in a Mental Institution.
In the 20 years after her Death, Marilyn Monroe’s second husband DiMaggio put fresh roses by her grave three times a week.
She had two miscarriages because she had the very serious and extremely painful condition, endometriosis.
She didn’t even like the name Marilyn, it was chosen for her by Ben Lyon who originally wanted to call her “Carol Lind”.
“Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.”
“In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”
“People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn’t see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.”
“Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die, young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know yourself…”
Marilyn Monroe died at the age of 36 when she committed suicide with an overdose of Barbiturate.