Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Norma Jeane

   Sweet Norma Jeane Baker (Marilyn Monroe) is more than a sex symbol and IS NOT "a dumb blond". Behind her alluring appeal was a lonely girl yearning to be loved. She was the love child of a man who, even when she became famous, refused to have anything to do with her. He left when he found out she was going to be born.
   Her mother loved her and she tried her best as Norma later said. Her mother had nervous breakdowns and became institutionalized on the account of her daughter's father leaving.
Norma Jeane was put under the care of her mother's best friend until her mother's best friend got married and put her into an orphanage. Her guardian felt bad for putting her into an orphanage and sent her to live with this guardian's aunt. This aunt became an aunt to Norma and also a loving and inspiring person to her.
    As legal guardian, the best friend of Norma's mother, married her off at 16 to get rid of her. Norma Jeane was scared. She was very young and never thought about marriage. This marriage only lasted a few years (She also had two more marriages in the coming years that were short. One of which was to Joe DiMaggio, who was often jealous of how much her beauty was admired). Her husband didn't want her to be a model or an actress. She divorced him to pursue her dreams.
     Soon after this divorce came her career in modeling. Her picture on the cover a magazine was noticed and the word of her picture got to a talent agent which launched her acting career. Through 60 second appearances (even one of just her back) and lots of waiting and grooming to become an actress, she got her big break as the lead role in the Marx Brothers film, Love Happy.
     Over the course of her short life, she loved acting. She was eager to please and didn't want to let anybody down. She believed her fans really knew her and that she wouldn't have been popular without them.
  Despite all this love from her fans, she wanted to have a husband and a child and she hated living alone. She wanted also to be taken seriously. She was tired of playing the same dumb/ sexy character. In her last interview she begged the reporter to close it with her saying, "What I really want to say. That what the world needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers....Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe."...
The media was what created her as a sex symbol. They changed her hair and changed her name. The famous scene of her in her sleeveless white dress being billowed up was innocent and fun at first, but ended up being used as shallow entertainment for the men watching it and recording it. She disapproved of the shallow extra shots and hoped they wouldn't end up at a "private party" or in the movie for a whole family to see.
   Our lovely Norma Jean Baker died on August, 4th 1962 from an over dose of pills. The popular theory is that it was suicide. One particular man that I know of, one of her many photographers, George Barris, thinks she was murdered. He couldn't believe that she killed herself because she was happy with where she was in life and she was excited to finish the book she was making with him about her. Every time you happen to think of Marilyn, give her some lovin' and think of her seriously as a person and not a thing. That's what she wanted.

The sources I used was the book Marilyn by George Barris and the essay "marilyn monroe" by Gloria Steinem from the book called Legends by Anjelica Huston. The picture above was taken by George Barris.

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