If there’s one Author to be excited about, upon hearing an announcement of an up and coming Marilyn book, it’s none other than Michelle Morgan. Michelle has been a true super fan since discovering the beautiful blonde on a postcard, whilst Holidaying in Devon in 1985. Since then, she has gone on to write a staggering six books devoted to my favourite lady, with her first being Marilyn’s Addresses, written over twenty years ago in 1995. Therefore, all I can say is – thank you Devon!
In the almost nine years since I first Discovered Marilyn, I’ve been incredibly lucky to not only find and appreciate Michelle as a wonderful writer – recommending her work to many Marilyn fans, but I’ve also been able to call her my friend! Not only have her books taught me so much about Marilyn the human and artist, she has always supported me by listening and offering me advice with her kind words – something which has always been greatly treasured.
I’ve been very fortunate to know about The Little Book of Marilyn for over a year and for one almost surreal reason why – Michelle kindly asked me if I wanted to be interviewed for inclusion in the book! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate for a moment to say yes and one month before publication, I’ve kindly received a complimentary copy of the book to share my thoughts with you all!
If you’ve read any of Michelle’s books then you’ll know you’re never disappointed and she always manages to blow even the highest expectations out of the water. Therefore, it’s no surprise to say that The Little Book of Marilyn, is of course, no different!
The book features a stunning glamour shot of Marilyn with a beautiful pink and orange Fleur-de-lis background, it’s flexibound format means it will always stay in beautiful condition and its travel size makes it easy to carry around with you and stay inspired by only the best! If the beautiful outer packaging wasn’t enough, the 224 pages are filled with many high quality pictures – quite a few rare ones too!
The contents include the following sections; ______________________________________________________________________________
Chapter 1: Her Story
Chapter 2: Inspiration
Chapter 3: Style
Chapter 4: Beauty
Chapter 5: Life Skills
Chapter 6: Personal Effects
Chapter 7: Walk With Marilyn
It’s no secret that there have been definitely hundreds, possibly thousands of books written on Marilyn since her passing, almost fifty seven years ago. A unique few, (Michelle’s most definitely are included) have been amazing, a fair amount have been pretty good and a large sum have been downright awful. However, none have had this fabulous concept and that is further reason for it to be a must have in any collection.
It’s full of details on Marilyn’s life and career, but includes many tutorials and lessons on how to be inspired by a Star that is so often misrepresented in society and the media. Michelle offers a true, genuine insight into the real Marilyn and stays clear of the ridiculous conspiracies and lies. She gives fans like myself, the chance to express just how truly inspiring Marilyn has been to so many even half a century after she left us. The guide like format means you can read it in any order you please or choose to focus on a particular section that is interesting to you.
Ironically enough, I feel the person that would benefit from reading this book the most is Marilyn herself, she was her biggest critic and often full of doubt and disbelief. Therefore, I feel if she could read and see the impact she has had on the millions of fans who love and appreciate her, she may have felt just a little less alone.
Lastly, on behalf of all Marilyn fans, I want to thank Michelle for writing such beautiful books about Hollywood’s Brightest Star and continuing to educate and preserve Marilyn’s very special memory. A big thank you to Running Press for publishing Michelle’s amazing work and for kindly gifting me this beautiful copy, I will truly treasure it!
The Little Book of Marilyn is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK at £11.34 and will be released on July 25th and is out in the USA on July 9th!
Today would be Marilyn’s 93rd Birthday, she has been in my life for almost a decade and I still find it so surreal to think that in theory, she should still be here. Sadly, we all know that is not the case and the reality is that Marilyn left the world over fifty five years ago. It’s sometimes hard to comprehend that Marilyn wasn’t just a Hollywood Star but a human being, just like you and me. However, today is not for dwelling, it is a very important day to millions of fans and myself, as the worlds Brightest Star is ultimately still shining half a century later!
To celebrate Marilyn’s big day, I usually spend it in the best way I know possible, having a Movie Marathon watching my favourite Actress. Unfortunately, so many people see Marilyn as just another silly Blonde Bombshell who didn’t have much talent and was basically playing herself on the screen. However, I can’t emphasize enough that the sweet, lovable, pretty face was so much more than what people perceive. As someone who has watched her films a countless number of times, I actually appreciate her comedic performances over her dramatic ones. This is because people tend to view dramas with more acclaim and respect and the Award Shows further prove this, when in fact comedies should not be overlooked.
In the wise words of Vivien Leigh – an Actress who yes, was more respected critically than Marilyn, but, ultimately was more appreciated more for her looks too,
“Comedy is much more difficult than tragedy – and a much better training, I think. It’s much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh.”
Marilyn was incredibly dedicated to her craft and spent numerous hours educating herself on the Performing Arts and trying to be the best she could possibly be. When you learn about Marilyn you realize how much she suffered mentally and the strength she must have found to deliver such beautiful performances. It hurts to think that she didn’t always feel like the bubbly Blonde Bombshell so many know and love her for, as no one more than Marilyn deserved to be appreciated and loved. She was such a perfectionist and would spend hours analyzing and being critical of her acting abilities and performance in each film.
“We not only want to be good, we have to be. You know, when they talk about nervousness, my teacher, Lee Strasberg, when I said to him, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’m a little nervous,” he said, “When you’re not, give up, because nervousness indicates sensitivity.” Also, a struggle with shyness is in every actor more than anyone can imagine. There is a censor inside us that says to what degree do we let go, like a child playing. I guess people think we just go out there, and you know, that’s all we do. Just do it. But it’s a real struggle. I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.”
– Marilyn to Journalist Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine, published on August 17th 1962.
Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to choose five of Marilyn’s films in which she believed she gave the best performances or received great critical acclaim, to recommend for others to watch. If there is any day that Marilyn should be celebrated (personally, I believe it’s all day every day) than it is on her Birthday.
Whilst looking through reviews of Marilyn’s films that were published during their original releases, it’s shocking to me to read the downright prejudice, sexism and ignorance surrounding her as an Actress. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in my belief Marilyn was the greatest Actress of all time as it seems that even then, 99% of people believed she was just playing herself. Therefore, in believing their own ignorance, critics could continue their lack of acclaim and respect for ultimately, an extremely talented woman.
• The Asphalt Jungle (1950)and The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Person to Person television appearance interview on April 8th 1955.
“Marilyn, what’s the best part you ever had in a movie?” – Edward R. Murrow
“Well one of the best parts I’ve ever had was, in The Asphalt Jungle, John Huston’s Picture and then, The Seven Year Itch, Billy Wilder’s Picture.” – Marilyn
“You think that’s going to be a big one too, don’t you? The Seven Year Itch.” – Edward R. Murrow
“I think it will be a very good Picture and I would like to continue making this type of Picture.” – Marilyn
Dallas Morning News Review by Harold Hefferman published on June 18th 1950.
“Virtually unbilled and unidentified in a current movie, Asphalt Jungle, Marilyn’s breathtaking appearance immediately piques fandom’s curiosity and imagination. Not since the brief introduction of another tempestuous blond, Shelley Winters, three years ago in A Double Life, has a newcomer stirred up so much interest.”
• Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
LIFE Magazine Interview with Journalist Richard Meryman published on August 17th 1962.
“I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell – she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn’t get a dressing room. Finally, I really got to this kind of level and I said, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” – Marilyn
The Los Angeles Times Review by Edwin Schallert on August 1st 1953.
“Miss Monroe sparkles much of the time just as the diamonds do. Her work is insidiously intriguing in this picture, and at the same time almost childlike in its utter lack of guile. Her portrayal demonstrates that much may be maneuvered in her instance in the future to humorous advantage. She discloses a surprising light comedy touch.”
Time Magazine Review on July 27th 1953.
“As Lorelei Lee, who believes that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Marilyn Monroe does the best job of her short career to date. [She] sings remarkably well, dances, or rather undulates all over, flutters the heaviest eyelids in show business and breathlessly delivers such lines of dialogue as, “Coupons – that’s almost like money,” as if she were in the throes of a grand passion.”
• Bus Stop (1956)
Speaking to reporters upon her arrival back in Hollywood to film Bus Stop, on February 25th 1956.
“Marilyn, are you happy to come back and do this Picture, are you pleased with the Bus- Picture Bus Stop?” – Reporter
“Oh yes, very much, I’m looking forward to working with Josh Logan, doing the Picture and it’s good to be back.” – Marilyn
“Was he in your selection as a Director?” – Reporter
“Twentieth Century Fox selected him and I have Director Approval and they asked if I would approve of him and definitely.” – Marilyn
“So you’re very happy, you think you’re going to make a very good Picture?” – Reporter
“I hope we do make a good picture, yes.” – Marilyn
The New York Times Review by Bosley Crowther published on September 1st 1956.
“HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in “Bus Stop.” She and the picture are swell!”
• Some Like It Hot (1959)
Variety Film Review published on February 24th 1959.
“To coin a phrase, Marilyn has never looked better. Her performance as “Sugar,” the fuzzy blonde who likes saxophone players “and men with glasses” has a deliciously naive quality. She’s a comedienne with that combination of sex appeal and timing that just can’t be beat.”
The New York Times Review by A. H. Weiler published on March 30th 1959.
“As the hand’s somewhat simple singer-ukulele player, Miss Monroe, whose figure simply cannot be overlooked, contributes more assets than the obvious ones to this madcap romp. As a pushover for gin and the tonic effect of saxophone players, she sings a couple of whispery old numbers (“Running Wild” and “I Wanna Be Loved by You”) and also proves to be the epitome of a dumb blonde and a talented comedienne.”
I hope however you choose to spend this day, you take a moment to think about Marilyn and in her own words, hold a good thought for her as if anyone deserved that, it was she.
“I Love Marilyn” by Sidney Skolsky published in Modern Screen Magazine in October 1953.
“Before the picture flashed on the screen, Marilyn whispered to me in that low, sexy voice that is natural with her: “Hold a good thought for me.” She always says that when embarking on an venture. She feels much better when you tell her you will.”
If you’re a fellow Vintage Girl or lover of Old Hollywood and 1950s Blonde Bombshells, then you’ll know all about the incredibly stunning, Ashlyn Coco. I’ve been following Ashlyn for a number of years now and she is without doubt, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen – if Marilyn and Jayne had a child together it would be her. Not only is she beyond gorgeous on the outside, but she has the purest heart and is such a kind soul, I feel very fortunate enough to know her. Therefore, I was simply over joyed when earlier this year she announced the release of her Brand, Ash Lash – a vintage aesthetic dream company, which sells all things retro style related, but most importantly as the title states – false eyelashes!
All the lashes are inspired by vintage decades and famous stars and they are 100% cruelty and vegan free, whilst being hand made individually to create a special, “3D” effect. Each pair of lashes costs $22, which is roughly £16 and if looked after, can be worn over 25 times – which is ultimately a huge bargain! Not only are you paying for possibly the most beautiful falsies made, you’re also purchasing the most intricately produced dream packaging. These aren’t a one time wear item, this is something you will treasure and they should take pride of place on your dressing room table.
With Ashlyn knowing how much I adore Marilyn, she kindly chose this pair for me to have – something I will always be forever grateful for! The Marilyn lashes are of course, inspired by the ultimate Star and exude quintessential Old Hollywood glamour, creating the perfect bedroom eyes she was so famously known for. This product is truly a work of art, featuring different variations in length which further create an added volume and luxurious look.
Not only are the lashes an incredible masterpiece, the box they are presented in is beyond beautiful, it reminds me of a vintage powder puff that would be key feature in a classic boudoir. The gold, pink and white colours blend together like an aesthetic dream and are so iconic and timeless – just like Ashlyn! Also, the actual shipping box simply has to be mentioned, it exudes ultra glamour and style and I will treasure it just as much as the products.
To apply the lashes, I used the stunning premium gold applicatorwhich retails for $6 and the lash adhesive glue which is $12. Even these products which are only used behind the scenes are just gorgeous, it’s really so admirable how much time and effort has gone into making every single item and does not go unnoticed! With each order, you receive a complimentary postcard, featuring Ashlyn on the front and the lashes on the back – it will be taking pride of place on my dressing table!
Each lash style is specifically created to fit the era or star they’re named after, so there truly is a different look for everyone. However, if lashes aren’t your thing – and if not then they will be after wearing an Ash Lash! – there are plenty of other products available to purchase. Sunglasses, beauty accessories and various bundle deals are all on offer. The attention to detail is absolutely astounding and Ashlyn deserves all the success in the world, once you’ve worn an Ash Lash, it’s simply impossible to wear anything else!
The lashes feel completely weightless and very comfortable to wear, even the adhesive glue smells lovely – a rare quality as falsie wearers will know! I can’t express how much I love both Ashlyn and her Brand, she is so authentically herself and her passion and love for Ash Lash truly shines throughout every detail. I am beyond excited to see the growth and expansion of this amazing company and will always be rooting for and supporting someone as special as Ashlyn.
Fifty six years ago, the World’s Brightest Star took her final breath and left millions of fans in a state of shock and disbelief. No one could understand why this young beautiful talented woman, loved by so many, could leave Earth in such a heartbreaking manner. An autopsy was performed and the official cause of death was ruled as, “probable suicide” noting how Marilyn had experienced, “severe fears and frequent depressions” throughout her lifetime. However, an extremely large number of people still to this day could not except this as fact, fueling an enormous amount of conspiracies from the incredulous to down right bizarre about this very special human.
Ultimately, the only person who knows what happened to Marilyn on the night of her death is the lady herself and many can speculate for hours and hours but will still not have the precise answer they’re looking for. Marilyn’s tragic death should not and does not define her, she lived for 36 years and experienced and achieved more than many could wish for in a whole lifetime. She pursued her dreams fearlessly, constantly striving to reach her goals and become the best actress and person she could be – that should not be forgotten.
Personally, I believe her death was due to medical negligence, either accidental or possibly intentional – Marilyn did have a few attempts of suicide over the years, but her anxiety and depression could often change and I don’t think she wanted to leave the world forever, maybe just in that moment.
However, I don’t want to dwell on Marilyn’s final moments on Earth and I’m sure she wouldn’t want that either, the focus should be on the beautiful person she was and the unique life she had. When people pass young and unexpectedly, conspiracies and in some cases, morbid curiosities take over and in time this can dehumanize the person and make many forget about who they truly were. Furthermore, when someone has already obtained legend status in their lifetime, it can be further exaggerated and influenced when they are no longer here to speak for themselves.
Just because Marilyn was and will always be Hollywood’s most brightest star, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a real person – she deserves just as much respect and love as we would give to any other human. I understand how people can forget this, as it’s almost hard to accept that someone so legendary as Marilyn was ultimately, one of us mere mortals. As she left the world over half a century ago, people seem to dismiss her as a real person and think they can repeat morbid conspiracies and disrespectful myths. Everyone has their right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean a beautiful person should be lost over hearsay and flat out lies.
I always think to myself how lucky I am to have taken the time to learn about Marilyn and appreciate her for the amazing person she truly was. Sadly, so many people will miss out on this because they believe everything that’s posted on the internet and automatic judgement steers them away from any authentic research. If there’s anything I can do for Marilyn after all she’s done for me, is to spread the truth and facts about this wonderful lady who blessed us with her presence.
Marilyn was a woman always ahead of her time, she believed in equality, feminism, speaking out and most importantly, kindness and generosity, none of these should be forgotten. She used her platform to share her story and was continuously giving with both her time and money, never forgetting her fans throughout her ever growing stardom.
On this day I will of course always feel sadness, that is simply impossible to ignore considering how much I adore Marilyn. However, I will focus on Marilyn herself and her incredible life, in all the years before and through all the years after, there will truly never be another one like her. So wherever you are beautiful Marilyn, I will always think of your wonderful words which remind me that no matter how hard life can be, there is always hope.
“Remember now, cheers, no tears.” – Spoken by Marilyn to the cast and crew of The Misfits after filming had finished in November 1960.
If Marilyn was alive today, it’s incredible to believe that she would be turning ninety two years old. In the seven and a half years I’ve known and loved her for, I still find it incomprehensible, due to Marilyn leaving the world at such a young age. I guess I almost have to remind myself that even the most famous woman in the world was just like us, she was human too. However, I’ll openly admit that I don’t know if that fact will ever sink in, not because I view Marilyn as an Icon, although she undoubtedly is, but because it’s amazing to think that she walked the earth we all live on.
Although it’s been over fifty five years since Marilyn left us, in many ways it feels like she’s still here, almost like she never really left. What I mean by that is her spirit and presence is so prevalent in today, I bet there’s not one person in the world that doesn’t know her name or face. Of course, with such fame and status comes the dreaded myths and conspiracies, which myself and many strive to dispel, but, I do like to think that the majority of people smile and feel happiness when they see or watch Marilyn. She has such a unique warmth and kindness that truly lights up the screen when she appears and I’m sure it’s true that she lit up a room when she entered one over half a century ago.
Every year Marilyn’s Birthday and Anniversary come around, I always wonder to myself what I should write and how do I go about not being repetitive. After all, there’s only so much that can be said on one particular person, however, to me it’s all about spreading love and enlightening others on the real Marilyn and if I can do that through writing a few words, I’ll definitely try. I’ve mentioned many times how inspiring I find Marilyn, how unbelievable her story is and how she achieved so much considering the odds against her were beyond enormous. I’ve also said how Marilyn was so much more than a beautiful Blonde Bombshell, she was a special soul who was always striving to perfect her talents and be the best person she could be. However, even as I reiterate previous statements, I can’t help but thinking about how true they are and how incredible Marilyn really was.
Of course I absolutely adore Marilyn and there’s no doubt that I truly cannot say many, if any bad things about her, some would say I’m extremely biased and I would to an extent admit to that. However, I pride myself in being honest and speaking the truth and everything I state about Marilyn’s life and achievements are historically proven. Therefore, this is the main reason why I’m so dumbfounded when people don’t like or respect Marilyn, I mean, how can you possibly not? Not everyone has to become a huge devoted fan like myself, but to be so judgmental, inaccurate and assuming is such a huge annoyance to me – we should all be supportive and admire anyone’s achievements and why should Marilyn be any different? Just because a person has their struggles doesn’t make them someone not to admire, to me it makes them even more inspirational in that they achieved so much when they were suffering.
Ultimately, today is a very special day for myself, all of Marilyn’s fans and Hollywood, for without Marilyn the world would definitely have been a little duller. Not only did she accomplish so much and forever make her mark in Cinema, she was a kind person and just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces. I always love reading little anecdotes showing Marilyn as a person and not the star as they show her beautiful soul and caring nature. Things like her anonymously gifting money to crew members in need or bringing a cow inside because it was raining, just show how generous she was and how little material things actually meant to her.
Wherever Marilyn may be I hope she knows how appreciated, loved and respected she is by so many. There may be a few ignorant and judgmental people still out there but she had that during her lifetime and I like to think it wouldn’t phase her all too much. Marilyn always knew that people didn’t expect much from her other than a pretty face and she never failed to prove them wrong. At 24 years old I think about Marilyn every day and have done since I first discovered her in late 2010, she fills my heart with love and joy and I will never not stick up for her. I like to think that however old we all get, Marilyn will continue to always be with us in spirit and never fail to place a smile on a sad face. It takes an incredibly special person to have the ability to make someone feel such love and emotion for someone they have never met and Marilyn is one of those rare people. I love you with all of my heart beautiful Marilyn and I undoubtedly always will.
“I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with each other. I don’t like to say this, but I’m afraid there is a lot of envy in this business. The only thing I can do is stop and think, “I’m all right but I’m not so sure about them!” – Marilyn to Richard Meryman in Life Magazine, August 1962.
Whenever I hear the news that a new Marilyn book is to be released, I’m mostly filled with joy and excitement, as well as slight trepidation around the accuracy and respect given towards my favourite lady. However, if the Author is Michelle Morgan, aka in my opinion, the best Marilyn writer, I know one hundred percent that there’s truly nothing for me to worry about.
Michelle has recently released her latest book on Marilyn, which takes a refreshingly new focus beyond the image of the legend and on the actress herself. The Girl overall stays between the pivotal years 1954 to 1956 and tells the true story of Marilyn taking control of her career by breaking through the male dominated Studio Systems and proving to the world she was so much more than just a pretty face.
Thanks to Michelle and Running Press Publishers, I had the pleasure of receiving a media copy to read and review before the release date and as I expected, I was definitely far from disappointed. The introduction alone was truly memorable and it’s so refreshing to read how much Michelle herself loves and cares for Marilyn, writing with respect and sensitivity, whilst staying completely unbiased. Furthermore, she makes sure to portray the three dimensional person Marilyn was, conveying her many struggles and successes, dedicated to preserving the truth and staying far away from the gossip and sensationalism that sadly so often is unfairly connected to our Star. Plus, I love how witty the title is; any super Marilyn fan will know that The Girl is in fact Marilyn’s character name in The Seven Year Itch (1955) and writer George Axelrod actually had this to say about the unnamed lady.
“I have been asked if there is any symbolic significance in the fact that the Girl has no name. The truth of the matter is that I could never think of a name for her that seemed exactly right, that really fit the girl I had in mind. I think if I were writing the play today, I might be tempted to call the Girl Marilyn.”
Even though Marilyn lived for just 36 years, it’s undeniable the amount she achieved in such a short lifetime and for any Marilyn fan or someone who’s interested in Hollywood, Feminism or the 1950s, this book is simply a must have for your Library. I personally feel Michelle has done such a good job with accuracy and creating a detailed perspective that she could write many volumes focusing on each year of Marilyn’s life! In fact, I really hope she does.
At just over 300 pages long, this book is just right – not too long and intense and not too short and lacking detail. Even though it doesn’t document Marilyn’s full story, through focusing on these such important years, you arguably learn more about Marilyn than you would in a standard biography. However, if you’re wanting to read more and well, who could blame you, there’s always Michelle’s other books on Marilyn and I recommend them because in my opinion, they are the best – respectful, honest and sincere.
Out of Marilyn’s 30 Films, three are discussed in The Girl and those are the following; The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956) and The Prince and The Showgirl (1957). Even though this is due to the specific time period documented in Marilyn’s life, I think it’s wonderful for someone who may know Marilyn only for her image and Icon Status. I say this because the three discussed throughout the book show her versatility and strength as an artist – something she continually dreamed to be known and appreciated for.
The Girl consists of a Preface, ten Chapters, an Epilogue, selected Bibliography and Source Notes, with between 30-40 beautiful photos of Marilyn featured throughout the book. The colour theme consists of red white and gold and I absolutely adore the cover photo chosen; a 1955 Marilyn wearing a Red Sweater by Milton Greene. It’s refreshing to see a different perspective of Marilyn shown yet still being undoubtedly, The Star. Plus, it’s lovely both a photo from 1955 was used and one by Milton – someone so pivotal in believing in Marilyn as a human being and helping her change the course of her Career.
Each Chapter Title conveys many important words that should continually be used to describe Marilyn, some may say I’m biased and I would never deny that. However, you cannot be biased about the truth and each of these titles contain important moments and achievements Marilyn herself made happen, through sheer strength and determination. Although beautiful and talented, she was never viewed as anything but a Blonde Bombshell, a Sex Goddess who added glamour to the Silver Screen and ultimately Marilyn had all the odds against her throughout her whole life. Yet, through The Girl, Michelle shows that even the Underdog can prove to everyone that not only was she Beautiful, she was also strong, passionate, intelligent and believed that she deserved better.
I can without a doubt say that The Girl is one of my favourite Marilyn books and definitely a staple in my Marilyn Book Collection – 167 and counting! At £19.99 this isn’t the cheapest one available, but quality and authenticity are priceless and this is something that will be treasured and kept in your library forever. Even though I’m fortunate enough to have an early Media Copy, I will of course be purchasing one for myself! You can never have enough good Marilyn books and this will have pride of place in my Marilyn book shelf, yes, she really does have her own library.
I can’t say enough good things about The Girl and Michelle herself, I’ve been fortunate enough to know this wonderful lady for quite a few years and I know that if Marilyn was here she would be honoured to have such a thoughtful and authentic writer tell her incredibly brave and progressive story. I think it’s fair to say that I know a lot about Marilyn and with Michelle’s books there’s always unique, special anecdotes and trivia that I continue to discover. Ultimately, go to amazon or your local bookstore and start reading The Girl, I can assure you any stereotypical views you may have of Marilyn will quickly vanish and you’ll be astounded and in awe of what an incredible person she really was.
The Girl is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK and will be released on May 31st and is out in the USA now!
Although Marilyn is so prominent and recognized in the present day, It’s hard to comprehend that in reality, she tragically passed away fifty five years ago on the evening of August 4th, 1962. At just thirty six years old, her death was announced on the morning of August 5th and shocked the world and the millions of fans who mourned the loss of this very special woman. As someone who wasn’t even born until thirty plus years after Marilyn left the Earth, new readers may wonder why I’m writing about a celebrity I never actually knew. However, I’m assuming if you know anything about me, you’ll know that Marilyn is one of my absolute favourite people, I adore her with all of my heart and have done for coming up to seven years.
Personally, I feel that you can still have a special connection and feeling towards someone you’ve never had the privilege to meet, whether this is due to them being a worldwide celebrity or being born quite a few decades after they’ve passed – or both! As I’ve said many times before, Marilyn entered my life in October 2010, pushing seven year ago and she’s never left, I think about her every day and she has changed my life for the better astronomically. I found inspiration and comfort from her during my darkest days and she honestly has never failed to not brighten my days. However, this post is not about me – this post is about celebrating the life of Marilyn and how fifty five years on, she’s still loved and adored by just as many, if not more fans who love and admire the amazing woman she was and the achievements she made.
Sadly, as the night of Marilyn’s passing is a huge interest for conspiracy lovers, both her life and death are often filled with hundreds of rumours, theories and downright defaming myths. When a celebrity passes away young and unexpectedly, millions of people look for answers to the big question, why? Of course, this is completely natural and makes perfect sense, but ultimately, the only person who can confirm or deny how they died is no longer around to tell us.
In reality, we have lost many celebrities to the tragedy of overdoses – Marilyn’s death was ruled as a, “probable suicide”, although I believe it was accidental. However, many people cannot comprehend or believe this and go down the root of following conspiracies, ultimately forgetting about the person and obsessing over theories that have no substance. Over the years, many people who have created life stories and careers on their “relationship” with Marilyn and how she supposedly died, earning thousands in the process and damaging Marilyn’s name. In reality, the real reason for Marilyn’s death was pretty simple – medical negligence and incredibly, her doctors were never accounted for this.
Ultimately, I think it’s safe to say that Marilyn wouldn’t want her untimely death to be the main focus point of her life, she wouldn’t want us to be sad and spend countless hours trying to work out why she left. I like to think Marilyn would want us to celebrate her amazing achievements and ground breaking moments in such a short space of time. I know she would be overwhelmed that over fifty years after she passed, millions of people of all ages, still love and care for her all these years later. Hundreds and thousands of people are discovering this beautiful human every day and Marilyn continues to bring so much light and joy to people like myself, who were never fortunate enough to be able to meet her.
Tonight, instead of focusing on the sad times, I will be thinking about my angel Marilyn for all the right reasons. I’ll be remembering her for the wonderful talent she possessed, the determination she had to succeed, her love of learning, plus, the kindness and generosity she showed to so many others. Thankfully, her legacy she has left behind is forever imprinted through thousands of images and thirty films she made during her short but incredibly special life.
Whenever I feel upset and hurt with how unfair life was at times to Marilyn, there is one particular quote which comes to mind. Many people seem to think of Marilyn as a tragic victim and in doing this, they are unjustly underestimating her incredible strength. Through research and reading about Marilyn for quite a few years, I’ve noticed that although she suffered tremendously, she never lost hope and always tried to remain somewhat positive, even in her darkest times.
Through 1960, Marilyn made her last completed film, The Misfits (1961) and during this time she suffered incredible pain through a nervous breakdown and split from her husband, Arthur Miller. The movie was made in Nevada during 40 degree heat and was incredibly strenuous for practically everyone involved. Although The Misfits (1961) is now hailed as one of Marilyn’s best acting performances, she came to hate the film and resent Arthur for her character, Roslyn – the film which was originally a Valentine’s present to her.
Yet, despite going through arguably the toughest period in her life, she had this to say at the end of the filming.
“Remember now, cheers, no tears..”
I for one, will be following this advice, from one of the strongest women who ever lived. Wherever you may be, beautiful Marilyn, I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are by so many people around the world. I know I say this quite often, but I like to believe that somehow, you see how much you have enriched millions of fans lives and gave them hope and strength.
“It’s a terrible pity that so much beauty has been lost to us.”
John Huston, Director of The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Misfits (1961)
If you’ve followed me on Social Media for the past 6+ years, then I’m 99% sure you know how much I love the beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Ironically, it feels almost strange for me to type out her full name, as I like to think of Marilyn as almost an Guardian Angel to me, definitely not a stranger. Some will understand that and relate, others may judge – but Marilyn will always have a special place in my heart.
A few weeks ago, to celebrate Marilyn’s 91st Birthday, I wrote, as I do every year, a Tribute for my favourite lady and was pleasantly surprised when I noticed,Marilyn Monroe Eyewearlike my post and follow me on Instagram. Marilyn Eyewear is Officially Licensed by The Estate of Marilyn Monroe and is one of the many Brands they have created which is all inspired and influenced by this very special woman. As my beautiful friend,Laurahas previously worked with Marilyn Eyewear, I decided it would be worth a try contacting the Brand and thanking them for following my Instagram Account. I also proposed the possibility of a collaboration. Once again, I was surprised and very thankful to receive a reply agreeing to my suggestion about a collaboration!
After just four days, my parcel from Marilyn Eyewear arrived, all the way from America! I can’t emphasize how appreciative I am of such a quick delivery, especially from so far away – I was already beyond impressed. However, little did I know that I was going to be completely blown away when I opened the parcel. Not only was I gifted a pair of beautiful Sunglasses, there were also three beauty products fromMarilyn Monroe Spas! It wasn’t until I looked on their website, that I realized I had been sent the,Limited Edition Gift of Glam! Thank you so much Marilyn Monroe Eyewear and Marilyn Monroe Spas!
The packaging is a classic chic black matte box, finished with gorgeous gold writing and Marilyn’s iconic signature – what could be better!? As soon as you open it, you’re greeted by dazzling red tissue paper and inside are the iconic products all inspired by my favourite girl – Marilyn! Nail Polish in Marilyn Red, a red Beauty Blender, a Lipstick in Marilyn Red 03 and if that wasn’t enough, a pair of Marilyn Eyewear Sunglasses in Annabel Noir 001! If you’re a Marilyn lover or simply adore the Vintage look, then this is without doubt a must have – it’s simply timeless!
The Sunglasses come in an absolutely beautiful gold metallic case, featuring Marilyn’s signature, the product is wonderful quality and a great protection for the shades also. What I was most impressed by with the Marilyn Sunglasses was the attention to detail, which super Marilyn fans, or Marilynettes as we’re known, would definitely notice and appreciate. If you look at all the Sunglasses on the Marilyn Eyewear Website, you’ll see that the majority of the shades are named after Marilyn Film Characters! I think this is such a lovely statement and a unique concept which makes Marilyn Eyewear different from others. The Gift of Glam shades are named after Marilyn’s character, Annabel Jones Norris from her film,We’re Not Married! (1952)one of her earlier film roles and the only chance she had to play a Mother. (Something’s Got To Give (1962)was never completed.)
If you’re after an everyday, classic retro look than Annabel are the must have Sunglasses for you, but fear not, there are three other shades available if you’re after something different. Out of all the amazing vintage style Sunglasses on Marilyn Eyewear, if I had to choose my favourites it would be either,The Marilyn, Elsie, IrisorRoseand yes, that is my attempt at trying to narrow my choices down! All come in different colours and styles, so there are more choices to choose from and they feature Marilyn’s iconic signature – so much beauty!
The Marilyn Monroe Spas Beauty Products all have one thing in common, they are all – you guessed it, red! Anyone who knows anything about Marilyn will associate this bold colour with her, as it was without doubt her signature lipstick shade to wear. As someone who adores the Vintage Look, this was such a wonderful surprise and even better that each item is based on the signature Marilyn look.
The Beauty Blender is a must have in my every day makeup bag and ironically enough, I was just thinking a few days ago that I needed a new one! Plus, I’ve not seen many sponges that are this unique shade, so it will definitely stand out in my collection. Furthermore, the packaging has Marilyn’s beautiful signature on, so yes, I will be keeping the box! I also love how on the back of the packaging it says, “Be Wonderful” which I’m assuming is inspired by one of my favourite, genuine Marilyn quotes.
Also within the Glam Kit is the stunning, True Red 03 Lipstick. Red is the ultimate retro colour and my absolute favourite to wear pretty much every single day and I can confirm, True Red 03 definitely has my approval. The product features Marilyn’s signature in a stunning red and a gorgeous kiss print, which contrasts dramatically with the bold black packaging. I also love the shape of the lipstick as it’s perfect for creating that beautiful full pout. There are so many amazing beauty buys available on Marilyn Monroe Spas, I could honestly spend hours browsing through all the variety of shades!
The final product in the Marilyn Eyewear Gift of Glam is the Marilyn Monroe Red Nail Polish, which features a gorgeous portrait of Marilyn herself – so unique! The shade is eye catching and will definitely make your nails be the centre of attention! Plus, even if you’re not a red lover like myself, it’s worth having just for the stunning packaging with our beautiful blonde bombshell!
Please note, I pride myself in making sure I write honest reviews and although I was fortunate enough to be gifted these items, I was not told to say any of the following statements I have made.
Lastly, I simply must say a huge thank you so much to Marilyn Monroe Eyewear for gifting me these beautiful products, which I will truly cherish.
Today marks the Birth Date of probably my favourite human who ever blessed the Earth with their presence, the beautiful soul that was Marilyn Monroe. As she left it at such a young age, it’s almost incomprehensible to believe that she would be ninety one years old if she was still alive.
Each year I like to pay tribute to my angel by writing about the incredible person she was, the unique life she lived and all of her accomplishments in such a short space of time. I feel as a devoted fan of Marilyn’s that it is my duty to help spread the truth about this beautiful soul, by aiming to let society learn about the real woman she was and to not be influenced by the unsubstantiated conspiracies and myths.
Therefore, instead of writing my usual styled posts on my favourite girl, I have decided to be slightly more creative and this time share a number of anecdotes that you may or may not know about Marilyn. In doing this, I hope that it will give you an insight into the kindhearted soul she was and hopefully you will take a moment to think about her on this very special day.
When Marilyn was a little girl and occasionally spent time with her mother, Gladys, she noticed a photo of a dark haired man with a mustache displayed in her home. The man bared a similar resemblance to one of her favourite Movie Stars; Clark Gable and Norma Jeane Baker liked to think of him as her father. She had loved going to the cinema ever since she was a child and must have seen Clark on the big screen many times. In reality, this man was Marilyn’s actual father – Charles Stanley Gifford, who had been seeing Gladys before she became pregnant. Ultimately, he never acknowledged Marilyn as his own and they never had any relationship.
On a happier note, many years later in November 1954, Marilyn would finally fulfill her childhood dream of meeting Gable at Romanoff’s, where The Seven Year Itch Wrap Party was being held in her honour. They danced with one another and shared how they would both love to work together, with Gable telling Marilyn, “You have the magic.” This wish would eventually happen in 1960, with The Misfits generally being cited as one of their best performances.
During Marilyn’s first marriage to James Dougherty, she noticed a cow on it’s own, standing in the rain. Deeply upset about this, when Jimmy returned home he saw his wife desperately trying to bring the cow inside the house, even asking him to help her do so. Jimmy’s nephew, Wes Kanteman recounted to Author Michelle Morgan about this sweet memory saying,
“The cow was a young Jersey Heffer that had beautiful eyes and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane used to stand by her pen and just stare at her, remarking at how pretty she was. Then the torrential rain came one night and the cow was standing by the fence and Norma Jeane and apparently thought she wanted in so she opened the gate and was going to bring her into to the house. After much conversation about the matter, Uncle Jim convinced her that she belonged in her pen and Norma Jeane finally gave in and it was over, but she still thought that the cow would have been better off in the living room.”
On 1st June 1952, Marilyn turned 26 years old and celebrated by finding out she had landed the coveted role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, beating out the previous Top Blonde at 20th Century Fox – Betty Grable. She was to be starring opposite Jane Russell, who would be receiving $100,000 dollars compared to Marilyn’s contract salary of $500 per week – shocking, I know. Still, Marilyn didn’t complain and put her heart and soul into making one of her most iconic movies. However, when Marilyn found out she didn’t even have her own dressing room, despite being the star of the film, she finally spoke out and recalled this story to Journalist Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine, which was released two days before her death in August 1962.
“I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell – she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn’t get a dressing room. Finally, I really got to this kind of level and I said, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did.”
Marilyn was a huge lover of animals and during her life owned quite a few pets, from dogs, to cats and even two parakeets called Butch and Bobo. During her time in New York she adopted a cat and to Marilyn’s delight, she became pregnant. She was so happy and looked after the beloved pet dearly, reading up on how to care for her during the pregnancy, repeatedly ringing her maid to check on how she was doing and spoiling her with treats. When the labour finally came during the middle of the night, Marilyn rang her good friend Norman Rosten, asking him to come over and help to which he politely declined and went back to sleep. He later said, “There was never a more spoiled prenatal cat in feline history.“
Marilyn was known to be extremely generous, even saying in her last interview, “I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with another.” and it’s most definitely fair to say she followed what she believed in. Her giving nature didn’t just involve her friends, even acquaintances received this kind treatment as retold by Author Donald Spoto.
“Maggie Banks, an assistant choreographer, recalled that a wife of a company electrician was seriously ill. “I saw Marilyn hand the man a roll of bills; he started to cry, and Marilyn just hugged him and walked away.” Likewise, Evelyn Moriarty never forgot that Marilyn anonymously donated one thousand dollars to defray the funeral expenses of a crew member’s wife.”
Marilyn famously said, “I only knowI want to be wonderful.” and I think it’s definitely fair to say, although she may not have achieved true happiness, she the utmost worthy of being called wonderful.
Happy Birthday beautiful, I think of you daily and I love you dearly. ♡
Most of you who read my little old blog will probably know by now that I’ve been a hardcore Vintage Lover since I discovered my angel Marilyn in October 2010. Therefore, it’s by no surprise that I have a lot of love for a certain 1920s Bombshell named, Betty Boop!
As cliché as it may sound, I like to think it’s almost destiny that I was to become a Vintage Girl at heart, as for as long as I can remember, I’ve always adored Betty Boop. This stems from my mum having a soft spot for her and owning little ornaments of Betty that are placed around our house. Thinking about it, one of my nicest memories from Secondary School was my mum buying me an absolutely gorgeous pink pen with Betty all over it – although it ran out over ten years ago, I have no doubt that it’s probably lounging somewhere in my room.
However, I seem to have gotten way off track and I most definitely do not want to spend this post focusing on School – I’m sure you don’t want me to either! So, back to my favourite Flapper Girl! Betty is without doubt one of the most famous cartoons and I think we can all agree when I say, she most definitely gives real life Bombshells a run for their money! I know, it’s hard to believe that in reality, many will tell you that she’s just a drawing – however, we all know by now I’m very much a Dreamer and I like to think Betty, almost a century later, is still booping around somewhere. In fact, Betty Enthusiasts will probably know that she was originally created as a caricature of Actress Helen Kane so technically, technically she is in fact – real!
Once again, I’m getting way too involved in the past and not concentrating on the actual focus of this Review Post, MAC’s very ownBetty Boop Lipstick! Please note – this lipstick is an online exclusive only and after being released in the USA for at least a month, it finally arrived in the UK and of course, I purchased it straight away.
Apart from my absolute favourite, Marilyn, Betty Boop is probably one of the most famous Red Lipstick Lovers and her trademark pout is simply a must in creating her signature look. I mean, when have you ever seen Betty without her crimson lips? Seriously, if you have – please prove me wrong!
Therefore, when you’re a vintage girl, love red lipstick and MAC creates a shade based on Betty’s iconic pout, you know that you simply have to add this product to your makeup inventory. Betty Boop Red is described as a, “bright true red” with a matte finish and let me tell you this – it does not disappoint!
If you’re a blue toned red lover then this is the shade for you, it’s perfect for pale skin, with the cool shade complimenting fair complexions. However, if you have warm or darker skin tones then fear not, I’ve personally never been one to follow lipstick shade advice and often wear orange and coral reds that aren’t recommended for fair skin tones. So ultimately – don’t be put off and if you like the shade, wear it!
I actually find this matte finish slightly different to my other MAC Lipsticks, not in a bad way, I just felt that this one was a lot more shiny. As a result of this I noticed I had to take more time for application if I wanted an overall good outcome and of course, I did. Therefore, if you want a super matte dry finish look I’d recommend going with MAC’sRussian Red.
The only super negative of the product is, ironically nothing to do with the actual lipstick itself, which ultimately I know is a good thing. The negative is down to the packaging and before I complain, I must say, the outer box the lipstick comes in is absolutely beautiful. Of course, we all know I won’t be throwing it away anytime soon. However, the container itself looks just like any other MAC Lipstick! This is so disappointing and pretty strange as with previous collaborations, MAC always have Limited Edition products designed with special packaging and for some reason, apart from the exterior box – is completely normal.
Overall, I wouldn’t let this put you off from purchasing the lipstick, it truly is a beautiful colour and the texture and formula is spot on. Plus, like I said before, it does come in a stunning box which is most definitely worth keeping. I just think it’s important for me to mention encase you want the lipstick and are expecting a beautiful lipstick container that sadly, doesn’t exist.
MAC still create some of my favourite Lipsticks and I have quite a few of their previous Collaborations. I just hope if they ever release another Betty Boop lipstick – they learn from this small but very frustrating mistake.