Sunday Style Icon: Marilyn Monroe

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“I like animals. If you talk to a dog or a cat it doesn’t tell you to shut up.”

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

-Marilyn Monroe

Yesterday my friend brought around the film My Week With Marilyn. Since watching it I’ve been in a fit of Monroe mania. Out of this mania grew a new My Fair Lipstick column. Every Sunday I want to take a look at some of the stylish peeps of history … starting with the world’s first ever sex symbol.

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What’s her “look”?  

  • platinum blond hair
  • false eyelashes
  • killer curves
  • crimson nails
  • ruby red pout

Her style has inspired so many others and will no doubt continue to do so. But did you know that Marilyn Monroe was originally influenced by actress Betty Grable?

Betty Grable - M's style inspiration

Betty Grable – Monroe’s style inspiration

Marilyn the animal lover

What you also may not know is that she was a big animal lover, in particular dogs. In fact, Frank Sinatra gave her a dog she called Maf (a reference to his mafia connections). Her husband Arthur Miller would get miffed when she let the Maltese terrier sleep on a fur coat he had given her.*

Marilyn and Maf

Marilyn and Maf

Norma Jean’s childhood

Monroe’s life, however, wasn’t all puppies and red lipstick. Most the time she was trying to fight off demons.

Her childhood included a mother in an asylum, an absent father, being passed from foster home to foster home and reports of sexual abuse. But she was destined to greatness. Unfortunately, becoming the world’s first sex symbol would take its toll.

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Monroe on Sexuality

She has so many great quotes but most interesting is hearing her speak on her own sexuality. In her very last interview she says, “A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing … I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual, but it is a burden. And I think sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural and spontaneous.”

We can learn how to do our hair and make-up from Monroe but perhaps the best lesson we can take away is that being sexualised is hard. It’s important for women to do what feels right, or to use her own words, do what feels natural.

Celebrity Tribute Gallery

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*We understand fur coats and animal lover in the same sentence is a bit of an oxymoron. I like to think if Monroe were alive today she would ditch fur coats. What do you think?

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