The Rise And Fall Of The Star That Was Marilyn Monroe
Norma Jeane Mortensen also known as Marilyn Monroe was born June 1, 1962 in the charity ward of the Los Angeles General Hospital. Monroe’s childhood played a vital role in her strive for a career in show business. Monroe was one of the most iconic and most popular actress of her time. With her platinum blonde hair and her signature red lipstick she was seen as a sex symbol to all. Monroe was very influential in changing the idea about women. Though she had many scandals, she confronted them and continued to influence the 1950s, and her influence continues on today.
Marilyn Monroe’s rough childhood started her need for attention that followed her for the rest of her life. Her mother, Gladys Monroe, had every intention of raising the child herself, but the social and economic pressures of single parenting were too great for Gladys. Emotionally And fragility unstable she was often forced to place her daughter do you state custody and the succession of foster homes. Just as most foster kids Monroe began to feel isolated and insecure leading to be easy prey to emotional and sexual abuse. In the early stages of Monroe‘s life it would be easy to say that Monroe most likely felt invisible and unseen, because children that are not focused on enough tend to feel invisible.
This is why Monroe begin to crave attention especially the kind that she saw being displayed in movies and Hollywood pictures. When Monroe became a teenager she began to attract the eye of men because of her looks. She loved the attention she was being shown because of her looks. This is where Monroe‘s dream of Hollywood stardom begin, while sitting and watching a Hollywood picture she could escape from the world and become strong and powerful. Monroe‘s love for attention helped propel her dream of being in Hollywood into reality.
Monroe came into the spotlight in an very unconventional way. At the age of sixteen she was married off to Mr. James Dougherty. Dougherty states, “It was great she was a wonderful wife, she was a good cook, and a immaculate housekeeper and she enjoyed being married” (Dougherty). But with World War II reaching overseas like all the other young men Dougherty was shipped off to war, and Monroe was sent to help the war effect and work in the defense factories where she made parachutes. It was during this time that Monroe posed for an army photographer in a series of pictures intended to boost troops morale. At this time Monroe, who went by Norma Jean Dougherty, would be known as “Miss Flamethrower”.
In 1945 she accepted an offer with the Bluebook Modeling Agency, and within weeks she was adorning the covers of national and international Publications. This break in Monroe‘s career showed her that she could control her own destiny. With her newfound career which Monroe and her husband did not agree on, this caused them to get a divorce. and after their divorce was final eyes she changed her name to “Marilyn Monroe”, because her mother’s maiden name was Monroe and her grandmother‘s middle name was Marilyn. Single again at the age of 20 young divorce focused on building a new life as “Marilyn Monroe”. This was just the start of Monroe’s career.
Monroe had to change her appearance to appeal to the film industry and her audience. She went from having naturally brown curly hair to platinum blonde. This is where she was given the nickname of the “blonde bombshell“. She was given this new look to exploit her obvious charms. But while Marilyn’s Allure was usually used for laughs. In her picture “ Don’t bother to knock” it featured Monroe as a disturbed a babysitter, and offered the actor her most dramatic and challenging role to date. This performance showed that Monroe could play more challenging and serious roles. But Monroe’s predominately male audiences preferred to see there Marilyn in less challenging comedic roles. It’s caused Monroe to become the stereotypical dumb blonde and almost all of her roles. All of these changes to her appearance made Monroe into Hollywood’s ideal sex symbol. Monroe’s starring in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” solidified Monroe’s status of a sex object. By completely changing her appearance Monroe propelled her career in the film industry, without these changes she would not have been able to become as successful as she was.
Monroe was involved in many scandals throughout her career. One of the scandal she was involved with involved pictures of her posing in nude pictures in the very first issue of Playboy magazine. Monroe had actually posed for these pictures years before, while she was still a starving young actress. Even though these pictures were taken years before Monroe’s true success started they still caused a tremendous scandal. In an interview Hugh Hefner, the producer of PlayBoy magazine, went to say, “ Monroe did post nude in the calendar and then admitted and made jokes about it saying I had nothing on but the radio. You can see those early signs of changing values and Monroe was clearly part of that” (Hefner). By facing the scandal head on Monroe dealt a devastating blow to the conservative standards of 1950s America. She now represented a refreshing reinterpretation of the modern woman, one who is not willing to equate sex with sin. By confronting her scandal Monroe altered the way society saw sex. Buy just one act Monroe‘s influence altered the way we see women today.
Monroe’s fame and popularity had grown so much that she began to influence people not only in America but also overseas. When on her honeymoon with her second husband Joe DiMaggio in Japan. She was immediately met with great publicity and fans. Even in Far East everyone knew of hollywood’s, “blonde bombshell“. While in Japan Monroe interrupted her honeymoon to entertain war weary GIs in Korea. Monroe came face-to-face with her adoring public and realized for the first time the enormity of her fame. On a stage in front of all of the GIs she performed her famous song, “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend”. As Monroe became more and more famous, her influence spread across the world. Even today no matter where you go, everyone knows of Marilyn Monroe.
Even with all the fame and popularity of being a star actress Monroe couldn’t handle the pressure and slowly begin to slide deeper and deeper into depression. She began to feed into the notion that her onscreen persona and her personality or one in the same. The line between reality and fantasy was being blurred in Monroe’s life. As Monroe began to progress in her career she began to feel as though she was not respected and that her opinion did not truly matter. When seeing Another billboard of her being set up she says, “you see that’s all they think of me” (Monroe). Monroe was beginning to feel as though she’s only seen for her physical attributes and not her true self. When acting in her 1955 film “Bus Stop” Monroe related to the character so much that it forced her to confront her own feelings of loneliness and abandonment. She was using her own real emotions for the first time while playing this character. That is believed why this had such a toll on her mental state.
Along with her reputation as an actor another devastating effect on Monroe‘s mental state was her miscarriages. While married to her third husband Arthur Miller, Monroe experienced one of the worst pains a woman could go through a miscarriage. This pushed her over the edge and threw her deeper into depression. Monroe was convinced that all her years of sexual indiscretions had left her unable to have children. She became haunted by her mother’s insanity and continue to slip farther and farther into depression’s that were harder to control. Instead of trying to deal with her depression she threw herself into her work. Unlike any other film Monroe was constantly late and rarely was familiar with her lines.
Also during this film to deal with her depression and chronic fatigue Monroe became increasingly dependent on pills. In the 1950s if you weren’t feeling well doctors would just give you pills without correct diagnosis. This caused Monroe to become addicted to pills. Monroe began to rely on prescription drugs to get her through the day. At one point Monroe had so much anxiety and depression that her New York psychiatrist institutionalized her and this through Monroe into almost a psychotic panic. Through this Monroe’s worst fear is coming true she was suffering from the same fate as her mother.
In conclusion Monroe’s addiction to pills to suppress her pain was sadly her downfall. On August 5, 1962, Monroe’s housekeeper Eunice Marie found the glamorous superstar dead. She was face down in her bed pills at her side and a telephone in her hand, the victim of an accidental suicide. For Norma Jeane Mortensen, the orphan girl with dreams of stardom, life was a tortured path of broken promises and bitter realities. But for Marilyn Monroe the star whose image place across the silver screen dreams become reality. Hers is the kind of immortality reserved for very few and it’s her tragic vulnerability and her childlike innocence that will stand the test of time.
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