Essay Her Legacy

Marilyn Monroe
&
her Legacy

Contributed by Clarissa Fischer, 7th Grade

Marilyn Monroe has spread the word “wow” over the United States and Europe for over six decades. Gathering confidence as she grew older, Miss Monroe told America that she had a style and she wasn’t going to change it. From her platinum locks to her glamourus wardrobe, she set a standard for American beauty that no one else could match.

Ever since she was born Norma Jeane Mortensen, everyone around her knew she was not just your average little girl. At the age of four she decided she wanted her father’s last name- Baker. She lived with her mother Gladys Baker until she was six and Gladys was sent to an insane asylum. Norma Jeane lived with approximately nine foster families until she was 12 and sent to the local orphanage.

James E. Dougherty was the boy-next-door and Norma Jeane’s legal guardian, Grace, wanted her out of the orphanage. So she arranged that Norma Jeane be married to James when she was only 16. During the newly-weds marriage, James was drafted into the Navy for four years. In that time away from eachother, Norma Jeane began to pursue her childhood dream: acting. Not knowing how to get started, she was approached one day by a talent scout. He got her a modeling job, and thats when her career begun.

Though she cherished having real biological father’s name, she took the studio’s advice and took the first name Marilyn and her grandmother’s name Monroe. Through many photo shoots and interviews with scouts on the side, she finally made her way into her first movie, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, as an extra on the set. As Marilyn Monroe, she gained popularity after small roles in Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. In 1954 she married the American baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio. Nine months later they were divorced due to “career conflict differences”.

Feeling the need to shed her image as the typical Hollywood shallow blonde, Monroe took some time off to take acting classes. In June of 1956, she married the great playwright Arthur Miller. He wrote the western The Misfits especially for his wife, Monroe co-starred with Clark Gable, her childhood idol. The couple divorced in 1961, just months after The Misfits came out as Monroe’s last completed film.

In 1962, she won the Golden Globe award “Most Popular Star”. On August 5th, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her California home at the age of 36. Her death was declared a suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills, but many signs show it was murder, making it impossible for a suicide. Marilyn Monroe left a mark on the world that can never be changed. She set the standards for modeling and acting that no one can ever even attempt to meet. She was the ultimate role model for young women and girls who admired her glamour and image.

Somehow her name will always remain sacred; people with the last name ‘Monroe’ will name their child anything but Marilyn, keeping the name sterilized and untouched.

Without Marilyn, would the world still be tied to the modest syles of the 50’s? Would her housekeeper have never disappeared at the time of Monroe’s death? Who would have been the role model for the millions of young girls in that time?

The standard 50’s and 60’s woman was hearty and strongly built. Marilyn Monroe never changed her body for anyone but herself, only having electrolysis to remove her widow’s peak. Her measurments remained 35-22-35, the average for any hard-working American woman.

How do you know that she set a standard for beauty throughout the world? Madonna’s idol is Marilyn Monroe- in her early days Madonna dyed her hair blonde, and had similar clothing to that of Marilyn. Britney Spears, a modern day pop star, has in every way tried to copy Madonna. So does this mean that Britney Spears is a modern-day Marilyn Monroe?

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