Sex Bomb: Marilyn Monroe’s Continuing Contribution to the Gold Standard of Sexuality

Marilyn Monroe means many different things to different people. For some its glamor, for others its Old Hollywood, but everyone can agree that, overall, she is a symbol of sexuality before it became grotesque and overt.

Carefree sensuality
Carefree sensuality
Her dichotomous persona of innocence and sultriness is part of her enigmatic charm. While she seemed semi-aware of her effect on both men and women, it was almost as though she didn’t care. Though, of course, behind the scenes, Monroe would spend hours on perfecting her hair and makeup just to live to the expectation of being “Marilyn Monroe.”
Bettie Page has nothing on Marilyn Monroe's pin-up days
Bettie Page has nothing on Marilyn Monroe’s pin-up days
Marilyn’s evolution from supporting actress to sought-after movie star seemed almost overnight, but it was something she had worked for tirelessly throughout the 1940s. Although she made the attempt at being a simple housewife while married to her first husband, James Dougherty, Marilyn grew bored as Norma Jean Baker living on Catalina Island. While working in a munitions factory during the war, a movie photographer took several pictures of her and suggested that she try her hand at modeling. This led gradually to her transition into film.
Angelic innocence
Angelic innocence
With Marilyn’s meteoric rise came meteoric pressure to play into the sex symbol persona. But her willingness to meet the demands and standards that were set for her was an indication of how much she wanted to be loved. Monroe once noted, “I knew that I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.” And so she does belong, not just as the patron saint of sexuality but as an emblem of immaculate beauty, both inside and out.

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