Goodbye, Norma Jean, and Good Riddance

The Marilyn Myth. You’ve heard it before, probably more than once. It varies to some degree, but it generally goes something like this:

“Marilyn Monroe was a size 12!”
“Marilyn Monroe was a size 14!”
“Marilyn Monroe was a size 16!”

And so on.

Thing is, she wasn’t. She wasn’t even a size 12/14/16 after you take vanity sizing into account. Marilyn Monroe was actually puny as hell.

Here are her measurements, according to her studio:

Height 5’5″
Bust 35-37″
Waist 22-23″ (!!!)
Hips 35-36″

Now let’s compare that to modern-day sizes. Her bust would measure in at a size 6 or 8, which could translate to a pre-vanity size of 12-14, but that’s it. Her hips are a measly size 0-2 in modern-day calculations, and her waist? Size 00 at her largest. According to The Gap’s pant measurements, that size doesn’t even warrant a name; it’s just the number below XXS.


That being said, who cares? I think it’s long overdue that we women move on and try to find a better go-to idol. Maybe someone whose legacy wasn’t just looking good while sleeping with married men and dying of a highly contested drug overdose at age 36 (not that this was all she accomplished, but try to come up with a well known fact about her beyond the Kennedy stuff, and the drug stuff).

We’re bigger and better than that. We don’t need Hollywood to tell us what’s attractive, we can figure that out for ourselves. Attractiveness is subjective, after all, not to mention overhyped. People fall in love (and lust) with a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s long overdue that we expand our female beauty ideal beyond the busty-yet-skinny white chick who rarely voiced an opinion and died before she wrinkled.

There’s so much more to life than lame old glamour and poise.


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