A new exhibition at the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Beverly Hills follows Marilyn Monroe’s career as a model, from 1945-1962. Featured photographers include David Conover, William Carroll, Tom Kelley, Bruno Bernard, Milton Greene, Bert Stern and George Barris.
‘Becoming Marilyn’ opens on June 25, through September 10.
Carole Jahme sheds the cold light of evolutionary psychology on the allure of blonde women…
“Blondes do not seem to have lost any of their popularity since the end of the last ice age. Research suggests that blondes feature more often as Playboy centerfolds than they do in women’s magazines, and the percentage of blondes in each type of magazine exceeds the base rate of blondes in the normal population.
This would suggest that the selection pressures that shaped the standards of Western female beauty in the late-Palaeolithic are still the same today…”
Laura Bell Bundy is an actress (she starred in the Broadway musical, Legally Blonde) and singer (her debut album, Achin’ and Shakin’, was released earlier this year.)
During an acoustic session for the American Songwriter website, Laura explained how her love for Marilyn Monroe inspired the song, ‘Homecoming Queen.’
“Just me and Norma Jean, doing our own thing,
Making our own heaven
I may not get my way but I will be okay
I still count my blessings…”
And Laura’s explanation….
“It sounds like ‘Homecoming Queen’ is a very personal song for you.
It is. It’s about not needing to be the homecoming queen. I’ve kind of walked to the beat of my own drum. One of the things that I stand for is being true to myself and not judging others for being true to themselves. I think, in that way, this song—people may not hear this and think that, but that’s what it feels like to me.
In the song you sing ‘just me and Norma Jean, just doing our own thing.’ Who’s Norma Jean?
I’ve had kind of an obsession with Marilyn Monroe since I was ten. I have a lot of Marilyn Monroe pictures in my house, and pins, and I have a lot of Marilyn Monroe posters. Between her and Einstein, they’re probably the biggest iconic figures in history that I’m fascinated with. But something about her, there is a kind of a sadness, there’s rockin’ to the beat of your own drum with her, and she created a persona for herself, but who she was at the core was Norma Jean, and she just wanted to be loved. She just wanted to be admired and she searched for love her whole life, but she did her own thing , she didn’t follow normal paths. She didn’t get her way and I might not get my way, but I’ll be okay, because I still count my blessings, you know. There’s something about the vulnerability of her that I really love.
I threw that in there because I was lying on the pillow and it had her face on it while I was writing a song and I had the hook, and I just got a dog and I was trying to find a name for her, and she looks like she has a little eyeliner under her eye. She’s blonde, she’s a Chihuahua, and she’s beautiful. I thought I was going to name her Tammy Faye Bundy, but then I thought it wasn’t fair to name a dog into this world with that name, and I thought, “she kind of looks like Marilyn Monroe!” And Norma Jean, I named my dog Norma Jean. Then I realized I had to write a song, so now when I sing the song, I think about me and Norma Jean doing our thing, just me and my dog, so it has a completely different meaning now.”
To read the complete interview and listen to ‘Homecoming Queen’, go here
On June 1st, a celebration for Marilyn Monroe’s 84th birthday was held at Madison Square Park, New York, hosted by the Erno Laszlo skincare company. In her lifetime Marilyn favoured Laszlo’s skincare products, and according to the Angel of Beauty blog, was acquainted with him personally:
“Erno Laszlo was a great part of Marilyn Monroe’s life. When newspapers around the world carried the pictures of her death bed, Laszlo’s Active pHelityl Cream were to be seen on the nightstand. Apparently Marilyn Monroe treasured the quiet, intimate conversations with Dr. Laszlo, and scheduled them often.”
Among the guests were no less than thirty blonde lookalikes, handing out red lipstick and T-shirts while a brass band played music from Marilyn’s era. (Source: DNAInfo)
Marilyn’s presence also graced the opening of a new Erno Laszlo store in London’s Covent Garden at the weekend.
‘Is double denim ever acceptable?’ asks Guardian reader Sarita. Style agony aunt, Hadley Freeman, replies, ‘Yes. If you are Marilyn Monroe, and only if you are filming the final scene of The Misfits.’
Pondering why Marilyn got away with this apparent fashion crime, Hadley concludes: ‘…put her in an evening dress, you see, and her prettiness gets lazy. Give her a hurdle that she has to overcome, and her beauty mojo speeds up and bursts past the finishing line. Or, you know, something.’
Marilyn also rocked the denim look in Clash by Night (1952) and River of No Return (1954).
“As a Gemini, MARILYN MONROE was not scared of pushing the envelope on creativity, if she could visualize it she could achieve it and would not let many tell her what she could or couldn’t do. As a Gemini, she would have had a knack of communicating her feelings and visions exactly as she saw them, hence, allowing other people to help her fulfill her dream of putting her individual edge on whatever she was working on, which she indeed did.”
Julien’s Auctions are offering property from the personal and professional life of Marilyn Monroe to be auctioned on June 26th and 27th at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas.
A collection of items from the estate of Dr Ralph Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist in the last two years of her life, are featured, including a therapy couch from Greenson’s Beverly Hills office, and a chest X-Ray of his famous patient from the early 1950s.
(Some Monroe fans, myself included, may find this more than a little morbid…)
Also on offer are handwritten correspondence between Marilyn and Dr Greenson’s daughter, Joan, then a teenager; and a pink Pucci blouse given by Marilyn to Joan: additionally, there is a chair from Marilyn’s home, a Chanel No. 5 bottle owned by the star, an early portrait by David Conover, and snaps taken by servicemen during Monroe’s 1954 trip to Korea.
An interesting sidenote: items from the personal estate of Anna Nicole Smith are also up for auction. Smith, a glamour model and tabloid favourite until her tragic death in 2007, was an ardent Monroe fan and even lived in the star’s last home for a while.
For those unable to attend the auction in person, bids will also be taken online (in real time) and by telephone. Alternatively, interested parties can order a full ‘Hollywood Legends’ catalogue for the rather grand price of $100.
This month our friends at Immortal Marilyn are bringing us vintage articles from 1960 and ’61; a video, ‘Marilyn by Herself’; a new portrait of Marilyn by Bruno Doucin; TV schedules for the UK and US; a book review; plus a calendar and wallpaper for your desktops.