How a Fake Marilyn Quote Inspired a Meme

Social media has spawned many ‘fake quotes‘ wrongly attributed to Marilyn. One of the most ubiquitous, shown above, ends with the line, ‘If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.’ This quote cannot be sourced to any biography or interview, but it remains inexplicably popular. While more reputable publications now acknowledge that is dubious, it is still commonly linked to Marilyn. Recently, a more humorous take on the infamous quote has spawned a popular meme, albeit with the line slightly altered to ‘If you don’t love me …’

Among many celebrities joining in on Twitter are Smash star Katharine McPhee, and that most famous of Marilyn fans, singer Mariah Carey…

Mariah Joins Marilyn With Hollywood Tribute

Singer Mariah Carey is one of Marilyn’s most famous fans – she bought the star’s white piano at Christie’s in 1999, and recently revealed to Vogue that she also owns a compact belonging to Marilyn, containing handwritten notes for her Golden Globes speech. And today, Variety reports, Mariah will  follow her idol’s path as she dips her hands and feet in cement outside Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre.

“Even with a long list of accolades behind her and a number of upcoming projects ahead of her, being immortalized alongside legends such as Marilyn Monroe, one of her own idols, is not an event Carey takes lightly. ‘I have this picture of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell when they were doing their imprint ceremony. It’s an iconic photograph, and I have it hanging in my living room,’ Carey says. ‘It’s something that feels humbling, and I feel honored by it.'”

Mariah Carey Inspired by Marilyn

Singer Mariah Carey has spoken about her long-standing admiration of Marilyn in a revealing interview with Out magazine.

“Her first, and most enduring influence was Marilyn Monroe, and you don’t need to spend long in her company to see that the identification runs deep. When I note the dazzling butterfly ring on her finger, she extends her hand theatrically, like a caricature of Monroe’s Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. ‘This is Van Cleef and it’s missing a diamond, and it is shocking,’ she says, faux dramatically, before riffing, ‘shock and awe, shock and awe—I’m very upset now, Aaron, I gotta tell you.’ She pretends to fling her ring across the room, before anticipating how this might read in print: ‘It’s missing a diamond, She tosses it on a couch.‘ Another bubble of laughter. ‘There, I did it, so now you can say I did it.’

Carey traces her obsession with Marilyn Monroe back to her childhood, when she received a copy of Norman Mailer’s hefty biography of the actress as a Christmas gift. ‘I couldn’t have been more than 10,’ she says. ‘I was a reader as a child, believe it or not.’

‘Why should I not believe it?’

‘It doesn’t go with the ditzy image, I guess. I have too many highlights!’ She breaks into laughter, and I ask if that image—of the ditz—frustrates her. ‘No,’ she replies. ‘I flirt with it, and I play with it. If it pisses people off, whatever.’

‘Marilyn Monroe was pretty smart,’ I point out.

‘Marilyn was reading Nietzsche on the set of Something’s Got to Give,’ she responds. ‘Marilyn Monroe Productions was the first female-owned production company in Hollywood. She paved the way for women in Hollywood, and every single woman owes something to her for that, whether they agree with her image or not.’ [Actually, Marilyn was preceded by a few other women, including Rita Hayworth – but she still qualifies as an early pioneer.]

It’s tempting to hazard that some of Carey’s struggles, in her personal life and within the entertainment industry, parallel her idol. With both women their public persona served as a disguise for a much more thorough grasp of their circumstances than either is given credit far. Like Monroe, Carey has also experienced the ways in which the entertainment industry tries to control women…Her explanation for wanting to purchase Marilyn Monroe’s baby grand piano at auction in 1999 is instructive. ‘It was her only piece of the childhood she’d never had,’ she says. ‘It was very important for her to find something to cling to.'”

Mariah Carey Names Daughter ‘Monroe’

Singer Mariah Carey has named her baby daughter ‘Monroe’. According to her official website, ‘Their daughter’s name is Monroe Cannon. Mariah’s rep says she does not have a middle name because Mariah herself does not have one. Monroe was named after Marilyn Monroe, who has been an inspiration to Mariah her whole life. In fact, Mariah purchased the Hollywood icon’s white piano from Christie’s auction house and it is in Mariah’s will that the piano will one day go to the Smithsonian.’

Monroe’s twin brother ‘is named Moroccan Scott Cannon. Scott is Nick’s middle name, as well as his grandmother’s maiden name.The top tier of Mariah’s New York City apartment is called the Moroccan Room, because of the Moroccan-inspired decor.’

Mariah is a longtime fan of Marilyn, and has paid homage to her in numerous videos and photo-shoots. And of course, the twins’ initials spell ‘MM’.

This magazine clipping from September 2006, detailing ‘Mariah’s MM fetish’, was shared by ES member Tiina Lindholm.