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…

Ariana Grande’s Tribute to Marilyn

The 21 year-old actress and singer, Ariana Grande – who had a worldwide hit recently with ‘Problem’, featuring rapper Iggy Azalea – paid tribute to Marilyn (and defended her idol) yesterday, reports Contact Music.

 

“The singer/actress took to Instagram.com to remember the Some Like It Hot siren on what would have been her 88th birthday.

In a caption posted alongside a snap of the late star, she wrote, “Happy birthday Marilyn #misunderstood #beautiful #innocentrebel.”

The post prompted a barrage of negative comments from Grande’s followers about Monroe’s reported fragile mental state prior to her death in 1962.

Grande was quick to call out her detractors, taking to Twitter.com to pen a scathing retort.

She wrote, ‘So much hate for celebrating Marilyn’s spirit on her birthday. I adore her work and have compassion for her inner sadness that she covered up on a daily basis that a**holes like you made her feel in the first place!! Judging her for her wildly rumoured personal life (which is truly no one else’s business) is only a distraction from her talent, beauty, comedic genius and effervescent spirit…

‘We should only and always focus on the beautiful things… because what we focus on expands….. which is why I feel for the people who focus on hate… because that’s all you have to give. And I truly do feel sorry for you because when you’ve been dead for 50 some odd years… nobody will be wishing you a happy birthday.'”

‘Smash’ Cast Remember Marilyn

Smash cast members Megan Hilty, Debra Messing and Christian Borle are pictured here marking the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s death during filming of the upcoming second series.

According to Starpulse, Messing also shared a Monroe quote on Twitter: ‘A career is wonderful thing, but you can’t snuggle up to it on a cold night.’

Hilty re-tweeted the post: ‘Can we get RIP Marilyn Monroe trending worldwide? R.I.P to this beautiful icon of the 20th century! Never forgotten!’

50 Ways to Love Marilyn

The Chicago Tribune takes a look at the various ways Marilyn’s legacy has endured – through movies, TV, music, art, literature, advertising, photography and more.

“There’s a moment at the end of the promo reel for Love, Marilyn, an upcoming Marilyn Monroe documentary that will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, when Uma Thurman, speaking in words that were written by Monroe, almost whispers these lines:

‘Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone.’

Obviously, Monroe didn’t get her wish…

…But the most substantial musical treatments could be Dan Bern’s Marilyn in which the singer-songwriter posits that her life would have been better if the author she married had been Henry Miller rather than Arthur Miller, and T Bone Burnett’s After All These Years which Burnett has said was inspired by a story he read about exhuming Monroe years after her death:

‘Was she still as alluring, still as seductive?
Could she still drive you crazy by the look on her face?
Did she still have a whisper you could hear cross an ocean?
Was she still a scandal, still a disgrace?’…

…It’s also not hard to find fake Marilyn Twitter accounts including @TheMsMonroe, which puts its approach this way: ‘It’s 1962 and Marilyn Monroe Tweets regularly.'”

‘Please don’t tweet about me when I’m gone?’

Networking With Marilyn

In a bizarre sign of our times, Marilyn Monroe – or rather, ABG, the licensing arm of her estate – is now verified on Twitter. She also has a Facebook page.

While I’m strongly in favour of Marilyn’s estate having a public voice, so far I’m not too impressed by the content – too many misattributed quotes, celebrity shout-outs and product plugs. All in good fun, of course, but nonetheless I don’t think this accurately reflects her rich legacy.

I’d like to see fans having more input in these accounts, and a bit more quality control. Ideally, these accounts should be managed by someone who has an in-depth knowledge of Marilyn’s life and career.

Marilyn on Twitter

Well, it had to happen – almost half a century after her mysterious death, Marilyn Monroe is alive, and tweeting.

Marilyn Monroe

@TheMsMonroe 1961, New York, NY

It’s 1961, and Marilyn Monroe is now a regular Tweeter. It’s going to be an exciting few years, especially since @JFKennedy came up with our plan…

This account is one of several linked to the entertainment world of the early 1960s. Others include @PatNewcomb and @InitialsMMP

Admittedly, this is quite a clever idea because the Twitter feed will lead us up to Marilyn’s passing in time for the 50th anniversary in 2012.

However, I find the idea of MM tweeting about her personal life bizarre and wildly speculative, to say the least.

My personal favourite of these accounts is @GossipMike, which relates actual headlines from columnist Mike Connolly over the years. His tweets aren’t confined to MM, but I have learned a few interesting details along the way…