marilyn monroe

When my Mom was visiting me a couple weeks ago, we somehow entered a conversation about people who use their beauty to achieve wealth and fame.

We agreed that we couldn’t begrudge those who have done and do so, because if we were to walk a few miles in a beautiful person’s shoes, it would probably be a really rich and famous 5K, and we would not want to give those metaphorical shoes back when we rumbled through the finish line. We’d gladly make bucks off our beauty. There’s no shame in that game.

But the problem is that beautiful people become icons based on looks alone. This doesn’t stop the media from interviewing them, which results in their spouting off all kinds of crazy sh*t that some people might take with more than a grain of salt.

The quintessential person who made money and garnered frame from her looks is Marilyn Monroe. People who disagree will say that it was because she was a great actress, but you probably shouldn’t believe these people. (Though she was more talented than, like, Kim Kardashian or Kate Upton. Which I realize means pretty much nothing.)

Some of the stuff Monroe said is pretty wild. I understand that she was probably saying these things without the slightest expectation that girls would be quoting them years after her death.

It’s time to move past Monroe as that woman whose sound bites some live by, or at least post to social media or dating profiles. Which is where many Monroe quotes are regularly seen.


“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.”

To tell someone they are something when they aren’t, especially at a young age, is an ill-advised thing to do. People don’t really become pretty until a certain age, and some bloom late. And furthermore, you shouldn’t inflate a little girl with assertions that she is pretty. Young people are impressionable, and you certainly don’t want to plant a seed that will blossom into them deciding that they will rely on their looks for the rest of their lives.

“Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.”

Monroe was trying to go with some witty wordplay here or something, but she’s way off-base. Married dudes mostly want to have sex with their spouse just as much as they did before they got married. It’s not like you have to grab onto him and be like “I’m not letting go until you hump me for a few minutes!”

“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”

I’m all about being happy with yourself before entering a relationship, lest you resign yourself to using them as your sole source of happiness. But if you’re going to succumb to unhappiness either way going into it, you may as well be with someone. Because getting laid regularly is pretty awesome.

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

I’m led to believe that Monroe hooked up with some really kinky dudes and did not spend very much time around curmudgeonly canines.

“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”

This is patently true, but I’m of the ilk who believe you don’t need to sacrifice or compromise on your career trajectory to accommodate a relationship, unless you consciously make a decision to do so, and are completely satisfied with such a decision.

“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.”

Sex is the bee’s knees, but letting dudes in your knickers because nature intended for you to do so is kind of a flawed reason for doing so. Nature is rife with things that people don’t go along with for very valid and apt reasons.

“I am invariably late for appointments — sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.”

You have to be some real big asshole to be late for an arranged appointment by TWO WHOLE HOURS because you were doing things that pleased you instead. Don’t believe me? Roll into your next job interview even a few minutes late and tell your potential employer that you were having way too much fun goofing off or eating waffles or whatever to show up on time. Let me know what happens.

“I have too many fantasies to be a housewife. I guess I am a fantasy.”


“A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.”

My head hurts.

“Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.”

Nonsense. All Monroe had to say was “John F. Kennedy is the best lay of my life so far.”

“Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt, and bewildered.”

I picture the rest of the interview going something like this: Monroe went on to say that she was sick of being known only for her looks and alleged promiscuity, that she had ideas of her own, and was going to start spouting them off in interviews. Nobody believed her when she screamed “THEY’LL BE REMEMBERED AND REGURGITATED FOR DECADES!”

Also it’s pretty funny that she said “heavy load” in the same breath as “sex symbol.”

“Men are so willing to respect anything that bores them.”

This is, I sincerely believe, almost always untrue. Two examples:

1)    Every time I go to the post office, I am super bored waiting in line, and usually bored with the employees I eventually reach.* I do not respect these people or this antiquated institution.

2)    I do not respect most people who work for FOX News, and I am consistently bored with their programming, because it is mostly repetitive nonsense that they occasionally attempt to deliver to their audience (of rich white dudes, mostly) in vaguely different ways.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Not always, not always, and not always.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”**

Have more self-centered words ever been spoken? When I see this on a dating profile (which is more often than should happen in a sane world), I immediately leave the profile. Because anybody who wants to be connected with that quote is probably a pretty hard See You Next Tuesday.

**I’ve heard that Monroe didn’t actually say this, but it’s often attributed to her so I’m including it.

*Sometimes, this occurs after spending a second wondering if I should feel bad I’m about to take John’s place in line. John is this guy I just met who was right in front of me in line and went out to get tacos for the two of us when I said I would both pay for his and keep his place in line. I mean, nobody is going to believe him when he rolls in with a Chipotle bag if he says that he’s been waiting for hours or maybe days and he just left the line for nourishment. Unless somebody vouches for him. And that someone is already engaged in a mind-numbing conversation with an honest-to-god government worker. At that point, I’m willing to sacrifice the money I just fronted for tacos in exchange for my being able to get the f**k out of that place as soon as humanly possible.

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