She's the icon of classic Hollywood beauty. But it would be foolish to simply write her off as a pretty face who had an easy road to success.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe had a rough childhood. She endured living in foster homes and multiple sexual assaults. She married at the all-too-young age of 16, but when her husband Jimmy Dougherty went off to serve in the South Pacific, things turned for Norma. After being discovered by a photographer, she signed her first movie contract in 1946 and transformed into her Marilyn Monroe persona, changing her name and dying her hair blonde.
Perhaps Monroe's inner fragility and ultimate tragic ending play a significant role in people's fascination with the blonde bombshell. Sure, her sex appeal is front and center, but her enduring appeal hints at a deeper connection.
Monroe's body rests at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles. But her image lives on in many forms, from the big screen down to tattoo memorials of the Hollywood starlet.
Monroe was known for her film roles where she was cast as the airy dumb blonde. While she was best known for her knockout figure and beauty, some of her fans pay tribute to her words with tattooed Marilyn quotes.
She may have spoken in soft tones, but it doesn't mean Monroe couldn't have harsh words for conniving people.
Many feminists may take issue with what seems like a concession, but in the context of her time, simply expressing her need to be who she is no matter what still resonates today.
These truly are words to live by. They clearly served Monroe well.
Even though she was held as the pinnacle of beauty, Monroe's personal insecurities likely informed these words of wisdom we can all live by.