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    How Did Marilyn Monroe Become The Ultimate ‘Sex Symbol’? Did She Like The Title?

    Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926, with the name Norma Jeane Mortenson. She achieved incredible fame as an actress, singer, and model. Her comedic “blonde bombshell” characters were received well by the public and Marilyn unwittingly became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s.

    She was treated as an emblem of the era’s sexual revolution. This made her the top-billed actress for a decade and her films crossed over 200 million dollars back then. Monroe, even after her death which is shrouded in mystery, remains a major icon in pop culture.

    Related: Marilyn Monroe Appeared Nude In The First Issue of Playboy Despite Not Posing For It. Here’s What Happened

    Why Marilyn Monroe Was Tagged As A ‘Sex Symbol’?

    Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe did not act in any sex scenes or adult films. Then why was called she known as a ‘sex symbol’? It was all because of her financial problem and her need to get herself out of her life’s dungeon. She posed nude for a photographer when she was not even present in the industry only to be dug out after her success to portray her as a ‘sex symbol’. Back in the 50s, the tag meant the girl was attractive and many wanted to have sex with her, and not because she did sex scenes.

    Marilyn, at the beginning of her career, posed nude for a series of photographs by Tom Kelley. Later, she got chances in various films like ‘As Young as You Feel‘, ‘Monkey Business‘, and ‘Don’t Bother to Knock‘. The success of all these films brought back nude photographs and caused a scandal.

    Media, instead of damaging her career, propelled her name to a sex symbol level. Monroe was one of the most woke and extraordinary actors ahead of her time. Despite her talents, the media always found a way to sensationalize and sexualize her every action. Scandals after scandals broke out in public regarding her love affairs, her dresses and her image as a sensuous diva.

    In case you missed: How Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Flying Skirt Scene Led To Her Divorce In Real Life

    Did Monroe Like The Title ‘Sex Symbol’?

    Marilyn Monroe

    The woke adjectives to describe women who are body-positive and self-determined were not feasible in 1950s Hollywood. Hence, the media stuck with words like blonde bombshell and ‘sex symbol’. Monroe in an interview stated, “Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.”

    Even from her childhood, Monroe was having a rough time with life. She moved around from one foster home to another. In order to have stability in life, she married at a young age, but the marriage did not function as how she dreamt. She later ventured into acting as a form of escapism and that brought in a lot of fame along with the dark sides of the industry.

    She was pressured to succumb to the beauty standards of Hollywood at that time and was cast only as a sex symbol, which made her life harder to live. She died of a barbiturate overdose and met a tragic end. In an interview for Life in 1962, Monroe said, “I never quite understood it, this sex symbol. I always thought symbols were those things you clash together! That’s the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing. But if I’m going to be a symbol of something, I’d rather have it sex than some other things they’ve got symbols of.” Monroe was thinking beyond her time, yet her age was not keeping up with her.

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    Trisha Gayathri G
    Trisha Gayathri G
    Trisha Gayathri is an ardent writer and a public speaker. She has a masters in English from Women's Christian College, Chennai. She loves to read and 'Book Thief' is her favourite. She knows everything about music and fandom. Her motto in life is to entertain people and thereby placing her first step into entertainment by writing for the entertainment unit of First Curiosity.

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