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Norma Jeane Mortenson, who became known as Marilyn Monroe, rose to fame during times of personal hardship, yet showcased the progression into socially desired femininity of the 1950s. Idolized for her attributes of representation of womanhood and her outlook on sex and body image, Monroe will always embody a woman in the making. Even having to endure much criticism and judgment on not only her views but also her image as a celebrity, Monroe created a figure that soon many others would yearn to be. Throughout her undeniable success, Marilyn Monroe acted as an icon for all women and her image will continue to live on as a symbol of sex, femininity and an inspiration to all.
During her rise to fame, Monroe experienced many obstacles which she continuously tried to overcome. Being raised primarily through foster homes, Monroe did not experience a stable family dynamic. In her late teenage years, she became sought out by a modeling agency that jump-started her career. As a curvy woman living in the 1950s, Monroe gained confidence from her body that allowed her to believe she could do anything she longed for. Opposing the 2000s body view image now, Monroe had gained the confidence in her era to do anything she desired. Her prosperity as a model established her opportunity as an actress. After a short period in the acting industry, she received the feedback confirming her own image: more than just the stereotypical woman in the 1950s. Monroe overcame the social norm for women, which was to be placed in a house cooking and cleaning, and developed into a woman who accomplished what she wanted, all in all being her own type of a woman that didn’t let what people said get in the way of her self-love and worth. Monroe illustrates the idea that all women can have more worth for themselves, rather than being just a housewife.
As she proved to all women that they could become something powerful, Monroe exemplified and achieved the new norm that women are sexy, and could openly showcase their sexiness just as males could. In many of the movies Monroe starred in, she would be seen as playing an enticing role. Although this was her stage career, Monroe was an open book when it came to her character offstage as well. Monroe continued to show off her sexiness as an everyday person when outside of the camera lens. As she wore fitted and alluring clothes, Monroe further received criticism and was torn down due to her confidence. Loving and cherishing her own body, has been seen as a source of inspiration for today’s world. Although some critics believed she was paving an unpleasant path by publicly embodying her sexiness, all in all, gave Monroe a bad rep. Later to come, Monroe would be known as a feminist in the 1950s before feminism even developed. Through all of the judgment she received, Monroe allowed her confidence to strive and beat the standard. Marilyn Monroe illustrated the idea that women can openly show themselves off as they pleased even when faced judgment and criticism.
Known as one of the most beautiful actresses to ever live, Monroe’s beauty will serve as an everlasting inspiration to all women. In 1950, most women maintained a thin body image, and remained prude, until Monroe compensated the norm. Monroe recovered femininity and loved her own body image, even when she was slandered for her body. As Monroe was not a size 0 and was still captivated by some, she helped reclaimed the notion that all sizes would define true beauty. The confidence Monroe upheld showed all women that no size prevailed, and this furthered the growth of desired femininity. Monroe maintained her positivity and empowered her own body. By embracing her poise and self-worth, Monroe jump-started the movement of self-love and beauty for all women. Many view Monroe as an inspirational feminine and sexual icon. They look back at the 1950s ‘ideal body’ as one of all beautiful bodies, even today. Monroe was a start for the social norm to be challenged by self-love and actualization. During her success, Monroe faced many challenges, yet overcame them as much as she could. Dealing with criticism was only a barrier to the beginning of her femininity movement, that lives until this day. By presenting herself as more than the average woman living in the 1950s, she remained as who she was, loved her body, confidence, and sexiness. By breaking through the prude wall, Monroe allowed her self-worth to shine and be an example for women in today’s world.
Thanks to Monroe, women became more comfortable and confident with their bodies due to how she showed herself to America. Marilyn Monroe will always be looked up as a cultural icon of beauty, love, and self-worth to all.