The Marilyn Monroe Effect.

October 5th, 2010
Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe in the tr...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been almost 50 years since Marilyn Monroe died. And yet, that fact is really is hard to believe because her influence is still everywhere. Books are still being printed about her life, her films, and her untimely (and mysterious) death. She has influenced a whole range of modern-day stars and starlets, and is still used to advertise a whole host of products, including cars and perfume.

Lindsey Lohan, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Megan Fox and Scarlett Johannson are just some of the modern-day icons who are influenced by the Marilyn Myth.  Lindsey Lohan, in particular seems to be totally obsessed with her idol. She has always spoken of her admiration for her idol in interviews, and in 2008 she recreated Bert Stern‘s iconic ‘Last Sitting‘ photo shoot for ‘New York‘ magazine. She has also called her range of designer clothing ‘6126’, after Marilyn’s date of birth. Her clothing website features a range of quotes from Marilyn Monroe on each page.

Jennifer Lopez is another Monroe fan. The actress,  as famed for her curvy derriere as Marilyn was, recently styled herself in a ‘Mr President’ style dress and wig in order to sing a happy birthday tribute to a close friend, comedian George Lopez.

Feisty actress Megan Fox seems worlds apart from the soft, baby girl style of Marilyn Monroe. With her bad girl persona, skimpy dresses and tattoos, she is the polar opposite of Lorelei Lee. Yet look closely at those tattoos and you will see that the rather large one on her right forearm is of, yes, you’ve guessed it, Marilyn Monroe.

Madonna based a large part of her early image on Marilyn Monroe, dressing up as Lorelei for the famous ‘Material Girl’, and posing as Monroe for Herb Ritts. Even now, in her amazing D&G ad campaign shots, she is channelling the spirit of Monroe, with her platinum, cotton candy hair, nipped in suits and general style.

Mariah Carey was reportedly the buyer of Monroe’s famous white piano, at the Christie’s auctions held a few years ago, whilst Scarlett Johannson has based her personal image on Monroe, particularly in her perfume ads for Calvin Klein, and in public appearances at both the Baftas, and the Oscar ceremonies. With her Marilyn-esque curves and her retro style wardrobe, Scarlett is probably the nearest thing to a modern incarnation of Marilyn.

There are other modern-day references to Marilyn in our society today. There are rumours that the strictly un-Marilyn-like Angelina Jolie will play Marilyn in a new movie.  On TV, the prostitute Kelly, a character in the hit tv series ‘Shameless’ donned Marilyn’s white dress in one episode of the latest series. Billie Piper also wore the iconic dress as a young bride in ‘The Miller’s Tale’.  Samantha Morton played a Marilyn lookalike who befriends a Michael Jackson lookalike in the film ‘Mr Lonely’. At least two tv adverts for cars feature Monroe’s image, including the neon lite sign in the Toyota Yaris ad. The closing gala in the hit Musical ‘Dirty Dancing’ features one character in full Marilyn gear, whilst the number of modern-day icons who have dressed up as Marilyn is never-ending;- Coleen Rooney, Kylie Minogue, Cindy Crawford, Drew Barrymore, Rachel Hunter, Anna Nicole Smith, Geri Halliwell, Mira Sorvino, Nicole Kidman,Kelly Osbourne and Ashley Judd, have all portrayed Marilyn, either in films or magazine shoots.

So it seems Marilyn is destined to remain with us forever. We may grown old, but she will remain young and beautiful, an icon for generations to come.

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