to most of the world, a curvy goddess; beautiful. for some, she's overrated. for some, underrated. for some, they can only think about the tragedy of her death. for some, it was murder. for some, it was suicide.
for some of us... she was so much more than all of those things.
i felt connected to marilyn from a young age. in 8th grade we had to do a paired project and my friend hayley and i both chose marilyn. we were on the receiving end of judgement, clearly. i could sense that our ex-nun teacher thought it was a shallow, risque choice. hayley either didn't see the judgment or ignored it, and it inspired me to stick to our convictions. we material girls knew what we wanted! we resonated her, admired her, loved her.
we watched some of her movies for research and got some books from the library. that's when the doom fell on me. one day hayley came over to my house, frantic about this book she found in the library. she had to show me right away. it was a picture of marilyn monroe post-autopsy. we were both shocked. it was beyond disturbing, seeing someone so gorgeous and glamorous in that state. her hair, flat and lifeless. dull skin. i won't recall more details as i don't like to remember and i haven't seen it since. i can't remember what hayley thought although i'm sure she thought it was as atrocious as i did. the difference was that that image haunted me for the rest of the project.
writing about marilyn's first years were easy. they weren't happy first years, but they were doable of course. her entire life was a bright cloud with frequent rainstorms. the poor woman could barely catch a break. even when life seemed most primed and privileged, there was something haunting her behind the scenes. whether it was sexual abuse, domestic abuse, depression, loneliness, drugs, or powerful white men hunting her before she could speak up – powerful woman she was. they couldn't have her taint the kennedy image. disgusting pigs; they destroyed their image themselves. too bad we treat it as conspiracy rather than what it really was. sexism is too embedded to care about the fact that a woman was murdered by a powerful politician for almost ruining his marriage and career. his assassination the following year was certainly cruel poetic justice. and that's why you don't fuck with witches and goddesses, my friends. universe has their back more than yours. political power is nothing.
anyway, as the writing of my report went on and i got further into marilyn's story, i found that i couldn't be alone. something just freaked me out. i couldn't do it. it was almost like having PTSD. i became literally frightened as if i was reliving trauma. i didn't think of it that way at the time but that's how it felt. i don't look back on the project fondly, although the older i get and the more i learn of marilyn, the more i grow fond of her.
marilyn was smart; a bookworm. she was great at playing the "dumb blonde." they carved her image as the sex-symbol. they told her what would sell and she played the part. after all she was an actress. a great one too, and a good singer, and even a poet. she showed her wit and humor and cleverness in her acting.
as i got older i realized we had so much in common i started to think i was her in a past life. we're both gemini, left-handed, female-empowered, hopeless romantic poets. i always craved to have curves like hers and was drawn to blondes. my hands fit perfectly into hers and i believe we're around the same height if not it. the way her autopsy photo frightened me would be another clue; the way reporting on her death affected me deeply... as if trauma relived. i was not abused sexually as a child but i always felt like i had been and didn't know it; she was. i'm an advocate for race equality and social justice; as was she. i love drag queens; she was in one of the first films to do it. i've always wanted to act; that was her career. and i've always felt a pull to southern california; she of course, lived there. some of these might be a reach, but these are just the ways i've felt connected.
but because no intuitive i've worked with has ever picked this up, and i've explored other past lives, i'm not sure it's true. it could all just be wild coincidence, or maybe we share soul family, or maybe i just really resonate with her soul and can appreciate the things we have in common. i love her and i love her influence.
i know people say, 'why are we so obsessed with marilyn, what about dorothy dandridge?' my goodness, dorothy is SOOO beautiful and amazing too! because i don't know her as well, and just happened to grow up knowing marilyn and then watching madonna re-enact 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' with 'material girl,' that was just what i grew up around. i never thought of marilyn as the prototype of beautiful women, in fact i stretch to see past her looks because i think it's a shame the world didn't appreciate her for more than that until after her death (it seems). and many other women, at that! including dorothy. she's gorgeous too, but the beauty underneath is what radiates out.
marilyn's demise is sad to say the least. you can see it in photographs. she died young and aged quickly. she was depressed and i'm sure she drank too much and did too many drugs on top of surrounding herself with the wrong people and depending heavily on men. it all was very draining. i don't judge her for it; i hold compassion for her. she was used and mistreated. despite naivety, no one should be taken advantage of for other's gains. her ferocious spirit deserved more and i truly believe she had more to share with the world. but maybe not. she seemed very private in her world. i think that with older age she would've done more things aligned with her true interests, and probably would have shared great wisdom.
i admire her spirit. i wish she could have met a lovelier fate she deserved. it's creepy how her life is like a movie; as if she was destined for the demise from the beginning.
she never had it easy even when she appeared to have it all.
i will say this: no matter what trajectory her life went on, she was iconic. and for that, i thank her.
Creatress-in-Chief of Pussy Magic, Samantha is a published poet, author, and editor from the Bay Area with immense passion for traveling and positively changing the lives of women through holistic healing and honoring our sacred selves: mind, body, and spirit. Find more info and her writing here.