Monroe has had quite a long journey from trailblazing icon to tired
cliché. It’s probably a good thing for Marilyn that she hasn’t been
around to see it, because she surely wouldn’t have been pleased to
see what her Hollywood descendants have done to her.
we all go through identity crises. Listening to music your parents
hate and buying a car you neither need nor can afford are part of
the circle of life. If you and I do it, why can’t those who are
famous and/or filthy rich do it? They have as much of a right to
indulge themselves as you or your teenager do.
most of us finally discover our true character and priorities
through trial and error. Not the women of Tinsletown. More and more
of them seem to know their results when they begin the journey.
Instead of developing their unique traits, they all bet on the tried
and true: the Marilyn Monroe look.
from Madonna, who donned the look during her Material Girl days to
Anna Nicole Smith, have imitated the glamour icon. Jessica Simpson’s
curvaceous figure, bleach blonde hair and figure hugging get ups
channel the actress. Lindsay Lohan has admitted that her
controversial transition from gorgeous flaming redhead to platinum
blonde was in large part caused by her admiration of Marilyn.
imitations of these queens of Hollywood’s new guard pale in
comparison to Christina Aguilera’s attempt to become the ultimate
embodiment of Marilyn Monroe. She has not released an album since
her infamous Dirrty days, and the change in her appearance may be an
attempt at a preview for a change of sound.
leather chaps behind, Aguilera arrived at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards
sporting plump lips painted with blood red gloss, platinum locks and
a glittery dress that emphasized her cleavage (which increased
several sizes over the past 3 years). She completed the look by
blowing kisses over her shoulder at the paparazzi. This came
several days after a cover story interview for GQ magazine with a
photo layout mimicking one of Marilyn’s.
is no denying that Marilyn may be the ultimate symbol of sexuality
and glamour in the Western world. Like fashion designers,
celebrities have copied her look on innumerable occasions.
it may get immediate media attention, its shock value has worn off.
Instead of retaining her place as a classic in the American cinema
tradition, Marilyn has become the patron saint for bleach blonde
playmate wannabes. That may have been the formula for making it in
the entertainment business at one point in time, today it serves as
proof that the celebrity’s stylist has run out off creative juices.
is nothing wrong with playing with your look, but the point of
experimentation is to set yourself apart from your peers. Kirsten
Dunst has her quirky creative style, Keira Knightley emphasizes her
perfect bone structure, and Jennifer Aniston has made her sun-kissed
California look her trademark.
craving for attention and spotlight is as natural among entertainers
as it is among the rest of us. Seeing their mistakes may be good
insight for those of us looking for a new identity or icon.
Individual style is by definition a reflection of the owner and
creator. It is just not the same when four replicas walk the same
red carpet on the same night. This should give us a hint that
before we criticize the clones on tabloid covers, we should look at
who it is we are trying to imitate. Are we buying a car because
everyone else at work has a similar model? Running out to purchase
a pair of wedges like the ones the girl in the front row wears?
Marilyn proves, it is only the originals that make a true mark. And
while a parade of Hollywood copycats may have turned the Marilyn
look into a cliché, an original will always be just that.