Almost every day I see quotes from Marilyn Monroe plastered all over social media. Quotes from other “stars” who were gone before their time also litter the walls of teens and adults alike, but this time I want to simply focus on the ones from Ms. Monroe. The girl the world grew to admire because she came from nothing and ended up a star.
Famous, of course.
Iconic, as a starlet, more so than almost any other I can name off the top of my head, yup.
A woman whose cute little quips we should live by? No Way, people.
Let’s just start by looking at some of the things for which she became infamous. Sure she came from not the best of circumstances and “made her way” up in the ranks of stardom, but at what cost? Really where did she end up? Did she have a life you would actually want to live?
Her life was littered with illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being completely unreliable, not to mention she was said to be an extremely difficult person with whom to work let alone just be around. Her affairs with the very rich and famous may or may not have contributed to her untimely death and the abrupt end of what she might have eventually been. Conspiracy theories abound on her death but the overdose of barbiturates that killed her was officially classified as a “probable suicide.” I don’t think that is the life any of us would aspire to live.
So is she someone you really, truly want to emulate? I’m thinking not. She makes a great Costume for a party (I speak from experience) but not so much a great model for living your life.
Here are a few of the more famous frequently posted quotes that we attribute to Ms. Monroe. Quotes girls post with musings of how they want to live freely like they imagine she did. These are some, just some of the ones that in that context bother me-
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
Now, is that really who you want to be? Is that the girl you want your son to marry? YOU don’t deserve me, yet I can act like a spoiled brat and WILL expect for you to still put up with me, and take care of me and spoil me some more. Yeah, I’m just that awesome! That’s ridiculous!
”We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”
Sometimes if you think about any possible regrets an action might cause, you can have the opportunity to grow old. She never got that chance. The chance to see what growing old could be was missed, because she was afraid if she didn’t do something, even if she thought she shouldn’t she might regret it. Ironic? MMMMMHMMMM.
“If I’d observed all the rules I’d never have got anywhere.”
If she had observed a few more of the rules, perhaps she would have gotten a chance to go everywhere before she went to an early grave.
Now, I am not saying that she could have been perfect. Y’all know I am not and never was, but I am saying, these particular quotes are the ones that float about with a legendary purpose for “empowering” women. How empowered does living in turmoil and addiction and relationships that don’t even belong to you make one feel? That , my friends doesn’t look like freedom to me.
Was it her fanciful ideas that gave her a life so beautiful that she was ”empowered” enough to have lived so well that she thought her life was worth nothing? So much so that she ended it herself? Maybe.
WE have to be extremely careful about following the example of the famous, simply because they are famous. Turning imperfect humans into our idols is nothing but dangerous.
I was laughed at for not letting my daughter watch Hannah Montanna, or pour Lindsay Lohan movies into her head. Snickered at too, for not letting her listen to “regular radio,” where Katy Perry began her Secular career. I have been ridiculed for not allowing “regular TV” in my home anymore either. I actually did think about what would happen if they idolized these girls who grew into young women we now pity and decided not to let them hang their poster on their bedroom walls or follow them.
Should I now ask all those who thought I was a loon if, in retrospect, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan and Katy Perry are people we would have wanted our little kids to have idolized then, knowing the example that they set now?
Maybe if these stars had read these quotes from Marilyn Monroe they would have taken a different turn-
“ Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”
“A sex symbol becomes a thing. I hate being a thing.”
“I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.”
Now, the young stars I mention are still growing, and we all make mistakes, and my point is not to tear anyone in those tragic shoes apart, or belittle those who take a quote at face value while trying to make it a part of who they are. As I have said before, I am so glad that all of my youthful ignorance was before social media took hold of our lives and there were no cameras following me around, it is just too bad our kids, these kids, are not so lucky. My point is we have to teach them. We have to point out the real life behind the fairy tale. It is just one of our jobs, as parents, to point out that when you idolize a person, or even just what they said, that the ideas don’t always work out as romantically as our kids might have imagined in their dreams.
Sad, but true.
Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
― Marilyn Monroe