Lies and Distortion

Ed Clark for Life Magazine

Ed Clark for Life Magazine

by Sofia Alamo, Staff Writer

Known across the world for her beauty, Marilyn Monroe is one of history’s most iconic women.

Unfortunately, her life story continues to be misrepresented by Hollywood. The movie industry has embellished her story to dramatize her 1962 tragic death. The common storyline tells a story of a woman who has suffered her whole life and can never overcome her pain. She is made to fit into the ‘hysterical female’ stereotype – a messy and emotionally disturbed individual. Her pain, alleged affairs, and assaults are hyper-focused on, and they completely disregard her accomplishments, her hobbies and the traits that made her relatable.

When rumors and gossip are included in so-called ‘biographical’ films, large audiences are misinformed. This can be seen in films about Monroe such as Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair and Marilyn Monroe: Beauty is Pain.

Blonde is the most recent distasteful depiction by Andrew Domonik. Though the film is entirely based on a fictional novel about her, the director tells The New Yorker, “Many films about Marilyn Monroe are kind of upbeat and have a lot of music and singing…this one is probably closer to what she actually experienced.” 

The truth is, Monroe was an exceptional and incredibly influential woman. Throughout her career, she consistently spoke out against racism and contributed to the civil rights movement. In fact, when singer Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at the Mocambo nightclub because she was Black, Monroe demanded that she was allowed to perform.

She fought fairly for her roles as well as for equal pay in the entertainment industry. This led her to establish her own production company and to become the second woman in Hollywood history to do so.

Contrary to popular belief, Monroe had a love for literature and was very intelligent. Unfortunately, for many people, her name is forever tied to a false narrative which distorts the truth of her extraordinary life.