Marilyn Monroe is my #1 beauty icon, which you probably know if you've been an xoVain reader for a while. At this point, you're probably like, "Kara, stop talking about Marilyn already!" But I'm obsessed with her, fascinated by her life, and enthralled by her many facets.
She died on August 5, 1962, but she's just as famous today as she was then — if not more so. Her legend will never die, and we remain captivated by her beauty and her sheer star power. If she were still alive, she would have turned 90 in June!
While I find Marilyn inspirational in her many incarnations, I'm counting down my 10 fave Marilyn beauty moments in honor of her 36 years on this Earth.
#10: Young Marilyn
Norma Jeane Baker Dougherty was just adorable with her curly, dark blonde hair and big smile. You can see how a few tiny tweaks (a chin implant, a change of hairline, and a little plastic surgery on the tip of her nose) would turn her into Marilyn Monroe only a few short years after this.
#9: Niagara Marilyn
One of MM's breakout roles was as the murderously sexy Rose Loomis in Niagara. This movie also shaped the "Marilyn look" of platinum blonde curls, downturned, sleepy eyes, and glossy red lips.
#8: Millionaire Marilyn
How cute does Marilyn look as gold-digger Pola in those big cat-eye glasses? In How to Marry a Millionaire, she plays a model looking for a rich man, and she looks the part in a tight set of curls and big, fluttery lashes.
#7: Misfits Marilyn
The Misfits (1961) is my favorite Marilyn movie, partially because it's about cowboys and stars Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. But Marilyn is hella luminous in the black-and-white drama, and I've always loved her longer hairstyle and slight contour. She also wears the cutest pigtails when her character, Roslyn, is out on the ranch with the cowboys, proving that she didn't always play the glam girl.
#6: Wedding Day Marilyn
No one was a more beautiful bride than Marilyn when she married Arthur Miller in 1956.
#5: Candid Marilyn
Marilyn out of character was just as exciting and gorgeous as she was on the silver screen. If you've seen any candid TV clips of her, you know that you can't tear your eyes away from her. If this image doesn't give you brow envy, I don't know what will.
#4: The Girl Upstairs Marilyn
If you've never seen a Marilyn movie, I encourage you to watch The Seven Year Itch first. She's just delightful in it as The Girl (her character's name is never revealed), and even though you've seen that subway scene a million times, you haven't seen the best of the movie. Look at that cat-eye! Look at that perfectly tousled 'do. Obsession-worthy.
#3: Early-1960s Marilyn
Marilyn's look towards the end of her life is one of my favorites. It's very stereotypically early-'60s with that pale eye and dark cat-eye liner, paired with swoopy bangs and a slightly more coral lip. She looks so beautiful in clips from her last movie, Something's Got to Give, which was never released. It's also worth noting that this was the only movie in which Marilyn spoke in her real voice.
#2: Gentlemen Prefer Marilyn
Marilyn scored the coveted role of showgirl Lorelei Lee in 1953's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and it rocketed her to mega-stardom. It's also one of her most iconic looks, what with the sparkling golden bob and glowing skin.
#1: Milton's Marilyn
No photos of MM are quite as beautiful and heartbreaking as those taken by Milton Greene, her friend and business partner. They've always been my favorites for their elegance and vulnerability. Forget Joe, Arthur and JFK — Marilyn and the camera was the world's greatest love affair.
- Do you love Marilyn Monroe, too?
- What's your favorite Marilyn movie?
- Which MM look would you like to duplicate?