Marilyn Monroe – Ahead of Her Times

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"If I had observed all the rules, I'd never have got anywhere." - Marilyn Monroe

The woman who smiled with her eyes. The woman who was with the President of the United Stated, his brother and the mafia. The woman whose death turned out to be as mysterious as her life was mystical.

Marilyn Monroe comes across as a lost soul who was constantly trying to figure out life. She did perform “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” but owned very little precious jewellery. She was considered a dumb blond but had an IQ of 168 and her list of attractive men included Albert Einstein. She was a great cook and a writer too!

Carving her own path

She was way ahead of her times in terms of a liberal outlook towards society. Not shying away from nude pictures of herself, she hated to be known as just a pretty face. When Hollywood’s studio system in the form of Twentieth Century-Fox relegated her to roles that typecast her further into the dumb blond mould, she protested and walked out in the middle of her contract. She went on to start her own production company and was one of the first women to do so.

Similarly, she was severely against racial discrimination. Her singing was heavily influenced by African American singer, Ella Fitzgerald. She studied her records and was rumored to have been asked by her vocal coach to listen to Ella’s recordings of Gershwin music, a hundred times in a row.

The Ella Incident

During the 50s, Mocambo, one of the most popular venues in Hollywood refused to let Ella play because of her race. Unhappy with this turn of events, Marilyn Monroe took matters in her hand and made a call to the owner. She told him if he booked Ella immediately she would book a front table every day of the first week. This would certainly bring the crowds in and was enough to convince Mocambo’s owner.

Indeed, Marilyn booked and showed up for every night of the first week at Mocambo. The press went crazy and so did the audience. Ella Fitzgerald never had to play at a small jazz club after this incident.

Action Summary

  • Never forget the people who influence you in life.
  • Use your strengths, clout and confidence to help talent that you believe in come forward.

~ Meeta Kabra

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