My Week With Marilyn: When Innocence Was Sexy

First, Marilyn was not really a blonde. She was a brunette. Our most famous blonde bleached her hair. The movie studio men surgically fixed her nose and teeth. She was painfully shy and had intense stage fright  And Marilyn Monroe was not her real name — it was Norma Jean Mortenson or Norma Jean Baker.

Marilyn had been abandoned by her two mother figures: Her biological mother, Gladys, who suffered from a mental illness, and by her mother’s friend who took her in. As a result, Marilyn had “abandonment” issues. She was in state or foster care from the time she was seven years old; she even did time in a Los Angeles orphanage. Marilyn was sexually assaulted in one home or another from the time she was nine years old.

Raped children are usually afflicted forever after with insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and an addictive personality. Consider: Marilyn was no different. Thus, she drank and she took pills. She did not become a prostitute, as raped children often do, but she did use her sex appeal as a survival skill, to both please and succeed. And, as a struggling actress and model, when she had no money to pay the rent, she posed nude for photos.

By our contemporary standards, Marilyn’s nude photos were rather tasteful, charming, modest, soft-core, not vulgar or lewd. Although she “starred” on the very first cover of Hugh Hefner’s magazine, she did not display her genitalia.

Today, everyone seems to do so. Men, women, children, celebrities -- teenagers on Facebook.

Next: She still needed pills...