I was 9 years old when I first encountered Marilyn Monroe. I don’t remember how this happened, I just know that it did. I was in the 3rd grade, and was assigned by my teacher, a research project about any famous person of our choosing. Being that it was the 90’s, most of my fellow classmates were doing Mariah Carey or the members of Backstreet Boys. I chose to do Marilyn. A little back story: I wasn’t influenced by my parents. She’s not exactly the sort of topic that we discussed in length over pork chops at dinner.
Suffice it to say, I loved everything about her. She was the most radiant, beautiful, charismatic, person I had ever seen. She had a dazzling smile that I could never imitate quite right in the mirror. Anybody that could have that much of an impact on culture long after, was important indeed.
Over the years, I’ve kept her in mind. She helped me discover my confidence when I was feeling down, proving that you don’t have to be a size 2 to be beautiful. I watched her on-screen, and she taught me something important: never take yourself too seriously. Life is too short and Marilyn tried to live hers to the fullest. I idolize her to this day, and always ask myself: what would Marilyn do?
Happy Birthday Marilyn, and thank you for the lessons you have taught me.