Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean: Hollywood Sex Symbol

By Shaley German and Gracie Miller

So who is she?

Appearing in about 30 films over the span of her career, Norma Jeane Mortenson, an actress known famously as Marilyn Monroe would achieve fame that would last through the ages. Despite the public view of her, one that only saw the way she looked, Monroe worked to get an education and to improve upon her acting skills. Not all of this was in vain, Marilyn is still viewed today as being a very smart woman; however, the issues that Monroe would bring up, issues involving how women are viewed by the media, are issues that are still present in society today.

Impact on the Decade

Marilyn Monroe was a lot more than just a pretty face; her beauty, personality, and talent would give her the platform to voice her opinion, one that will not be forgotten. A spokesperson for the way women are viewed in the media, Monroe truly showed that women are not simply what you see on the outside. Marilyn was intelligent, well-spoken, and charming, all things that weren't seen when she was judged solely on what she was wearing. On March 8th, 2016, The Daily Mirror ranked Marilyn 7th on their list of the world's most iconic women. This shows that the viewpoint she brought was pivotal to the decade as well as decades to come.

What Did She Stand For?

It continues to be debated whether or not Marilyn stood with the feminist movement or not due to the fact that she often allowed photographers to capture suggestive images of her. However, today Marilyn is widely considered an icon for the feminist movement because of the way she carried herself. Even though she was an actress and model, she also studied literature at UCLA and also started her own production company. This shows that Marilyn was successful in more than one aspect of her life and that she is her own person- at least equal to every man that she worked with.
Big image

Connection to Today & Solutions for Tomorrow

Despite Marilyn's best efforts to improve her image, the media continues to portray her as a sex symbol even today. Even though Marilyn was a thoughtful, intelligent woman, Hollywood and the music industry continue to use her image as a symbol for a ditzy, promiscuous woman. Along with Marilyn in particular, many women today are stereotyped in the same fashion. Women are considered to be unintelligent, as though working in the media is their only attainable career path. This speaks volumes about the media's one-dimensional portrayal of women. The only real way to combat this negative connotation is for all women to work together to prove that they are worth more than the media suggests. Hopefully, in time, the movement that Marilyn was part of (feminism) will defeat these stereotypes.


Banner, L. (2012). Marilyn Monroe: Proto-feminist? Retrieved March 15, 2016, from
Shoshana, M. (2007, July 01). Marilyn Monroe. New Moon, (6), 20, Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://elibrary.bigchalk
"TOP 10 ; World's most iconic women." Daily Mirror. 2016, March 08: 11. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from http://elibrary.bigchalk