What isn’t commonly known about Marilyn Monroe is that she was one of Hollywoods most ambitious and hard working people.
What is also regularly overlooked is that she became an enduring American icon after a childhood where she was abandoned and abused.
With her wit, heart and determination she rose to the top of show business in the 50s when women were seen as primarily domestic engineers. Even after being type casted as a “dumb blonde” and underpaid for her work because she was female, she never gave up.
She turned away from what held her back then and began her own production company.
Marilyn used her body, but she also used everything else she had to succeed. She was a keen businesswoman, a sex-goddess, but most importantly to me, she was incredibly human. She struggled with depression, anxiety and heartbreak and was open about this at a time when feelings were to be kept unseen.
I admire her for her fearlessness. There is much that Marilyn can teach us, but for this Valentine’s Day, I would like to remember her for the fight that was in her soul.
I plan to pull out a few of her classy one-liners this weekend, sprinkle them into conversations and over friends’ heads. Because we all need a little encouragement to live big, especially around holidays that can get a wee bit heavy.
Thank you Marilyn, your words always make me feel sassy and strong:
#1) Always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?”
#2) “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure.”
#3) “I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”
#4) “Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.”
#5) “It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”
#6) “Fear is stupid.”
#7) “The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.”
#8) “All we demanded was our right to twinkle.”
#9) “She was a girl who knew how to be happy—And that’s important—you know ”
#10) “If I’d observed all the rules I’d never have got anywhere.”
#11) “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
#12) “Imperfection is beauty.”
#13) “It’s far better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”
#14) “Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.”
#15) “It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
#16) “As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go.”
#17) “Who said nights were for sleep?”
#18) “It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them.”
#19) “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
#20) “I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.”
#21) “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”
#22) “There is no comparison between having a dinner date with a man and staying home playing canasta with the girls.”
#23) “I think that sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural.”
#24) “It’s all make believe, isn’t it?”
#25) “I want to be an artist, not…a celluloid aphrodisiac.”
#26) “A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.”
#27) “I read poetry to save time.”
#28) “The truth is, I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let men sometimes fool themselves.”
#29) “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”
#30) “Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.”
#31) “I defy gravity.”
#32) “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”
#33) “Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid.”
#34) “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman.”
#35) “Marriage destroyed my relationship with two wonderful men.”
#36) “I often wake up in the night, and I like to have something to think about.”
#37) “I’m looking forward to becoming marvelous.”
#38) “I don’t digest things with my mind.”
#39) “I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.”
#40) “The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.”
Perhaps because of the time period she came from, Marilyn Monroe never considered herself an intellect, but she was most certainly an artist of sculpted wit, whose insights into love and life I find profound.
I hope these quotes lift our hearts this Valentine’s Day, wherever we are at, and inspire our spirit to be a little more fiery and bold.