I have had an obsession with learning about Marilyn Monroe lately.
For no particular reason, really.
Some of you may have noticed towards the bottom of my page, I have Marilyn displayed. That’s because I find her quotes inspirational when I am down.
However, in learning about her, I am intrigued by this woman…
I suppose I am so fascinated by her, because I see a lot of myself in her. As I honestly think most women could if they really looked.
She loved and was loved, she had insecurities and fears, wanted things in life, struggled with body image and her sexuality.
Marilyn kept a diary/journal and the pages in it are heart wrenching and completely raw. Poems, letters, notes, recipes and dairy entries have surfaced over the years and they are truly captivating.
Reading, hearing and studying some of these pages reveal so much about who Marilyn was and I guess that is why I like them so much.
They don’t show what the media wanted to show, which was Marilyn was a mediocre actress and sex symbol and nothing more. It shows her depth, her thoughts, herself.
Media. Oh, how I dislike the media.
It is kind of disturbing to me, that our media today wouldn’t have ever considered Marilyn worth looking at because she isn’t a size 0. Looking at her they would have laughed and turned her away without even a second glance.
She read religiously and continually tried to better herself in her craft.
It got me thinking about women in general, the media and myself.
When I was in college, I did my thesis on women in the media. I have always been interested on why women see themselves how they do.
Let’s take Marilyn for example, she was a sex godess. Pretty much THE most desired woman in the late 1950s.
If we were to time warp her into the 2000s, do you think she would still be the most desired woman? Probably not.
Want to know why? The media plays a tricky game of grooming us to see other things as “beauty” even though we have no idea it is happening. Constantly being pelted with ads, TV commercials, shows, beauty products, clothes, lingerie, actors, models….shall I go on?
From the perspective of mass media, thinness is idealized and expected for women to be considered “attractive”.
And my goodness no wonder SO many of us are always looking to get into better shape, lose some weight, eat better, have clearer skin. Magazines and advertisements are specifically marketed to help women “better themselves”.
*Think* about that for a second.
How many magazines or ads have you seen lately about products that are supposed to make you feel and look better…
Studies have shown that women who regularly read fashion magazines, or who are constantly shown images of women in the mainstream (which is all of us) have increasingly high levels of depression, stress, guilt, shame and insecurity.
This makes me sad.
The majority of models on television, ads and other forms of popular media, are approximately 20% below ideal body weight. So how come we all want to be like them so badly?
Because that is what we know.
I struggle with body image every day. As I think most women do. And quite frankly, I am tired of it.
I get tired of waking up every day being unhappy with how I look. I get tired of constantly being worried about what I put in my body. I get tired of trying to achieve something that I know I really can’t because my body just isn’t put together that way.
Why the vicious cycle?
Am I every going to be able to change what the media puts out there? Nope. Am I ever going to feel completely comfortable in my skin? Not sure.
The only thing I have control over is my own mind. I can try to look at life in different ways. Instead of how many calories I ate that day…was I happy? Instead of, I didn’t work out as hard as I wanted…did I get to spend time with people I loved?
We need to focus on positive things like Marilyn tried to in her life.
We need to break the cycle of constant unhappiness and feeling empty. There is one quote that I have kept close by me whenever I am really feeling off, lost, and frustrated.
“So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” – Marilyn Monroe
Focus on what really matters my friends. It is a constant battle and will I ever stop wanting to make myself better? Never. But I can at least try and smile a the beautiful things along the way.
Sorry for the deep post today my dears, I needed to get it off my chest.
In honor of Marilyn (and as a birthday treat for my Dad, Happy Birthday Daddy!) I wanted to make something that was rich, made with lots of sweet things and had a kick. Just like Marilyn 😉
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon golden cane syrup, or corn syrup
- Dash of salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1.75 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- Combine brown sugar, milk, syrup, and salt into a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring this mixture to a boil.
- Cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, remove from heat.
- Stir in bourbon and vanilla extract. Add bittersweet and milk chocolates. Let stand for about 1 minute. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow dish, like a pie plate and cover and then chill for 4 hours.
- Heat a tablespoon measure with hot water, pat dry. Scoop chocolate mixture with spoon, roll into balls and then dip into the unsweetened cocoa to coat balls.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.