Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Shattered Portrait Behind America's Sweetheart

 The Shattered Portrait Behind America's               Sweetheart

         Tired, lonely and depressed, America’s number one beauty icon and film legend, often found herself slipping into deep levels of suicidal thoughts, leading to her frequent abuse of drugs and alcohol. Outwardly, she had everything; looks, charm, talent, and yet, inside she’d felt so empty. 

            Perhaps it had been because of her loneliness as well as her disappointment in people… the disappointment that had been found by parents who’d so greatly failed her as a child, as well as a husband who’d even hit her at times, out of jealousy and rage. She, as if addicted to the sessions, attended therapeutic sessions with the guidance of Dr. Ralph Greenson. Her depression had most ideally been brought on by her pained and lonely childhood that had been filled with a sense of worthlessness, abandonment as well as a lack of trust in others. 

           In and out of foster homes and orphanages for the first sixteen years of her life, Marilyn was abused and suffered in many ways. Her mother, Gladys Baker had suffered from an immense series of mental disturbances and her father, Heaven knows what of her father, despite his cowardly abandonment of both his unstable wife and little child. Marilyn recalled on many occasions throughout her life of the kindness that her guardian Grace offered to her during her childhood. Almost acting as a rainbow in the midst of a massive storm, Grace often took Marilyn or Norma Jeanne as she’d been referred to as a little girl, to go and have her hair curled which (in her own words) had “meant a great deal” to her. Marilyn also remembered how her kind guardian had also bestowed upon her the freedom and ability to try on her lipsticks, powders, etc. 


             At the tender age of sixteen years old, forced to choose between more foster homes and orphanages or the marriage to a “kind” as she often referred to him, young man of about 21 years old, won over by the man’s kind and gentle nature, Marilyn settled upon the choice of “premature marriage.”  

       After her husband had left for the war… Norma Jeane drifted off towards her goal of one day becoming an “actress”. First, through various modeling gigs


as well as a cameo appearance in a few b-rated films, connections which had later led to her breakthrough film starring alongside Jane Russell “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", she soon became a well-known movie star, a household name … and through the help of her appearance in the noir film “Niagara”, was soon painted even more so as “America’s Favorite Blonde” a highly regarded bombshell.

           As the years went on, after two failed marriages, following her early marriage to young James Dougherty back in June of 1942, and several appearances (most of which linked themselves to roles of “dumb blondes”)  the years of depression that had been caused from her sorrowful childhood as well as her excessive fame had finally caught up to her. 


       After her final days, spent entangled in the excessive addiction to drugs and alcohol, Marilyn’s self-destructive behaviors had finally begun to wear on her. During the filming of her final and uncompleted film “Something’s  Gotta Give” starring alongside the two celebrated film stars; Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse, (an experience which most of the producers and members of the set referred to as a “nightmare”),  Marilyn had in fact suffered the bordering of a death-ridden experience due to her drug abuses. Despite the red flag put up by Marilyn’s death-bordering attack, her mental difficulties weren't quite aided enough, and in a sense (as some consider it to have been) made even worse by her therapy sessions with Dr. Greenson. Overworked, drained and used as if a machine, treated as a source of wealth for the producers in Hollywood, the studio dismissed Marilyn's attack and encouraged her to keep working regardless of her troubled mental and physical health. 

          The day had finally come… the day when Norma Jeanne Baker’s sorrow and tragedy had all caught up to her back in early August of ’62. On that morbid late summer morning, the actress’ body was found dead in her Brentwood home, a discovery which both pained and shocked the entire world. An interviewer, a journalist who’d interviewed her for “Life” magazine days before her death, had, in his own words been “floored” by the news of Marilyn’s death. He also had expressed his lack of suspicion of Marilyn’s nearness to such an event while interviewing her just days before the tragic incident. “To think, of Marilyn Monroe attempts suicide, around the world, punishing those s.o.b.s at Fox, punishing all of the people that’d been mean to her and treated her like a “joke”.” Were the journalist’s final words pertaining to his disbelief in the actress’ attempted “suicide”. 

       Perhaps poisoned by the toll that the excessive use of drugs and alcohol, I believe that either her mind had been fogged by the above listed factors, all of which had provoked her to such a tragic end. However, I do feel that with Marilyn’s final days being spent with an excessive amount of determination and fight towards Fox’s studios, in hopes of rejuvenating her career and fame 
   as well as re-obtaining her role in and resuming the production of “Something’s  Gotta Give”, that Marilyn had not committed suicide purposefully.
      I believe, in fact, that there had still been a lot of willingness to live as well as a firm desire to become mentally stable as well as the hopes of rejuvintating her will to live. and that had it not been for drugs and alcohol, the legend would still be here today. 
       Perhaps, it is true that no matter how hard we try, Norma Jeanne will never be brought back to life… her end, despite it’s untimeliness  had been a force far to strong to fight against. However, I do know that her legend will live on forever, and her image has and for many generations yet to come shall remain embedded into the heads of those who have even ever seen a mere photograph of her. She is (as a documentary had once expressed) "An icon who's celebrity transcended her untimely end."

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