There are many women throughout history that one should look up to; women who have dedicated their lives to great things and who have had the courage to strive for knowledge, equality and justice. Such women would include Florence Nightingale; founder of the modern nursing system, Hypatia of Alexandria; mathematician and philosopher or Marie Curie; Nobel-laureate physicist. All of these women excelled in professions dominated by men, in times when women just didn't do such things. They endeavoured to change society for the better and they stood up for what they believed in and for what they thought just.
However, for me one woman stands out above all others throughout history. She didn’t hold the academic knowledge associated with excellence, neither did she strive to reform society or spend her life fighting for some aspect of equality. She was simply woman enough to be everything she could regardless of the prejudice, predicaments and discrimination associated with fame.
Marilyn Monroe personified Hollywood glamour with an unprecedented compassion and an energy that infatuated the world. Her alluring beauty and voluptuous curves were not all that defined her exciting persona. Her apparent vulnerability combined with an innate sensuality made sure that she was more than just a sex goddess of the 1950’s. She became an amiable personality, accessible to a vast range of fans from various walks of life.
I admire Marilyn Monroe for her strength and determination; despite her tragic and heart-breaking past she persevered single-handedly through one of the most challenging and competitive career paths in existence. Stating that “There must be thousands of girls… dreaming of becoming a movie star.” But that they didn’t matter because she was “dreaming the hardest.” Being ambitioned towards the very same career path I identify with its struggles and her untarnished determination despite her circumstances inspires me to believe that if I “dream the hardest” I too will be able to aspire to levels beyond even my own imagination.
Perhaps even more than her passion, I admire her integrity. To be so resolute on achieving a goal, that you would do almost anything is one thing, but to hold that passion and yet be able to stand up for what you believe even if it contradicts your goal, is something that is truly commendable. When Marilyn quit Fox and left Hollywood at the peak of her career to join the Actor’s Studio and became the first women to set up her own production company she proved to the world that she was more than what people told her to be. She proved that she wasn’t just a blank canvas for photographers and directors to paint, but that she was her own person, with the audacity to stand up for herself and the independence to make her worthy of the title role-model.
Another of the most prominent things that I respect in Marilyn are her forward views in a very non-progressive time; Marilyn made selling sex an acceptable thing; often joking about suggestive shoots and rumours, making them appear light-hearted and innocent: “It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.” or when asked what she wore to bed “Chanel No. 5 of course.” She is to a certain extent the reason why many women today can benefit from their sex appeal and beauty, an action which I believe to be an essential part of a woman embodying her femininity. Marilyn embodied herself fully, she did not try to conform or change to the ideals of beauty that surrounded her; she embraced her natural form and relied on her sensuality to create her sex appeal. Her overt femininity is yet another feature that I admire. Many people would say that she is a symbol of anti-feminism, but I do not agree with the stereotypical suit-wearing, bra-burning,...