News
|1 Jun|5 mins

Was Marilyn Monroe The Original Kardashian?

The curves, the sex, the controversy, both ladies had them all… but is that where the similarities end?
Sarah Tarca
1 Jun
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Carine Roitfeld has said it. So did the Creative Director of Burberry, Riccardo Tisci. And of course in true Kanye style, he has humbly declared his wife the Monroe of our generation. But the Internet world sits divided on this one. For diehard Monroe fans it’s a resounding “hell no”. For one thing, Marilyn was an actress (and singer) starring in over 30 movies and Kimmy has appeared in one, well, very memorable “movie”, as well as the KUWTK franchise. But Kardashian fans argue otherwise, claiming that she is the most notable and photographed celeb of our era, which is also arguably also true. Acting abilities and mega hit movies aside; there are at least some undeniable similarities between the two.

News
|1 Jun|5 mins

Was Marilyn Monroe The Original Kardashian?

The curves, the sex, the controversy, both ladies had them all… but is that where the similarities end?
Sarah Tarca
1 Jun
Share:

Carine Roitfeld has said it. So did the Creative Director of Burberry, Riccardo Tisci. And of course in true Kanye style, he has humbly declared his wife the Monroe of our generation. But the Internet world sits divided on this one. For diehard Monroe fans it’s a resounding “hell no”. For one thing, Marilyn was an actress (and singer) starring in over 30 movies and Kimmy has appeared in one, well, very memorable “movie”, as well as the KUWTK franchise. But Kardashian fans argue otherwise, claiming that she is the most notable and photographed celeb of our era, which is also arguably also true. Acting abilities and mega hit movies aside; there are at least some undeniable similarities between the two.

Marilyn Monroe via Getty Images

The both understood the concept of “sex sells”. It was Monroe who said “we are all born sexual creatures, thank God; but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift”. She was regularly photographed in sexy boudoir-esque scenarios, all with the requisite bedroom eyes and slightly open mouth. And of course, she did pose naked for pics that eventually ended up as a Playboy centrefold - a huge, potentially career-ending move in that era. But, just like a certain “friend of Paris Hilton” this controversy seemed only to propel her further into the spotlight.

Image via @kimkardashian

And then, there’s the ditzy stereotypes that they both battle. For her entire career Monroe was typecast as a dumb, sexy blonde despite her love of literature and the UCLA courses she took while juggling work. Kim too is often passed off as plastic and vacuous, but is actually a savvy businesswoman who knows how to capitalise on her fame, launching makeup, the kimoji franchise, merch, a fragrance line and is also an exec producer on the show. Both are also self-created stars, though their approach to celebrity differs greatly. While Monroe was troubled by it (and it ultimately led to her downfall), Kardashian revels in it, which is perhaps one of the biggest divides between them.

Yet, this all this makes us wonder what Marilyn would be like if she was alive in 2018? Would the modern day equivalent of that Seven Year Itch subway grate photo be a greased up derriere on the cover of Paper Magazine? Would nude photos be the only thing leaked to the press, or would there be a sexy video of a certain president too (as has been widely rumoured)? Would modern-day Marilyn have 111 million Instagram followers?A reality show? A Monroe-ji merch range? And would we be posting photos and quotes of her if she was still alive, or is a large part of her appeal in that she’s not here, tweeting her thoughts for the entire world to hear and pass judgment on? Kim Kardashian may not be Marilyn Monroe incarnate but she is a woman who owns her sexuality, which was once the very thing we celebrated Monroe for, so it is at least something to give pause to.

Sarah Tarca
Writer
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