Marilyn Monroe – not a size 16!

Marilyn Monroe

There has always been a statistical debate on whether Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, or not? The majority of my life the media has portray this image of curvaceous Monroe and therefore hypocritically stated that if Monroe was a 16 and beautiful – so can’t we all! They often forget the fact (especially in magazines) that two pages ago they were showing the newest, tiniest and totally unhealthiest looking models (oh they say, we need to keep the balance). Yes, they do need to keep the balance but not with a hypocritical yo-yo opinion, and not with unhealthy models – that’s where it HAS to stop.

All I want is No. 1 the truth and No. 2 a broader representation of society, not with a yo-yo half hearted opinion to please every living soul – the whole magazine, newspaper, whatever it may be needs to voice it’s ok to be whatever size you want, whatever race etc. Not one minute page (e.g. page 184 ‘Lizzie Miller’ comes to mind!).

Anyway back to Monroe, after a tad of research I realised that Monroe was no-way near the pretence the media gave her. She was a curvy, hourglass shape with stats of 36-23-35 in her youth with her weight fluctuating throughout her career. Apparently this 5ft 5″ beauty wore a 30E bra, and according to The Times magazine this made her a 8 or 10?!

The Times ‘Was Marilyn Monroe a size 16?’

It’s perfectly viable that she wasn’t a 16, as with those stats – no way! But an 8 or a 10 with a 36″ bust, I don’t think so! She may have had a tiny frame and a small waist but when you realise that an 10 was pretty non-existent in that day… and an 8 just didn’t happen (according to my interviewee’s). The sizes were different to they are today – with all the attempts to flatter women with more generous sizing – the 8’s and 10’s aren’t what they used to be.

Marilyn Monroe

On a final note I think Monroe was more of a 10 – 12 throughout her career, especially as her stats changed with time! She wasn’t the larger sized icon we thought she was, but she was curvy, beautiful and pretty much accepted her larger busted shape – something that wouldn’t happen so readily nowadays.



Filed under Model Size Debate

2 responses to “Marilyn Monroe – not a size 16!

  1. Vikki Weston

    I just took part in a BBC radio discussion on the size zero debate and the radio presenter brought up Marilyn Monroe being larger. I was going to discuss this on my blog, and your post is really interesting!! I will mention you if that’s ok, so check it out! 🙂

  2. Lois

    I’ve always been a fan of plus-size models! There’s a great site with many images of plus-size models here:

    They’re all gorgeous.

    The site’s forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.

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