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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Please Don't Make Me Look Like a Joke

"Formosa Musings" by Lillian, writing from Tokyo, Japan

On March 14, White Valentine's Day in Japan, I went to the exhibition of a woman most men would readily present their hearts to, even they did not recieve any gifts or chocolate from her. She is the goddess of Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe.

The information on the exhibition's website explained that it consisted of photos from a digital photo art collection called "Marilyn by Moonlight", and a variety of her dresses and accessories. The title of the exhibition in Japanese means "Secrets to Marilyn Monroe's Beauty". I was excited about being able to see her dresses personally because I am interested in the field of evening dress/wedding dress design and I was undoubtedly satisfied after seeing the exhibition.

Marilyn's unhappiness in her latter life and her mysterious death are often discussed by people, but they were not mentioned in this exhibition. At the show room, people praised her face, her body and her dresses and I did so at first.

Soon I discovered something people ignored. It was the words on the second photo and they were "Please don't make me look like a joke."

I went back to see the first photo and found there were something written on it, too. "I was never used to being happy. That wasn't something I was ever counting on."

I started to write down all the words I saw on the photos and the translation in Japanese under them. The Japanese translation sometimes gave more then the English, but because I did not want to change any original words from Marilyn Monroe, I tried to translate only one sentence below back in English, which is shown in light blue. I think that one is important to the whole meaning. Here are those words.

Big breasts, Big ass, Big deal! Can I be anything else? Gee, how long can you be sexy? A sex symbol becomes a thing, and I just hate to be a thing.

I feel that beauty and feminity are ageless.

When I see a mirror, It's only to improve myself as much as possible. I don't know where they got these screwy stories in front of a mirror admiring myself.

I like people, but the world makes me afraid of them.

Fame, is also a burden.

Fame stirs up envy...People wonder, "who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe?"

The studio was cinemascope - conscious...That means that it was pushing the scenery instead of pushing actors and actress. An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like one, a money machine.

Then you grow up, and you find out they make up playing very difficult on you. I wouldn't want a child of mine to go through what I 've been through.

After one month, five magazine covers appeared and they signed me...Then they dropped me after a year!

I remember when I was a kid at the movies on Saturday afternoon, I'd never come out of the movies and they'd have to come and get me. I'd sit in the front row and I'd think how wonderful it would be to be an actress. Whether what I saw was bad or good, it didn't matter.

I remember when I got the part in Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell got $200,000 for it and I got my $500 a week. But to me it was considerable.

I said, "Well, whatever I am, I'm a blonde."

Not because of my talent...But because I never belonged to anyone individual. The public was my only family, my only Prince Charming.

I knew I belonged to the audience, that I belonged to the world.

I did have a funny feeling when I put my foot down in that wet cement, that anything's possible - Almost. I feel as though it's all happening to someone right next to me. I'm close. I can feel it. I can hear it, but it isn't really me.

Reality is the only thing I really held onto. Within reality, your fantasy can work...That includes acting.

And I love men sooo much, SOOO much!

Seldom did I hear people mention these words throughout the entire exhibition. They only talked about her looks. Did they even pay attention to what she had to say? It confused me as those words were plain to see on the photo, in an obvious lay out. The way the producer chose the photos and words and combined them together made me think too, because all the photos looked so happy, so nice, and so glorious, starkly contrasting with the generally sad comments, so lonely, and so desperate. What was the producer trying to say? This was definitely something that the information on the Japanese website did not reveal, and I came away feeling that the secrets to Marilyn Monroe's beauty were not the only secrets hidden in that exhibition.

But this is how we usually see celebrities, isn't it? To notice their radiance, but ignore their gloom.

Had Marilyn lived she would be celebrating her 80th birthday soon. I hope she is happier in Heaven.

Great thanks to Ali for the checking and corrections.

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