Beauty Standards

What Beauty Is: Norma Jean’s Secret

Beauty has nothing to do with genetics.

Cassie Brighter
Our Sensual Selves
Published in
3 min readJun 14, 2024

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Pictures of Marilyn Monroe found on Facebook today

Beauty has little to do with genetics.

Marilyn Monroe was often referred to as “the most beautiful woman in the world.”

Marilyn had a FUPA. Marilyn did not have perfect breasts. Marilyn wore a size 14.

Most importantly, Marilyn was NOT REAL. She was an invention, a gig, an act. Norma Jean Baker invented her, perfected her, exploited her, monetized her.

No one could be Marilyn 24/7. I have read several stories, in various Marilyn biographies, of Norma Jean walking down the street with someone, being “just another girl, just another young woman.” No one paying her no mind. And then she’d say something like, “oh, you want to see HER?”

And she’d walk down the same street, wearing the same clothes — but now she wasn’t Norma Jean anymore. She was MARILYN. And heads would crane, and crowds would gather, and men would ogle and women would whisper, and she was A BIG DEAL.

You want an example of MARILYN in a different package? Think Lizzo. Think Grace Jones. Think Cher, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga. Think Eartha Kitt.

This perfect woman is an amalgam of men’s expectations, boyhood wet dreams, women’s…

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Cassie Brighter
Our Sensual Selves

Activist. Public speaker. Writer. Community Organizer. Mom. Creator & Host, Empowered Trans Woman Summit. Managing Editor, EmpoweredTransWoman.com