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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What do you think of this Marilyn Monroe statue?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38942points) July 19th, 2011

Check out the article here. When I first looked at it, it made me feel multiple emotions at once, dare I say..followed by a sigh…as if they couldn’t find a different image of her to blow up. No man in history would be ‘commemorated’ that way. Would you be one of the ones taking pics of the crotch or pretending to lick her vagina?

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34 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It doesn’t work on a lot of levels. When I was 6 I might have wanted the pics. I hope I’ve grown out of that mentality.

Jude's avatar

Or, hump her leg.

It doesn’t bother me.

redfeather's avatar

It’s such an iconic image, but this statue is an awful idea. It doesn’t even do the real Marilyn justic. The woman working in the office with the view of the giant Marilyn statue butt and who says she has to watch people all day take pictures up her skirt. It’s disgusting and even though she’s a major sex symbol, they should at least be respectful to her. She’s still a person.

marinelife's avatar

It’s really poor in both concept and execution.

flutherother's avatar

It is grotesque. Tell me I imagined it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

We were just in Chi-town. We did not go out of our way to see it.

Seelix's avatar

I get what the sculptor was going for – it is, as @redfeather said, an iconic image. But I don’t think anyone really looked anywhere beyond that.

That said, I don’t think it’s really any worse than the statue of Juliet in Verona, where people are encouraged to rub her breast. People are going to do stupid things with statues regardless.

Blackberry's avatar

It doesn’t look very artful to me for some reason. It reminds me of something an obsessed teen would make. I’d also the statue be of some political or activist figure than her.

YoBob's avatar

Erm…. this is based on one of the all time classic pictures of Marilyn Monroe.

Of course it is Sexy, as was she. What’s to be offended by, the fact that she reveled in being the hottest movie star/sex symbol of her time? Any famous public figure is likely to be commemorated in a way that accentuates what they are/were famous for (as they should be). Marilyn Monroe was famous for being a “sex kitten” and that is exactly how she is portrayed in iconic images commemorating her.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob Nope, not by that. And I’m not offended by it. I’m offended by sexism.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@YoBob It isn’t at all a flattering view of the “iconoic” version of Marilyn from the perspective most people witness this at.

YoBob's avatar

Sorry, don’t see the sexism at all. Don’t particularly want to do a search here at work, but I’m sure you can find a sculpture or two of a man famous for being a nice hunk of beef cake portrayed showing off their physique.

redfeather's avatar

@YoBob waaaaaaay different… When I saw that in person, it’s so huge and amazing that someone crafted that without modern technology and it’s so perfect. Yes, people have made crude novelty boxers with the image but it’s respected as an epic work of art.

The Marilyn statue in the link looks like a giant piece of trashy folk art.

missafantastico's avatar

The biblical story of ‘David’ does not portray him as a “sex kitten” and while I can see your comparison to how some tourists might objectify the iconic male statue there are far more artists/intellects that are flocking to the the statue for it’s beauty/craftsmanship

SpatzieLover's avatar

If I were able to go see the David, I’d be looking at the whole of the sculpture. The craftsmanship and the beauty of the human form. People are going to Marilyn to have a photo of themselves looking up a woman’s skirt.

missafantastico's avatar

I think a wonderfully crafted statue of Monroe could have the same effect that David does on the art world. Instead it is easier to objectify her in a popular pose for quick recognition.

I’d be interested to know how Marilyn would have felt about it.

redfeather's avatar

I mentioned to someone that I would love to see a huge, elegantly crafted statue of Marilyn modeled after the picture of her in the floor length gown, where she’s slightly bent over and blowing a kiss. Not quite as iconic, but still Marilyn exuding that sex kitten vibe, but still being respectful.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob Oh yeah, ‘cause I see people all the time lining up to lick his balls. Especially here at the MET.

YoBob's avatar

So… do you really think that the sculptor of the Monroe statue picked that particular pose thinking to himself:

(In best Bevis and Butthead voice)

“Hee..hee…. people will be able to look up her skirt…”

Granted, the sculpture was a bit ill conceived in that regard. But the topic is about sexism.

(and don’t try to pretend that those sexually attracted to men don’t look at “David” without having a sexual thought or two pop into their heads.)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@YoBob I’m sexually attracted to men. That is not at all what I think of when I look at the statue.

redfeather's avatar

@YoBob I’m extremely sexually attracted to men and when I saw The David I walked around him a few times to see him from every angle, then sat on a bench to stare at him for about 10 minutes. Not once did I think about getting a picture of me bent over in forced perspective to make it look like he was giving it to me. I appreciated it as a piece of art.

I think that’s exactly what the artist did for the Marilyn statue. Someone says you can see her butt and panties from behind in the article. How many times have I seen that picture of Marilyn Monroe in that pose? Countless times? How many times have I seen the view from behind? Never. The artist did it on purpose. Trashy.

YoBob's avatar

@redfeather – Then again, you are probably not a puerile as the average peeper who would seek out that statue just to look up her skirt.

ucme's avatar

I guess some like it hot ;¬}
If it had been a statue of Mae West it would have brought a whole new meaning to her phrase “come up & see me sometime.”

rebbel's avatar

A good artist would have made the scene complete and put Marilyn on a giant subway grating with mansized holes in it.
Look who’d be peeping then.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…that just destroyed the entire innocence and spontaneity of the original picture /shot when the wind from the subway unexpectedly blew her dress up and she automatically did what almost any woman would do and tried to keep it down…specifically so that people couldn’t see her “underwear”. In looking for the original shot I found some other images of the statue from different angles, which could only have been imagined as there was only that one shot from the front and side. I don’t think it “honored” her in any way. They took a moment of innocence and turned it into trash. As Simone predicted, there will be assholes taking “cute” pictures of themselves with the statue.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks, I guess I am a bit ambivalent about it, if not closer to @YoBob. It is an iconic shot of her, they sure couldn’t use the one she did in Playboy, which was another iconic shot. If the image was made into trash, who made it trash, was it the sculptor, or the viewers? The people, mostly men, I guess are the ones not honoring it. Would we be talking if the statue of David was a bit larger and assessable to passers by and women were rubbing or kissing his phallus? Would anyone accuse Michelangelo of chipping a poor work out of his hunk of marble? The way those men chose to address the Marilyn statue is no surprise giving the sexual climate, which isn’t high, in America. If I were going to have to rail against something there are far worse sexual things to tackle then worry about some men acting Boorish by taking photos of fake panties on a woman that isn’t even real. If her memory is tainted it wasn’t because of a mere giant statue which might be reflective of how huge an icon she was, but horny men; THAT should be a telling point of the sexual barometer that exist in the US.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Marilyn’s death by suicide was probably in part caused by her objectification as a sex symbol. Yes, she derived benefit from her exploitation, but also suffered from the devaluation of herself as a person.

Her story stands as an object lesson of the consequences of trivializing a person by focusing on their appearance or “sex appeal” alone.

The statue is a grotesque reminder of the worst of her mistreatment that must have contributed to her death.

The movie scene depicted had a certain innocence that the statue fails to capture.

The conduct of the viewers mentioned indicates how far society still needs to grow up.


I think it’s great. I loved Marilyn Monroe. She deserves to be remembered as one of Hollywood’s true sex symbols, and an enduring beauty who has afforded generations of men with pleasure and fascination.

Blackberry's avatar

“Her story stands as an object lesson of the consequences of trivializing a person by focusing on their appearance or “sex appeal” alone”

“an enduring beauty who has afforded generations of men with pleasure and fascination.”


dannyc's avatar

Although it was iconic moment, I would have preferred something deeper. As a striking remembrance of her beauty, it works. But her intellectual struggle, crushing notoriety, circle of tragedy are not represented. Perhaps another artist will have or has had a stab at it. I know I read a book way back, forget its name, that explored this. The masses today who do not know what the fuss was about will hopefully research this very interesting woman and dissect the price she paid. Her story always made me sad. Far from a sex object, she is the epitome of what being misunderstood is all about, destroying her spirit via the prism of the paparazzi living off the flesh of fame. I cannot imagine her distress and suffering. It was inhumane and led to her death, I presume. A real American legend in an unreal fishbowl.

prolificus's avatar

Sigh.. I just saw one man standing directly underneath her between her legs and another man getting his pic taken while mimicking holding up the back of her dress with his arms fully raised. The last man was in business attire no less, not some t-shirt wearing teenage boy.

Almost every morning since that statue has been in process of set-up, the local NBC news guys have been commenting provocatively about her or doing some sort of story with some innuendos right next to her.

The more I think about it, the more disgusted I am by not only the statue but also others’ behaviors.

I wish it was removed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The statue doesn’t disgust me at all…it’s the people who came up with the idea (must have been a man,) who had to have known full well how some idiots would react and and the idiots you’re mentioning above @prolificus.

You know…I just don’t know what some people are thinking. Several years back our town tore out our old pool. It was just a square concrete thing that held water, one slide and diving boards. They put in this woop de do water park, complete with these fountain things that spray up out of the water, and some that shoot from the side into the water, all at about knee level to an adult. When I first saw the plans I thought…“You people do NOT understand how uninhibited kids can be…” and sure as hell, the first time I went there I saw more than one little kid just standing still so that the the spray was directed at his / her private area.

Nullo's avatar

It’s tacky and in poor taste. I expect that conservative sorts in general are opposed to it.

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