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As a person who’s read much too much about the late and great MM, I’ve never come across this reference to her personal hygiene, until recently here on Quora, where I’ve read anecdotes alleged by men that she wouldn’t sleep with, disgruntled admirers or assistants, and a host of others with little to no claim to fame. So really, who knows for sure? Further, why does it matter? What can be said is: She pretty much built a career from the ground up. Using her wiles and smarts. And her basic gifts. With these she learned to transform herself from a pretty girl into a woman of great allure. She studied the arts of make-up, lighting and camera work, as the subject, and so much more, including intellectual growth, that was rare for a pretty model of the time. She drew from previous stars of the ‘30s and ‘40s as to how to project glamour and what we call the sex symbol quality. This in itself was quite an achievement.
Much went into the photography and selling of a star’s image. In this she would’ve had to have been primped, scrubbed, made up, plucked, tweezed, brushed, moisturised, toned and all out gussied up. Even today you can look at the wealth of pictures and film to see her lasting allure. Bringing things down to an earthly realm, when not on location, and just living her life like most of us, she probably enjoyed letting it all hang out.
Personally I like to keep a clean and tidy home, but it’s exhausting. And I am always amazed when seeing how other people live that they haven’t been overcome with their own filth. No exaggeration. Some of the highest functioning folks I know, live like slobs. So, who the hell cares if she smelled bad sometimes or not? Ate in bed or not? (something I abhor personally). It doesn’t matter. What it does do is show us how quick we are to tear down an icon — who is more beloved nearly 60 years after her untimely death than ever before.
I never heard some of the things said here about being an overt slob but I saw a photo of her which I am posting here of her getting out of a shower with a caption that said something like, (can’t remember exact wording) “Surely the beautiful Marilyn Monroe is not going to put on such dirty slippers?!”
I did hear rumors about her having atrocious feminine hygiene. She didn’t wear feminine products when she was menstruating. I don’t know how that is possible since surely it would have been visible to many.
As far as flatulence, she did have gall-bladder disease which can cause that, and had to have it removed. The surgeon did a terrible job and left her with a horrible scar that must have had an effect on her psyche, especially for someone who’s stock in trade was her looks. The surgery wasn’t too long before her death. I am posting a picture of that too. The photographer who took this for Life Magazine, but never used it for the mag, claimed she was extremely drunk during the shoot.
One must remember that Marilyn was always an insecure human being ever since she was a child. Besides having a mentally ill mother, she also had an unstable childhood, being shuffled from one foster household to the next. There is no doubt in my mind that she was also sexually abused as a child. By the time of her death, she was not only suffering from clinical depression, but was also an addict and alcoholic by self-medicating that illness. Sadly, Marilyn didn’t have anyone who cared enough about her to do an intervention. Some mention friends like Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio, but it appeared that neither ever really tried to help her beyond financial assistance and moral support at times. A week or so before her death, Frank Sinatra threw her under the bus when she disrupted a party he had where she got drunk and rowdy. I don’t necessarily blame him as people suffering from depression and addiction are often unruly and uncontrollable, and it is said that she was also not the easiest person to be around when she was drunk. I guess people just got fed up with her bad behavior. Whatever the case, she had a sad life, despite the glitz and glamor portrayed on the screen.
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There have been reports that Marilyn Monroe would show up to rehearsals and filmings after not showering for days and had a messy appearance. They say she also ate in bed and would push the crumbs aside. Furthermore, Marilyn did smell often, possibly because lack of showers. While I cannot conform or deny these reports, I think we should be aware of something. Marilyn had depression. Depression could possibly explain those personal hygiene issues if they really are true. Remember, Marilyn’s life wasn’t an easy one. Sometimes people forget beyond the Hollywood Glamor facade, Marilyn really was an insecure and troubled young woman. She sought love and respect her whole life, yet didn’t receive it.
Marilyn Monroe had a horrible childhood too, that included being sexually molested.
Besides possibly not being taught how to take care of herself, poor hygiene is a great way to deter molesters. She probably did have some mental health issues that played a part in this.
The only thing I heard about her was from one of her maids my mother treated her a few times in her old age, and she said the others may had been resentful and speaking in distasteful manner because she fired them or they weren’t happy of their salary. “A film star should pay us more” sort of thing, but she lived alone and seldom organized Social parties and other demanding things a larger family or couple would exact and expect from them. They should have been less ungrateful, and disloyal. So many women disapproved of her, but even her maids??? No home support, even providing them with a job well paid by elsewhere standards except those around Hollywood probably expecting a dentist salary as servants to the stars or directors and moghuls of that vicious town
Everything in Marilyn was well kept she said and she was fastidious as she had a bewildering assortment of beauty and hygiene products most gifted in exclusives, large variety and she used them often if not daily except when she could spend some days home without any resting of make up, etc. She wasn’t sloppy but from what heard I only can see that she walked around her own house quite comfy and not pimped up. Like so many middle class women Quite like a teen but not some trailer park some for hissing reasons of their own want to make of her. The only thing this old lady said that could have been considered dirty of hygiene in Mrs. Munroe was her dirty feet…. “because she had a habit of kicking shoes any time she was home and walked barefoot more often than in her slippers or beach ones” So as you can guess too her bed sheets, furniture and things around the house where she may had put her feet, must have made any assistant to have to clean extra behind this homey carelessness of her. Well earned in her own house and she could afford it. She didn’t need to keep her floors or rugs or bed clean of feet prints “for mom” or for her ladies, paid for it to take care for her, however these may had wished her making it easier for them…or work for an older m’am all day in her make up and high heels 1950’s style. She must have seemed to them or those used to such standards as an immature teen or Beatnik or Bohemian in those days, almost a hobo “specially wrong in a young miss”
As for the rest of stuff mentioned by many over years to stab in the back at her image and person,
that she didn’t wash or showered often, many forget that she grew up in the Depression era when they didn’t have hot showers and once a week major bath sufficed, of which activity she was fond now that indoor plumbing and hot water to waste however living in California. So if she didn’t shower daily for 2 or 5 days it wasn’t an unheard thing since her Youth, however not 60–90’s standards. But it didn’t mean folks back then didn’t wash their faces every morning or more times a day, or did a quick “Russian shower” with a hot soapy hand-towel all between pits and behind ears.
Her mouth was also quite well taken care as she knew her smile meant bread home or caviar and champagne she loved. And with so much alcohol I guess Listerine was a mild rinse.
Those who say she had caked blood in her pubes definitely must be exaggerating, and forget or they didn’t know if they got a chance to be intimate with her, that she wasn’t a natural blonde but a ginger and so the red they may have seen between sheets were not un-cleaned blood stains but her own natural pubes colors.
I can’t believe how low people will go to tear her to pieces. Norma Jeane became a goddess of the 7th Art and photography in general, Super-icon but she was just a simple and not-so-simple human being that was actually beset with her own imperfections without adding belittling and shameful ones invented or exaggerated off proportions, she already had enough in her plate and if you weren’t careful without need to be crass with her, her speech changed right in front of you blocked by a slight stuttering that threw her off balance even worse, people that hate her had no idea how difficult must have been, being MM. And actually, from what many recount of problems she faced I can’t withhold it against the person she was, but reckon how much UNQUESTIONABLE BRAVERY she must have possessed as huge as whatever other charms and values she had visibly in her personality too and beauty like so few -THAT Quality of courage, with so many odds stacked against her and personal failings, that is short of a miracle almost that she got through and as far as she did, without throwing the towel, however it came close to her very existence a few times and still didn’t break her. Even men with sounder weapons and intellect and wits and wills of Steel as Robin Williams eventually broke at some points, and you wonder how it didn’t happen many years before to some tiny one as Norma Jeane was since infancy
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There were rumours but how true are rumours? Most the time they are twisted exaggerations from one event that turns into something huge. Those slippers bring dirty dont prove anything. I have had old slippers end up looking like that too and I’m not a slob.
Also, she is from an era where men controlled everything. She was a beautiful woman, probably also the target of many smear campaigns from jealous men who couldn’t have her and jealous women who envied her.
Many may be disillusioned by the answer. But the answer is yes, she had poor personal hygiene.
In Clark Gable: Tormented Star, David Bret writes about Marilyn Monroe’s non-hygienic personal habits that not many people knew about. According to Bret, she was “flatulent, dirty, and ate in bed…Like Jean Harlow, she bleached all her pubic hair and never wore panties.
Allegedly, Monroe would frequently go about her house in soiled clothes, and had huge piles of dirty dishes in her bedroom.
Her personal hygiene was allegedly so bad that it drove several of her maids to quit working for her.
In addition, she suffered from what today would be described as irritable bowel syndrome which may explain the flatulence . She rarely bathed, slept in the nude, and ate a lot in bed — shoving what was left on her plate under the sheets before going to sleep.
Baseball legend and second husband Joe DiMaggio complained that Marilyn stunk to high heavens because she would avoid bathing for days on end.
Movie star Clark Gable was revolted by the way she would lie in bed naked, gobble food and scrape the messy leftovers under her sheets for the maids to clean in the morning!
British actor Peter Lawford refused to sleep with Marilyn Monroe, because he was repulsed by her personal hygiene
So there you have it. Many illusions have been destroyed! Sorry to burst your bubbles.
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If you believe just about anything people who claim to have known Marilyn Monroe say about her you should just take it with a grain of salt. There are so many untrue rumors about her it’s disgusting. People are just trying to cash in on her and always have been. She is such a legend that people will do or say anything to have a little piece of it.
The only references of which I am aware is the photo of her bedroom the night she died and, the fact that on that tragic night, her nails were dirty. Her house was yet to be furnished and her bedroom was being left to the last Think she she did a little gardening earlier that day before RFK showed up, a fact that needs to be checked, if one can be bothered?
Yet, I am probably protecting her for there are some say she was a slob.
But it is funny isn’t it, that we still wish to know everything about this person even fifty-seven years after her death? Poor Norma Jeane.
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