The Best Marilyn Monroe Shots You’ve Never SeenBy Meieli Detoni
Marilyn Monroe: incredible beauty, icon, the center of heady conspiracy theories. We’ve gotten to know her oft-repeated snaps, from The Seven Year Itch subway-grate picture in the white dress to her Last Sitting images by Bert Stern (unfortunately replicated with Lindsay Lohan by the same photographer). These photos–some of the lesser-known ones of Marilyn Monroe that turn up the heat–still remain as hypnotic as their famous cousins. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed finding the ultimate collection of Marilyn photographs at NotaMachine.tumblr.com. Bookmark it and enjoy much, much more.
The World Knew Her as Marilyn
Marilyn Monroe’s ID reads “Norma Jeane DiMaggio,” but the world knew her at Marilyn Monroe. Smirking above the placard, Monroe made one of the best ID photos we’ve seen: now that is a beautiful photo for more than just an ID card! It’s sort of a shame, really.
The Less-Than-Primped Shot
Marilyn might have her hair perfectly done, plus that requisite shellac of lipstick, but a simple terry robe is more unusual than the marabou-trimmed sex kitten stuff. A closer look shows terry-covered heels framing Marilyn’s ankles. This looks like a Seven Year Itch dream! Spring blossoms at the window and a bottle of beer in the fridge, I think.
Light as a Feather
That’s a lot of leg! Marilyn lounges with an expression similar to the Last Sitting: dreamy, eyes nearly closed, skin aglow. While her legs are summer bronze, that expanse of lighter thigh hints at days out wearing ’50s wiggle dresses.
Early Norma Jeane
Some of those early Marilyn Monroe shots truly make the rounds, particularly her early beach shots. The candy-striped bandeau bikini photo, left, looks incredibly modern, and we get an early look at Norma’s curly hair. Before Marilyn went platinum, she was strawberry blonde and a lot more natural. Early portraits show a different kind of vulnerability than her practiced fan-mag snaps of later years.
Monroe never denied her early nude portraits, simply saying that she had to pay her bills at the time. These portraits aren’t featured as often as the ones on the plain red spread, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting. In one, Marilyn brings back the languorous bed lounging she did in Niagra before getting bumped off in the film; in another, she accidentally displays the exact trim of her bikini line. Oops.
Red is a good background for a smoldering star, and Marilyn gives the camera an eyeful. The close-up allows us to catch a glimpse of her famous peach fuzz that supposedly diffused light and aided her photogenic quality. Thick red lipstick shows the careful work Marilyn did to contour her lips to perfection. Word has it that Marilyn’s makeup application was a science, and I’m inclined to believe that.
Out in the Wilderness
If you’re in the forest, you can only hope that you’ll find someone half as lovely as Marilyn trekking through the woods. As entrancing as short shorts are on Marilyn’s backside, doesn’t she look adorable in jeans, too? Judging from the footwear, these pics were taken at around the same time.
Likes and dislikes.
Marilyn’s own hand proclaims that she likes this one “the best.” The stunning spot, the wide-open space, and the beaming smile? I can understand why Marilyn loved that snap.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interesting Marilyn Monroe shots. I highly recommend checking out the updates at Notamachine.tumblr.com.
More in the gallery!