Marilyn Monroe, the face puzzle


perfect of perfection

face invention- Solar woman with a busty figure, Marlin Monroe birth Norma Jeane Mortenson 1926 in Los Angeles, to an unknown father and an absent mother. She embodies the 1950s beauty canon promoted by the Hollywood industry (wider hips, slim waist and bust). comment). Her face is modeled after the symbols of this ideal of femininity, which defines the grace of movement through the right balance between glamorous and exquisite, wide and narrow: a small nose, a large round and plump mouth, a large forehead on the porch, a small rounded chin, round cheekbones and half-open eyes. Her face plays on the contrast between fragility and strength, humility and assertiveness, becoming a powerful object of men’s desire as much as a role model for women.

beautiful icon – To reach the status of a picturesque icon, Marilyn Monroe shapes her face and must follow a more restrictive ritual. Like a painting, the natural airiness of her face calls for intricate technique, from makeup to plastic surgery: no less than five red pigments to shade each area of ​​her lips, straight brush strokes to lift the contour of her eyebrows, but also the chemical torture of caustic soda to transform her original freckles into a sheer blonde, or Even the process of retouching the beard you see. “perverted”. Its spontaneous and candid air, shining on glossy paper as it does on screen, is the fruit of hard work.

A face shaped by the other’s gaze – Her attractive face never ceases to attract the eye of the paparazzi (Andre de DieneAnd Milton GreenAnd Bert Stern…) and directors (Arthur MillerAnd Howard HawksAnd Billy Wilder…). The actress conforms to the lens of the camera and the feminine ideal that it imposes. Her face is constructed in the gaze of the other, whose desire she accommodates in order to please: especially the male view, what we sometimes call today male gauze. Should we view this as a way to please the absent father? In any case, she remained all her life in search of her biological father and the look of a loving male, without which she believes that she cannot exist. The way you look at it seems to be detached from the opinions of others, whose judgment you fear: “Only a few fragments of us will one day touch other fragments. […] Afraid of giving me the new lines / I might not be able to learn it / I might make mistakes / People think I’m not good, laugh and / They frustrate me, or they think I don’t know how to play. […] Fear that the director will think I am worthless » (Marlin MonroeshrapnelAtaba, 2012).

A tale of a fleeting life

transparent presence – Her face represents a fleeting and mysterious allegory. Her beauty always seems to be on the verge of disappearing, out of reach. in the introduction to crumbs Written by Marilyn Monroe, Italian writer Antonio Tabuchi compare her Butterfly powder Which when dissipated in the air announces the death of the insect. This effect, if not conscious, worked very well: smooth features one could not cling to, a small nose almost imperceptible according to certain angles, but also a hairless blond, almost white, invisible, transparent, eroding with soda, as if its features It has vanished into the atmosphere, vanishing as mist: “As if I never have to again / Speak movement / Transparency / Let go / Go down / Go there (belly) / Right tension” (ibid.).

life appetite- However, Monroe’s face also represents life’s appetite, embodied in the eroticism of her large, mesmerizing heart-shaped mouth. It inspires and excites life. Her transparent look, with nuances and magnetic reflections, absent from herself but present for others, allows to receive all desires. Her face becomes a place where everyone can bring out their life force and worship the icon, as if this sexual Madonna lives to receive praise, rather than to return it.

Under the mask of Monroe the face of Norma Jean – But beneath this erotic face hides another, choked, dying, that sparkles in Monroe’s intimate writing. A woman who sometimes seems to hate what she has become: yI see myself in the mirror now, eyebrows raised – if I get too close, I’ll see what I don’t want to see – tension, sadness, disappointment, my pale eyes, blushing cheeks in little bowls that look like rivers on a map – hair falling like snakes. It’s the mouth that makes me sad, next to my almost dead eye. There is a dark line between the lips like the features of many waves stirred up by a violent storm – who says don’t kiss me, don’t make fun of me, I’m a dancer I can’t dance » (ibid.).

return of childhood

mischievous child – It’s not uncommon, when one thinks of Marilyn Monroe and her iconic photos, that shots of her teenage years also come to mind, smiling on the beach, carefree, outdoors. Something from childhood has already remained in her feminine face, irreducible to crafts star system. Perhaps this is called privacy : This very particular and ancient way in which the individual, in his own body, reacts to the influence of external factors, which escapes his control. In the absent eyes of Marilyn Monroe shines a clear brilliance.

tragic doll – Marilyn’s face, often compared to that of a doll, is still populated by the innocence of little Norma Jane, who secretly continues to move the features of an adult: “Everyone’s childhood repeats all the time. No wonder no one knows or can fully understand the other. I don’t know whether I have come to this universal conclusion – or whether I have come into contact with reality for the first time.” (ibid.). In one of her poems found in her personal belongings, she addresses her doll ‘Passed over the cracks’which symbolizes her childhood (the game), the young girl who was (Norma Jean), the Hollywood doll who became (Monroe), as well as her absent mother: “Don’t cry, my doll don’t cry / I catch you and rock you to sleep / Silence, I meant that I (wasn’t) your dead mother / I’ll feed you from the dark and shiny bush just to the left of the door” (ibid.).

nature in the cage – What we universally recognize in the beauty of her face that makes her so iconic, perhaps her cosmetic beauty is less than the suffering it took her to give her life. Under the movement of her eyelids shows humility sad and sincere humility. Underneath her sensual smile, elegant restraint, a lot of candor. Perhaps the invisible mystery of Monroe’s face is her suffering, this nature that screams under the mask; Perhaps it is that part of childhood, which is also pure life, which everyone recognizes in themselves by this face, and which, finding a way to express himself, combines solitude.

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