Marilyn wrote the book on femininity and female sex appeal. Certainly Marilyn had her womanly wiles to help maintain her iconic image. She studied beautiful actresses who hailed before her arrival. She was particularly influenced by Jean Harlolw, another tragic platinum blonde in movie history. She up picked tricks of the trade from photographers and other models during her rise to fame and it paid off. She may not have had formal schooling but Marilyn was highly educated in being a goddess:
She was known to have a half-inch of one high heel in a pair shaved down. This gave more of a curvy swivel to her hips when she walked. This enhanced her long walk away from the camera in the film Niagara. She wore her dresses so tight they had to be sewn onto her. She sewed buttons on the inside of her dresses to make her breasts appear more startling, rounder, and to mimic hardened nipples.
About half a block from the location of a photography shoot, Marilyn sometimes removed her shoes and ran the rest of the way to the location.That gave her the breathy, flushed appearance that enhanced her sexual appeal. To enhance her pale translucent skin for movies and photo shoots, Marilyn was known to brush baby powder on her face and body. it gave her an aura few other actresses could emulate.
She learned that famous smile and heavy-lidded expression from Shelley Winters, who was also a model and aspiring star when she and Marilyn were roommates. I doubt Winters did it as well as Marilyn. Winters took a very different road than Marilyn. After a few films, she shed glamour for homely and was rewarded with several unforgettable pictures that emphasized her keen acting talent.
Perhaps the most womanly, appealing thing about her was that sexy mind with its teasing wit. Her iconic voice, vivacious laugh and little-girl innocence also sent Marilyn to the top of the movie star pyramid during the 1950s. It wasn’t just a body and a face that made Marilyn. Too bad the studio producers didn’t recognize that when she was alive.
So successful was Marilyn in developing her iconic image that even the President of the United States fell hard for her. Powerful men from around the world wanted to meet her. Sometimes she begged off, feeilng pressured by the attention. Other times she acquiesced and even political heads of state were awed by the heady effect of Marilyn Monroe.