My Story by Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe wrote this when she was happy. Although it was probably fleeting in the grand scheme of her life, you can still hear it in her words. She spoke of her past with admiration for herself. Not only did she hustle her way to the top of Hollywood, she survived the woes of womanhood. When directors took her to their ‘casting’ couch, she swatted them away without fear of their revenge on her career. When a policeman tried to break into her house, she ran to a neighbor’s for safety. When her car was repossessed, she did a nude calendar for the funds to jail break it. This memoir is Marilyn’s repossession of her life. Although it was written nearly a decade prior to her passing, whilst she was married to Joe DiMaggio, it showcases her purpose and her control.

It negates the stories that movie mongols have spun into fact: they made Marilyn. Marilyn made herself. She spent nearly three years hustling from production house to production lot, company to company, spanning the movie scene of Los Angeles trying to make her big break. Most CEOs and Directors told her that she wasn’t “photogenic,” and they couldn’t understand why her bit parts got such lively reactions from the audience. They were against her.

And they stayed that way for the whole of her career. First, they didn’t think she could have one. Then they didn’t want her to have a career of her choice. No matter what she did or how hard she tried, Marilyn was never given reign over her own life. Although I doubt this book was supposed to be the posthumous crown it became, it is still a crown. I can’t recommend this book enough. For film aficionados, Marilyn lovers, struggling artists, or if you’re a victim of toxic masculinity and catcalling, you’ll relate to this biography.

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