When Marilyn Monroe sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend“, she wasn’t kidding. Not that she has anything against pearls or jade or gold or rubies either. She obviously believed in keeping relations friendly in gemtown.
This month’s Vanity Fair features as it’s cover story The Marilyn Files:
At Frank Sinatra’s suggestion, Marilyn Monroe kept her life inside two filing cabinets—letters, invoices, financial records, and the mementos that meant the most to her. After her tragic death… [they] were stashed away by the actress’s business manager, Inez Melson. This secret trove would remain virtually unknown to the world for more than four decades, until photographer Mark Anderson began an epic two-year project of documenting it.
VF has published nearly 600 images of what was in those file cabinets: clothes, personal keepsakes, jewelry, fan mail, personal letters, etc.
Not that unsuitability makes me think less of her taste or feel less covetous. I mean, lucite and bakelite handbags? Er, I don’t think so, thank you. But oh my God, are they stunning!
People are often shocked at how well I take to hats. Okay, I am shocked at how well I take to hats. My aunt says it’s because I’m a C-section baby and I have a perfectly shaped head. I prefer to think I’m a freak of nature. It sounds more interesting and explains why I choose to perch large things on top of my already large head. Sadly, I have a feeling this is too dashing for poor ol’ Amrita and her big head.
Some of the photographs, however, brought the voyeuristic nature of the whole project forcibly to mind like, for example, the picture of what looks to be a well-loved and well-worn recording of “Some Day My Prince Will Come” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Oddly, I found the sight of her collection of recipes and cookbooks more unsettling than the sight of her china.
Not to mention her letters to her stepchildren, some of them endearingly written in the voice of Hugo, basset hound, friend, despoiler of balls and devoted “ankle-chewer”. It’s a bit like rooting around in your mother’s cupboard, except, you know, it’s a complete stranger whom you’ve only ever seen on the screen.
Well, that makes my mind up. Even if I die unknown and unmourned in some garret somewhere, when I die, I’m having it all burnt on my funeral pyre. That’s right, I’m gonna take all my cool stuff with me and you can’t stop me: my birthday cards, the letters from my aunts, the cheap three string pearl choker I wore in one school play, my Chalet School books with my full name and address scribbled on every single title page in case thieves got any funny ideas about stealing them and passing them off as theirs, my ancient Reader’s Digest condensed novels, the hymn book from school, the garnet earrings my aunt gave to my mother and she gave to me when they broke. So there.