The Inner Marilyn, at a Magazine Stand Near You

03 Sep

WANT. Does that make me a bad person?

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.

Green is definitely my color

Green is definitely my color

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.

Makes me a fan of chain mail

Conflict diamonds: I'm all conflicted whether I could pull this one off

Absolutely perfect; absolutely wrong for my skin tone

Absolutely perfect; absolutely wrong for my skin tone

Pineapple earring! Alas! My idol with feet of clay!

What! Pineapple earrings! Alas! My idol with feet of clay!

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!

A weapon and an accessory! Just what we all need!

Candidate One for turning me into a Bag Hag

A bag worth turning hag over

Bakelite for your kitchen and make up needs

Bakelite for your kitchen and make up needs



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.

Isn't it booootiful?! Sigh

Isn't it booooootiful?! Sigh.

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.

Incredibly intimate

Incredibly intimate

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.


Posted by on September 3, 2008 in Celebrity


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9 responses to “The Inner Marilyn, at a Magazine Stand Near You

  1. pitu

    September 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Some stuff is purty (me likey the pearl brooch) and some stuff is hideous! I leafed thru this Liz Taylor coffee table book once at the library- it was sooo cool. The woman has a magnificent jewelry collection and it wasn’t as tacky.

    BTW when u die, can I have your stuff? 😀 I am a pack-chuha u know.

  2. memsaab

    September 3, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    If the love of bling makes one a bad person, I will happily be called EVIL.

    India of course is the land of the best bling!

  3. complicateur

    September 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Finally!! Posthumous stalking is recognised for the true art form that it is. Counselor’s everywhere rejoice – all those emo boys in your care have a viable career option. 🙂

  4. rads

    September 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

    oooo, I like the pearl brooch, and the jade chain. That bakelite series had me in giggles.
    hehe 🙂

  5. M

    September 4, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    umm…I guess I am the philistine here…I thought most of the jewellery was ugly! This despite a major love of jewellery in general! 🙂 I did LOVE the pink purse…

    That said, Amrita, can I *please* lay claim to yor Chalet School books? At least the ones I don’t have …I own to a major love for them, resulting in the spending of much money in second-hand stores in the UK, and recently, GGB publishers! I’ll have them burnt on *my* funeral pyre, if you like 🙂 🙂


  6. archikins

    September 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

    “the hymn book from school” … funny that is on my prized possessions too.. .:)

  7. Amrita

    September 8, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Pitu – I’ll leave you my costume jewelry! 😀 It deserves to be cherished! I think MM, unlike Liz, just liked them shiny. It certainly explains some of her jewelry pieces.

    Memsaab – let’s you and I join forces and aim for world domination! Our love for bling will not be denied!

    Complicateur – it’s also the safest form of stalking! Nobody to beat your skinny ass! You might have stumbled on to something!

    Rads – You gotta love the 60s!

    M – come to my arms! You’re a Chalet fan? Damn I need to do a Chalet post so I can flush ’em out of the woodwork! I will happily leave ’em to you. And eh, there’s nothing in the least wrong in hating her jewels, unless you think my taste is infallible in which case thanks a lot, you just killed my mother laughing!

    Archikins – mine is simply awesome 🙂 It has all these old songs that I couldn’t sing (terrible voice) but loved to declaim much to the puzzlement of random visitors.

  8. M

    September 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Chalet School Post – yes please! Was a member of girlsown for 7 years or so 🙂 Discovered Clare Mallory and some other authors through the list, and came close to bankruptcy 🙂
    Started a re-read of my Barbara Willard (Mantlemass) this past week 🙂


  9. Amrita

    September 9, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve never read Barbara Willard – but will do so at the earliest opportunity now! And oh yes, I feel your penny-pain! My dad kept me on a strict two books a week diet because he said he liked to eat more than watch me read 😀

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