Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Are her boobs smaller than you'd imagined too...?

Channel flicking the other week I got sucked a More4 programme about Marilyn Monroe which featured the above pictures, I couldn't believe I've never come across them before, especially as the story behind them turns out to be so important. They are from a 1962 Bert Stern shot and turned out to be the last ever pictures taken of her alive.

The story goes Marilyn Monroe agreed to pose nude for Vogue, with no make-up on her body, as long as the session could take place in LA. Rather than work in a studio, Stern decided to take a suite at the Bel-Air Hotel...

“I waited for her like a lover, like a bridegroom before his wedding, pacing the floor checking the ice in the Dom Pérignon 1953 vintage champagne, spraying the suite with Chanel No. 5.” Monroe arrived with Vicky, her hairdresser, five hours late. For 12 hours Stern snapped away, draping Monroe with necklaces, veils and two large roses, supplied by Vogue.
The Crucifix, one of the photos that Monroe hated and put a red pen through in the form of a thick cross. After the shooting, Marilyn Monroe rejected herself some of the pictures, marking them with a red pen (not lipstick), directly on the film.
“She hated the scar on her midriff from a recent gall-bladder operation, I told her it was beautiful. She was at a time in her life when she needed to re-invent herself, I think that’s why she accepted to pose for me, she drank gallons of Dom Pérignon, got drunk and fell asleep.” (Bert Stern)

In fact all the the defaced pictures above are from negatives that Marilyn draw on to ensure the ones she hated weren't ever published. When I first heard this on the telly I was a tad pissed off on her behalf, but they are so striking I totally understand the reason for making them public. The pictures hint at what we might have seen her look develop into as the new decade kicked in, one of the main reasons for her agreeing to the shoot was as a way to explore a new look and image for herself.

Sorry for the crass title but it's one of the first thing I thought of!!!