A black and white poster of Marilyn Monroe hangs on the wall over the water fountain at my gym. This image of the American actress, model and singer isn’t one of her iconic sex symbol poses or a snapshot from one of her legendary motion pictures. It’s much more inspirational.
“I drove to the outskirts of Los Angeles, where she lived in a two-room apartment. What impressed me in the living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement. I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoevsky, Freud, the history of Fabian socialism, etc. On the floor were two barbells.”
I usually admire the image immediately after my thirty to forty-minute workout session on the stationary bike and elliptical. Sweating, flush with exertion, breathing hard and sporting yoga pants with an over-sized t-shirt, the artist in me can’t help but be inspired by the poster.
Here was someone admired for her physique, career and demeanor. She has often been cited as both a pop and cultural icon, as the quintessential American sex symbol. And Mr. Halsman managed to capture the moment when she was working to maintain that image, something we all chalk up to genetics. From taking dance and singing lessons to working out and reading personal development books, Monroe went the extra distance for her starring role in the public eye.
To me, the image is a reminder that there is a “bombshell” within each of us. From potters to jewelry makers to painters to hockey goalies, we all have a talent, a passion, that needs to be fed, pushed, challenged and exercised. It takes work. It takes dedication. It takes heart.
Creativity is an on-going process. It takes failure and trying again. It takes patience, especially when it seems to be hitting a plateau.
While I may not write in jeans and a bikini top (this is best for all those involved), I do make an effort to flex my creative muscles and do some heavy-lifting to forward my talents. I have never given my muse a name, but I think Monroe may be a good one.
- Marilyn Monroe Assembled Drones During World War II (paleofuture.gizmodo.com)
- How to Achieve Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Curls (okmagazine.com)
- Orson Welles And Marilyn Monroe: Famous Director Describes Dating Sex Symbol (huffingtonpost.com)