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Portraits: Marilyn is still alive

by AdminAg

On the 60th anniversary of her death, the diva is more present than ever. Social networks, films and investigations into her cold case are giving her a new lease of life

Written by Fabrizio Maria Barbuto 

With 1.8 million followers on Instagram, four million posts corresponding to the hashtag of her name, and a film dedicated to her soon to be released on Netflix (Blonde), Marilyn Monroe has monopolised even the digital age, the very one who passed away 60 years ago, when the smartphone would have seemed like science fiction and divas never descended from the golden Olympus of Hollywood, determined to defend that mystery that today’s celebrities sell cheaply to the users of their social content.

Like a finger pressed on the nozzle of a bottle, the mere word ‘Marilyn’ is enough to exhale into the air a fragrance that evokes femininity and envelops in an impalpable powdery cloud. A phenomenon more unique than rare to survive beyond one’s own death, yet Marilyn has succeeded, and with the seductive incoherence to which she accustomed us in life, she proves that she can be as much ashes as a flame in igniting the erotic dreams of those who still desire her.

The world will never forget her, yet she seemed destined for oblivion even at her birth, when she was given birth by a mentally ill mother who did not want her and from whom the diva perhaps inherited a madness that is often the subject of documentaries, films and essays. Through the abuse of psychotropic drugs, the probable cause of her untimely death, Marilyn, born Norma Jeane, tried to harness the anxieties that kept her awake to the point of pathological insomnia. As much as the public loved her she did not consider herself deserving of such admiration and benevolence.

At the time of her great successes, the star was omnipresent, chased, contested and acclaimed, yet she persisted in identifying herself as Norma Jeane Baker, the dull girl whom no one looked up to, not even her adoptive parents from whom the diva begged for attention that never came. It was precisely the climate of indifference in which she grew up that instilled in Marilyn the ambition to make films, determined as she was to exorcise the fear of being invisible. However, not even when the whole planet became aware of her existence did Monroe breathe a sigh of relief, and amidst tormented love affairs and frequent nervous breakdowns realised that loneliness was a natural condemnation, an incontrovertible sentence to be surrendered.

Even on that distant 4 August 1962, lifeless in her Sunset Boulevard flat, Marilyn was alone. Six decades after the tragic event, the public has still not come to terms with the diva’s exit from the stage and her mysterious departure seems destined to fuel fantasies and legends. Among the many, even the one that the actress would not have died and that, stopped in the fresh and voluptuous beauty of yesteryear, she is somewhere waiting to reveal herself eternally young, eternally splendid. Unlikely, it is nevertheless nice to be convinced that Marilyn, famous for long delays, has been subjecting us to the most nerve-wracking of them for 60 years, waiting to peep out to confirm that her demise, a bit like the happiness she exhibited in front of the camera, was just a set-up.

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