We are all of us stars and we all deserve to twinkle – Marilyn Monroe
This seems simple enough. I hope it really was by Marilyn – a persona so interesting that she was one of the stars that we had to study in Film Studies as part of my University (Economics – long story) degree. I wonder when they made the shift in Hollywood from creating a complete fake persona for the stars (think Joan Crawford and her angry children) to revealing all (Paparazzi) and trying to uncover the mystery of who each star is/was? Did we only learn about Marilyn after she died? We are still so fascinated after all these years yet you will rarely see one of her films. (I just asked my passing 15 year old son what he knew about Marilyn out of interest. “Blonde, American actress in the 50s or 60s. Overdosed.” Not an age of many words. That was it.) But I think our fascination with her is more that she was so vulnerable and miserable, yet seemingly so successful. What seemed to be the epitome of wealth, glamour, rubbing shoulders with the also powerful, interesting and intelligent, turned out not to be the recipe for happiness. Our illusions were shattered as the story slowly unfolded. Do many of us relate? Is that the fascination? We kind of know that the things we might aspire to do not ultimately bring happiness but we go for it anyway?
So this quote is probably by her. It is kind of wistful. Obviously she was a great star at the time but I think it shows she had great compassion for others, borne out of her own inner world. She is almost a precursor to Bridget Jones, now I think about it. Brave, pitied and showing who she is inside. Marilyn is saying that she is the same as everyone else; that she does not deserve to be the star any more than anyone else. She recognises star quality in other people, in their everyday traits. She must have been a real people person. The one thing I do remember about her from my course was that she was actually so smart that she was playing dumb because it worked for her. She was happy to do the ultimate dumb blonde, make herself over in name and looks, in order to get attention.
Writer and bloggers ‘make ourselves (our writing and output) over’. All artists work on their output, shaping and refining. (People make themselves over in some way. It’s natural.) Do we morph into the final edit? The final edit of any writing/artistic output should be a more successful version of the original blurt. We want to be more interesting, less all over the shop. Is our art like Marilyn’s? We take the potential of our inner writer/actor/artist then shape it, repackage it and set it loose on the world in some form. My question is ‘Does life imitate our art?’ If I could go back and really edit all my blogs, would I then become the person I have aspired to be who talks more succinctly, thinks before she speaks/publishes and sometimes makes a little more sense? Is that the joy of being any kind of creative artist? Redefining ourselves?
On TED.com there is a mad scientist called Clifford Stoll. Think professor on Back to the Future. Wonderful, excited, enthusiastic man who can be a little hard to understand. He jumps up and down and covers so many different subjects (and floor area) in his talk. I didn’t understand it all but I was fascinated enough by the Klein bottle at least to look it up afterwards. Mostly I love Clifford, the loon. I want to hug him. I love the qualities in him which are the epitome of what I used to dislike in myself. His very presence on TED and his success taught me that it’s OK to be that way, no matter how many might be confused by him. He found his tribe. If you look closely at your friends or tribe, each will have qualities you admire which are actually qualities you have yourself. Think about why you love each person. Can you see that you have those qualities also? Appreciate them.
Boy I have completely digressed. What I understand from Marilyn is that everyone has qualities which may not always stand out but deserve nonetheless to twinkle and be recognised. She is almost telling us to stop putting stars on pedestals but to realise that everyone deserves their own pedestal and to recognise that and appreciate yourself. Don’t subordinate yourself and give your power away. Turn your appreciation back to yourself. Wise words from a smart and compassionate lady!