Marilyn Monroe Measurements Height Weight Cup Bra Shape

Throughout the past few decades, one of the more consoling lies that we have been fed is that we shouldn’t feel bad about not being a size two because one of the most coveted starlets of all time, Marilyn Monroe, is rumored to have been between a size 12 and 16.  Well, this misconception has been debunked in a recent piece.  We are sorry you ruined our day.  Let’s go back to our original recipe of sugar-free chewing gum and low-calorie salad greens.

The exact origin of this myth is unknown.  The much exaggerated hourglass shape of Marilyn Monroe could have had a role in the myth.  More specifically, it most likely has something to do with the fact that modern women’s sizes are very different from those of women in the 1950s. The U.S. Department of Commerce abandoned the consistent sizing system in favor of more ego-stroking sizes in the 1980s to appease people’s conceit and ever-expanding girth.  Because of this, a size 8 in the modern era would have roughly equated to a size 16–18 in the 1950s; of course, this fluctuates a startling lot depending on the brand.   

What was Marilyn Monroe’s actual size then?  Fortunately, there are still plenty of her well-preserved gowns to use as models.  In addition, one of her dressmakers added his precise measurements.  With a bra size of 36D, her dimensions were 5 feet, 5.5 inches tall, with a 35-inch bust, a 22-inch waist (about 2-3 inches smaller than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches smaller than the average now), and 35 inches of hips.  Throughout her career, her weight varied slightly, typically rising during depressive episodes and then returning to normal; nonetheless, her dressmaker recorded her weight as 118 pounds, and the Hollywood studios typically reported her as 115–120 pounds.

It’s difficult to say what size Marilyn Monroe would have been in today’s women’s clothes because sizes vary from brand to brand and nation to nation. In addition, Marilyn Monroe’s remarkable hourglass figure would have made it challenging for her to locate the ideal size when shopping.  She was fortunate to have the money to custom-make her clothes, which is what she typically did.

In a recent auction, the white dress she wore in The Seven Year Itch was put on a size 2 mannequin as a clear representation of her size; however, the mannequin was too large to zip up the outfit.  With a few inches’ difference, many of her previous dresses from throughout her career fit roughly the same.  Though it should be noted that a 22 inch waist in many popular American jean sizes today would be below a 0, Marilyn Monroe was known for having her dresses so tight at times that they had to be sown onto her. Nevertheless, something more comfortable in an American size 4-ish and something like an 8 in the U.K. is probably more accurate with most brands.  Therefore, once more, it is challenging to determine the precise size because of the non-standard sizing system in use today.

In case you’re wondering how that measures up to present fashion models, models often have measurements of approximately 34 bust, 24 waist, and 34 hips, which is extremely similar to Marilyn Monroe’s proportions of 35-22-35. This information is provided by BluFire Model Registry.  Monroe is 5 feet 5.5 inches tall, compared to the average model of today who is 5 feet 8 inches.   Though she is roughly 5 inches taller than Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Hurley, who referred to Monroe as “fat” in the aforementioned quotation, actually shares the same measurements as Monroe: 34-24-34.

Therefore, although it’s often bemoaned (and rightfully so) that modern female models and actors set a bar that no ordinary woman could possibly reach, the same was true in the Marilyn Monroe era—minus Photoshop—despite the fact that she’s frequently cited as an example of how things were “back in the day.” Presumably, the larger typical American of today is the main factor contributing to the sense of the differences between then and now.  Monroe’s waist measured 22 inches, while the average American woman of the 1950s had a 25-inch waist.  The difference between the models and “average” was significantly less noticeable back then than it is now, when the average waist size of an American woman is 34 inches. Naturally, the difference appears even wider now that we have access to more sophisticated photo and video editing tools, the modified images being genuinely unachievable. Some people can get a waist size of 22–24 inches with a lot of effort through a nutritious diet and vigorous exercise regimen.  On the other hand, a 22-inch waist that is Photoshopped to appear smaller is just unattainable from a health standpoint. Moreover, imperfections can now be readily eliminated from images and videos using contemporary editing methods.

Facts about Marilyn Monroe

  • The idea that Marilyn Monroe was a blonde is another myth.  The actress who gained fame for her platinum blond curls was, in reality, a brunette with dark hair.  After learning that models with lighter hair were preferred, she first dyed her hair blonde. She then bleached it to golden blonde and made nine more adjustments before settling on platinum blonde.  “There’s only one sort of natural blonde on earth—Albinos,” as Monroe subsequently said.
  • Monroe supposedly maintained a modest collection of 400 volumes, the most of which were non-fiction.  Arthur Miller, her third husband, did observe that she hardly ever finished any of them.  She usually skimmed them until she understood the gist of them, at which point she decided it was useless to read more.
  • When Veronica Hamel and her husband bought Monroe’s Brentwood house in 1972, they made an effort to fix the roof.  The contractor discovered a telephone tapping and listening device hidden in the roof.  For the FBI, this kind of equipment was “standard issue” at the time of Monroe’s death in 1962.  This and other facts fanned the flames of conspiracy theorists who claim that Monroe’s supposed relationship to JFK and Robert Kennedy led to her assassination.  But in 1982, the question of whether she was murdered or committed suicide was examined by an official inquest, and it was concluded that the first inquiry was correct in that she killed herself by consuming a significant amount of morphine—enough to cause the drug’s level in her blood to rise to 4.5 milligrams per 100—and that she must have.
  • Born in 1926, Monroe’s first name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, but she later changed it to Norma Jeane Baker (Baker was her mother’s husband’s last name before Martin Mortensen, Monroe’s father). Monroe spent the most of her early years in foster care and also spent some time in an orphanage.  Her mother had serious mental health issues and was eventually committed to a mental institution, while her father fled before she was even born.  Her foster parents had to move when she was sixteen because they could no longer afford to keep her. She married her first husband, 21-year-old Jimmy Dougherty, in June 1942 to escape having to return to an institution; however, it’s unclear if this was totally her decision.  “Grace McKee arranged the marriage for me; I never had a choice,” Monroe said of the situation. Not much can be said about it. They needed to find a solution because they were unable to help me. I eventually got married.
  • Doughtery left Monroe at home and soon after went off to fight in World War II.  She tried to persuade him to get her pregnant before he went because she was worried he might pass away, but he refused, believing her to be too young.  In other ways, though, this worked out for her because she ended up working at a Radioplane plant where a photographer happened to stumble upon her.  She had already established a prosperous modeling career and was about to start her film career before her husband came home from the war.  They divorced soon after he came back, in part because he disapproved of her new business and the skimpy outfits she wore in several of the pictures.  However, Monroe claimed that their relationship was simply bad and that they hardly ever spoke, not because they were at odds or hostile, but rather because they were at a loss for words.
  • She lost two husbands as a result of her career: Joltin Joe DiMaggio and Doughtery. When she first met Joe, she was “surprised to be so crazy about Joe”. I was expecting a flashy New York sports type, but what I got was this quiet guy who didn’t approach me right away! He showed me that I was someone exceptional. Joe is a really kind man who also makes other people feel good about themselves.  But the couple divorced less than a year after being hitched.  Monroe stated, “Joe wanted me to focus most of all on my career, and I didn’t want to give that up.”  Above all, I want to be a big star. It is a priceless item.  Despite this, DiMaggio and she stayed in touch, and in 1961, he assisted her in leaving the Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.  After that, she visited him in Florida, where he was employed by the Yankees as a batting coach.  He tried to get her to marry him again so he could take direct care of her since he was worried about her mental health and the individuals she had surrounded herself with, but she refused.  It was DiMaggio who planned her funeral a year later.
  • DiMaggio made sure that Monroe’s crypt had fresh flowers in the vase next to it three times a week for twenty years following her passing.
  • In 1953, Marilyn Monroe adorned the cover of the inaugural Playboy magazine.  Tom Kelley took the naked centerfold portrait inside, which was initially intended for a “Miss Golden Dreams” calendar.  It was found that Monroe was in the nude picture in the calendar after she rose to fame.  She came clean and acknowledged that she was in the photo, saying, “My sin has been no more than I have written, posing for the nude because I desperately needed 50 dollars to get my car out of hock,” rather than giving in to a blackmailer at the time.  Shortly after, Hefner paid $500 for the rights to use the image in Playboy’s debut edition.  Apart from the payment she received at the time of the photo shoot, she never received another dime for it. This is despite the fact that it brought Hefner millions of dollars because it immediately launched his magazine into mass circulation, selling about 54,000 copies in just one week after its debut.
  • Hugh Hefner acquired the burial tomb adjacent to Marilyn Monroe for his ultimate resting place.
  • Hugh Hefner received $1000 from his mother to launch the magazine, and he also obtained an additional $7000 from friends and family. With these funds, Playboy was established.
  • In 1962, Monroe passed away at the age of 36, and her estate was valued at approximately $1.6 million, or $11.4 million in modern currency.  Her estate continues to make almost $2 million a year from the licensing of her name and likeness, just four months short of turning 50.  During her lifetime, her films brought in roughly $200 million, or $1.7 billion today.  She was under contract in the previous studio structure, earning a certain sum each week, which is a major reason why she made so little money for the majority of her career. Even if she was the main subject of the photo, in her early years this was frequently less than the makeup artists and the like made. She was earning significantly more at the time of her death, and among many other offers, she had one for $10 million, or $72 million, to star in four movies.
  • One of the women Monroe was contemplating for his future wife was Prince Rainier, the Prince of Monaco, who almost made a move on him.  But Grace Kelly choose to marry an actor instead, and she stopped performing.
  • Monroe and renowned playwright Arthur Miller tried to get pregnant a few occasions, but both attempts ended in miscarriages.  She suffered from endometriosis, a disorder that can be very painful, cause bleeding, make it difficult to become pregnant, and cause tissue from the lining of her uterus to grow and attach itself to other parts of her body.
  • In 1946, Marilyn Monroe adopted that moniker, coinciding with her blond hair color and marriage dissolution.  Seven years later, in 1953, she finally changed it to Marilyn Monroe legally.  It has long been my wish to have waited for Jean Monroe that day. However, I suppose it’s too late to take action at this point.  She first changed her name at 20th Century-Fox’s Ben Lyon’s request.  She detested the name “Carol Lind,” which he had chosen for her.  After that, she selected Monroe, which is her mother’s maiden name, and Lyon selected the Marilyn option since he preferred it to her original Jeane Monroe selection.
  • Even towards the end of her career, Marilyn Monroe struggled with extreme stage fear.  When getting ready to shoot her scenes, producer Henry Weinstein said he frequently witnessed her almost pass out from stage fright.  Regarding her stage fright, he went on, “Very few people experience terror.” Though everyone has moments of worry, sadness, and loss, that were pure primitive dread.

Quotes by Marilyn Monroe:

  • In Hollywood, a girl’s hairstyle holds greater significance than her moral character. Not who you are, but how you appear is what matters to people. It’s true that in Hollywood, you may get paid $1,000 for a kiss and $50 for your soul. I know this because I frequently declined the initial offer in favor of holding out for the fifty cents.
  • However, I won’t be concerned about them. I’m having the most vivid dreams.
  • (recalling her childhood spent in orphanages) “It was a pretty depressing time to be alive.” I guess I had to get used to acting in order to filter out the grimness. I had the impression that everything was closing in on me. I felt alienated from everything, and my only solace was to create imaginary games of all kinds.
  • Do I appear content? I should, as I was the unwanted child. A solitary girl had a dream, which came true when she awoke. Marilyn Monroe is who I am.
  • ” Even if they aren’t, all young girls should be taught they are attractive.
  • “Thank God, we are all born sexual beings, but it’s unfortunate that so many people reject and abuse this innate ability.”
  • Boys equate girls with literature. They won’t bother reading the contents if the cover doesn’t grab their attention.
  • People used to stare at me like I was a mirror rather than a real person. They called me the lewd one in order to white-mask themselves since they didn’t see me—rather, they saw their own filthy ideas.
  • “My delusions were unrelated to my skill as an actress. I was aware of how inferior I was. My lack of skill was absolutely palpable, as though I were wearing poor clothes on the inside. But my God, how I yearned to acquire knowledge, evolve.
  • “As a woman, I am a failure. Because of the perception of me as a sex icon that both they and I have created, my guys have high expectations of me. I can’t live up to the high standards that men have of me.
  • Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to pass away young and escape old age, but then you wouldn’t be able to live to the fullest, would you? You could never truly know who you are.

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