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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Marilyn stats

There is a persistent rumour that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. Or that she was just bigger than today's stars. As I got curious about sizes, I went looking.
Her statistics were  height 5' 5" 1/2.  Her bra size was a 36 D. According to the studio, she was 37 -23 -36 and according to her dressmaker she was 35 - 22 - 35. In other words, she had a near perfect body. It is not a today size 12 or 16, more like  a 4 or a 6! But I can well imagine that she was a size 12 in 1950 sizes. She had an hourglass figure and was perfectly in proportion. Disgusting really.
And as I happen to  like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I  became curious about her co-star who recently died -- Jane Russell. Howard Hughes  made great play of the fact that he needed to engineer a special bra for her)
Jane Russell was a 38 D bra size (so much for needing a specially constructed bra) Her stats were 38 -25- 36. She was 5' 7".
Sometimes, though you just have to say that nature made them that way. (But I suspect it was not easy to keep it up)  Sweating does help. As does not eating processed foods. Plus youth was on their side.
I bring these women up because when I was a teen, it was very much flat chested and slim boyish hips. This is not a body type I will ever get. And I know having an hourglass figure means you are often over looked in the clothes stakes. Being 5' 6" with a bust and a waist (even if it is currently larger than I'd like), it is good to find role models or people to shoot for.
It is all about finding appropriate bodies to aim for.  Kate Moss, Kiera Knightley, and many others, I will never ever get that figure even if I starve myself. BUT I can do hourglass... If you look around, you can find them. It is about doing things with what you have got, rather than hankering after the unattainable. And just as an aide- memoire for anyone who also suffers from an hourglass:

4 comments:

Judy Jarvie said...

What a great post - and wow, to look like one of those ladies! I can only dream. I love fifties style - always have (very womanly and utterly stylish). It was the clothes of the fifties that made me a huge Doris Day fan.

Funnily enough I know a lady who was a corsetiere (watching her walk is something to behold - there's a lot to be said for great deportment). BTW I don't have it!

And the working with what you have applies aptly to the writing too.

Thanks Michelle - Judy!

Liz Fielding said...

I remember watching The Prince & the Showgirl with my daughter and her first remark - never having seen Marilyn in a film before - was "She's a big girl!"

Michelle Styles said...

LOL Judy

Liz -- I think one of the problems is that Marilyn's waist is so small so that her hips look bigger. It is all in preception.
Apparently Liz Hurley (5' 9" 36C-25-34.5) said if she weighed as much as Marilyn Monroe, she kill herself. I suspect she weighs a bit more when you compare the stats...Certainly she'd wear a larger size!

Evangeline Holland said...

Heh, I've always chuckled when people claim Marilyn is "plus sized", because sizes today are so screwy due to vanity sizing. Now Jane Russell was stacked, as were both Kim Novak and Judy Holliday, but most women today do not have that hour-glass shape for a variety of reasons (diet, lack of girdles, etc). But I think the current fashion trend of skinny, skinny, skinny (even if you are built like Kate Moss and Keira Knightley) is why so many women have begun to turn to wearing vintage and vintage-inspired clothing. Not only are they flattering to curves, but it gives you a bit of distinction in this land of skinny jeans, hoodies, and ballet flats.