Marilyn and her female audiences: Consumption, transgression, emulation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 2044-2823
  • E-ISSN: 2044-2831



Marilyn Monroe has been variously claimed as both symbol and product of the new consumerism and changing mores of the 1950s. A few hundred Monroe-inspired books are currently in print, ranging from biographies to different modes of academic investigation; although there are within them often rather brief accounts of her onand off-screen mode of self-presentation, more attention should certainly be paid to the impact of her appearance on contemporary female audiences in this very complex decade. For during the years of her stardom, the patterns of behaviour and the dress codes then offered to women past their teenage years were particularly restrictive. But although elements of Monroe’s style were certainly copied at mass market level, she was never claimed as a ‘fashion icon’ like other stars. She was arguably stigmatized too by class hauteur and her perceived subversive potential.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): 1950s; consumerism; femininity; feminism; sexuality; social class
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