Saturday December 02, 2023

Netflix 'Blonde': Marilyn Monroe’s battle with endometriosis 'overlooked'

Scenes in the movie 'Blonde' are said to be sexist, exploitative and invasive

By Web Desk
September 28, 2022
Netflix ‘Blonde’ overlooks Marilyn Monroe’s battle with endometriosis
Netflix ‘Blonde’ overlooks Marilyn Monroe’s battle with endometriosis

Marilyn Monroe has fascinated people beyond her era. Netflix recently came out with fictionalised account of the life of Marilyn Monroe aka Norma Jeane Mortenson titled Blonde, and it has stirred up some facts about her life that have been often neglected before.

The Neflix movie is an adaptation of author Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 novel of the same name. The movie originally premiered at Venice film festival and gained quite a bit of criticism after its screening.

According to Cosmopolitan, “scenes in Blonde [are] said to be sexist, exploitative and invasive (with rape, forced abortion and abuse featuring throughout), the pain endured in her short life is being pored over for entertainment purposes again. In fact, director Andrew Dominik even called the film ‘salacious’, adding he wasn’t ‘concerned with being tasteful’ when depicting Monroe’s life.”

In her review of the movie for the publication, Helen Wilson-Beevers mentioned that the movie’s portrayal of Monroe had been less than flattering. “But in addition to the much-loved star’s glamorous signature style and inimitable features, people have also long since been fixated with Monroe’s suffering. She also remains objectified 60 years after her premature death.”

Beever also mentioned an important details that were completely overlooked. “There is also one hugely significant detail which is regularly overlooked when talking about Monroe. This is that she is believed to have lived with severe endometriosis.”

She went on to add that given the era Monroe faced the medical condition, she would have been a target to far worse archaic treatment. Since the actress was constantly in the public eye, facing medical misogyny and the physical and emotional anguish from the condition would have left her traumatised.

“…isn’t it about time we offered Monroe some respect and validation when it comes to the psychological impact of her traumatic medical history?” she asked the readers.

“Marilyn Monroe’s image is inextricably linked with pop culture and perhaps that’s why so many have tried to take a figurative piece of her. But when doing that, we must recognise the extent of her lived reality. We owe this empathy and care both to the memory of Monroe and the millions of other women with endometriosis who are unwittingly emulating that painful part of the star’s life,” concludes the author.