Marilyn Monroe has, for decades, been seen and depicted in popular culture as the ultimate in vapid, ditzy blondes. The playful irony she mastered in so many of her greatest film roles has been ignored by most, and so Some Like it Hot and The Seven Year Itch have come to define her not as one of cinema's greatest comedic actors, but instead as the very characters that she played.
That iconic image of Marilyn with the white dress flowing around her, atop a steam grate? That isn't the woman described by her biographers, or by those who knew her. She was, instead, a complex and reportedly difficult woman who was disliked by some and loved by others. Collections of images offering a 'shocking' new view of her do the internet rounds now and then, but the heart of them all is very simple: she was a person, rounded and flawed, just like everyone else. That's where her true beauty lies.
We have Buzzfeed to thank for recently highlighting some of the most striking - and perhaps surprising - images of Monroe. Some of the most compelling are below:
What do you guys think? Should we stop defining Marilyn Monroe as the quintessential 'dumb blonde'?