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Marilyn Monroe Wasn't Even Close to a Size 12

January 10, 2014 2 min read

Marilyn Monroe has been the symbol of "better days" when women were more voluptuous and there wasn't this ridiculous concentration on photoshop.  Women are fond of saying that Marilyn was around the same size as the average American woman today, a size 12-16.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The conventional wisdom does not take into account the incredible difference between today's sizes and the sizing in the 1950s.  In the 1980s the US Department of Commerce decided to get rid of the uniform sizing system in order to accommodate both vanity and women's expanding girth.  Today a size 8 would be equivalent to a size 16-18 in 1950.  You can get a taste of this if you look on the back of any dress pattern and look up your measurements. One of Marilyn's dressmakers actually chimed in, years ago, with her exactly measurements he took from one of her carefully preserved dresses.  She was 5 foot 5.5 inches tall, had a 35 inch bust, 22 inch waist (2-3 inches smaller than the average in 1950 and 12 inches smaller than the average today), 35 inch hips, and she wore a size 36D bra.  Her weight fluctuated but she always seemed to come back to 115-120 lbs. Marilyn Monroe Even with the fluctuation between brands in the sizes of clothes, Marilyn would probably have worn a size 4 today or a size 8 in the UK.  Her jean size would have been below a 0 in American sizes thanks to her extremely small waist. Elizabeth Hurley actually comes in incredibly close to Marilyn's size, at 34-24-34. So while we may delude ourselves into thinking Marilyn Monroe was this pillar of the "curvy" woman...she is really no different than the female actresses and models of today.  Her waist was still 2-3 inches smaller than the average woman in 1950.  Although her waist would have been attainable with strict diet and exercise, with today's use of photoshop to take inches off an already small waist...it produces an unhealthy and unattainable waist. The fashion industry has always been obsessed with beautiful women with great bodies, and for that matter the whole country has. 1950 simply didn't have the advanced version of photoshop that we have today.   Do you follow us on Instagram?
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