Marilyn Monroe's Plus-Size Body Myth

Fashion Investigator Jessica Seigel Tries on Starlet's Gowns

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Jessica Seigel tries on Marilyn Monroe's Oleg Cassini gown. Tracey Landworth hide caption

toggle caption Tracey Landworth

On this, the 41st anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death, Day to Day Countess of Culture Jessica Seigel talks to NPR's Alex Chadwick about a very special Marilyn Monroe fan she visited in Los Angeles, and the moment of glamour she experienced: She was allowed to try on some of the starlet's signature gowns.

"The myth that Marilyn would be considered near plus-size today has become a battle cry in the culture wars over female body image," Seigel says. "The truism that the world's sexiest woman would be fat by today's glamour standards has been repeated unattributed in hundreds of articles and books.

"Nice try, but image activists will have to come up with other arguments," Seigel says. "Marilyn Monroe was not even close to a size 12."



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