Norma Jeane Mortenson’s name wouldn’t mean much to most Americans, but it was the birth name of Marilyn Monroe, which is still one of the most recognized names in Hollywood and considered one of the most beautiful women and greatest actresses of all time. United States. During her distinguished career, Monroe has won numerous awards and earned herself a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
However, Norma Jeane’s journey to Marilyn Monroe was not easy and was fraught with pitfalls; the obstacles Monroe has had to overcome have made her life a big talking point since her tragic death in 1962. Hollywood has always been a tough place for women to succeed, even less so in Monroe’s time, but Monroe is l one whose career will be remembered as having paved the way for women in the industry.
Marilyn’s youth: abandonment and adoption
Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Baker, was mentally unstable and financially unable to care for her, so Marilyn lived in foster care from infancy until she was about seven years old before entering eventually into the system and becoming a ward of the state.
After a short time in the system, Gladys Baker’s best friend, Grace McKee, became Marilyn’s legal guardian for a few years before Marilyn was sent to the Hollygrove orphanage in Los Angeles and bounced into foster homes. before returning to Grace McKee as a teenager.
When Marilyn turned 16, Grace and her husband moved to the east coast and couldn’t take Marilyn with them. To prevent her from returning to foster care, she was married off to a neighbor, James Dougherty.
According to Sun Yong Kim-Manzolini, women’s rights advocate, options trader and founder of Lush Enterprises, LLC, “Some people’s lives just don’t start off on the right foot. These people have to struggle to find the balance into their souls and to experience the positives in life without being limited by their past trauma.Marilyn’s story is one that resonates with women like me, who have found a way to advance in their industry and find a balance against extremely unfair odds.
“All things being equal, women like us never rise to prominence,” Kim-Manzolini believes, “The weight of abandonment can weigh so heavily on the soul that you almost can’t move, still dream less.”
Kim-Manzolini recalls growing up in an orphanage for the disabled in South Korea, where she was born at home. Born with a short hairline and crooked legs, she was abandoned by her parents and didn’t even learn to walk until she was seven years old. At fourteen, she was adopted by an American couple with six biological children and one adopted child. She became the 8th child and was brought to America, where she struggled with her self-esteem, not knowing the language and adjusting to a new culture.
She insists, “The ability to dream and work hard can take anyone to any height, even if you were dealt the wrong cards early in life.”
Marilyn and abuse
Hollywood has allowed sexual abuse and sex crimes to thrive in the industry for decades. According to veteran actress Joan Collins, Marilyn Monroe warned her many years ago of; “Watch out for the wolves in Hollywood.” Marilyn herself had also been abused in the industry by powerful men. It wasn’t until the #metoo movement that these sex crimes came to light in the industry.
Unfortunately for Ms. Monroe, her abuse didn’t start in Hollywood. it started in one of the many orphanages she grew up in. Marilyn admitted later in life that she was raped when she was 11, an experience that scarred her throughout her life and which many psychologists suspect contributed to her subsequent divorce from her three husbands. Against all of these horrible odds, Marilyn Monroe still achieved so many amazing feats in life that have kept her relevant to this day.
Marilyn’s career and success
Monroe has always dreamed of the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. When her husband, a soldier, Mr. Dougherty, was sent to the South Pacific, she started working in a munitions factory. In this factory, a photographer discovered her to be strikingly beautiful and began to take pictures of her. This shocked her at first because she had never thought of herself as pretty.
By the time Mr. Dougherty came back, Marilyn’s face was on hundreds of magazine covers, and he wanted her to stop. Marilyn was unwilling to give up on her dream, and this disagreement eventually led to their divorce.
After the divorce, Norma Jean changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, dyed her brown hair blonde as a signal for a fresh start, and began to transition from modeling to acting.
Monroe was not initially considered featured material. She was released from many movie contracts and had to settle for many clumsy blonde roles. Marilyn’s determination to succeed led her to move to New York to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors’ Studio, a decision that turned her into one of the best Hollywood actresses of all time. .
Kim-Manzolini recalls her similar journey. She got a scholarship to study nursing, decided to take a shortcut and became a certified medical assistant, due to the language barrier, graduated and worked as a CMA (which consists of nurse in doctor’s offices) and in clinics for 33 years, but still did odd jobs to make ends meet. As a CMA, she wasn’t earning her dream income, so she decided to become an entrepreneur.
She got into real estate and options trading despite her hatred for technology and computers. “In my first year of trading options, I decided to make $100,000, but I made $178,000 instead. I knew right away that was something I could spend more time.
Years later, Kim-Manzolini mentors others on options trading and entrepreneurship. “Similar to Marilyn’s story, if you have a bad start, you have to have a strong work ethic to catch up.”
Adversity and mental health
If there’s a crack in Monroe’s story of victory and success, it’s her death by overdose in 1962. In the end, the success of Marilyn’s life wasn’t enough to cope. to the demons she fought inside. Marilyn’s life became one of Hollywood’s first catalysts for the discussion of mental health.
“I had to do a lot of counseling in my life,” Ms. Kim-Manzolini admits, “I had to get help for PTSD and my self-esteem issues. me and limits, I wanted to please my parents all the time, and I didn’t know how to say no. My mindset always said to me, “Why me? Why should I get the good things in life? But I quickly changed that to a “Why not me?” mindset. Even with my second marriage to Mike I have to fight for it was really hard considering all the abuse from the first one. We had to go to Celebrate Recovery for 27 months. It is a Christian counseling relationship group which basically saved my marriage. Mental health issues should never be left unattended or it will end up ruining all the hard work.
Kim-Manzolini is passionate about the elderly, single parents and people born with disabilities. She believes the Monroe model can be replicated to help anyone achieve their dream life.
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