Marilyn Monroe’s True Size

Marilyn Monroe is undeniably one of the most famous women today, even though she passed away over 55 years ago. The mystery surrounding her death is still ever present in modern society. There is another mystery that’s also a constant topic of conversation and debate, and it’s one of those questions I’m asked in nearly every interview: “What was Marilyn Monroe’s true size?”

You can learn the truth in this article.  Please note, however, that every use of the term “plus sized” is in quotes because the term itself is derogatory and demeaning. (Have we ever heard the term “minus sized?”) #DropThePlus!  A woman’s size or weight doesn’t define her.  Be happy with who you are, and don’t look to others to set a standard for what’s beautiful and acceptable. 

Many people believe that Marilyn was a larger “plus sized” woman.  Even celebrities have chimed in on Marilyn’s weight and clothing size.



A quick Internet search pulls up countless articles focused on the topic of Marilyn’s size. People write about vanity sizing and claims of Marilyn’s measurements as reported by her dressmaker, (though the source of the dressmaker’s claim isn’t cited anywhere).

I’m going to shed some light on Marilyn’s TRUE physical size using seven items of clothing from her own personal wardrobe, which will finally close the debate on just how large (or in actuality, small) she really was.

Marilyn’s Measurements and Weight

Available documentation verifies Marilyn’s height and weight at several different times during her life, and her first modeling contract verifies her measurements:


August 2, 1945
Blue Book Modeling Agency
5’ 6”, 120lbs
“Size 12”

February 8, 1954
5’ 5 1/2”, 118lbs

August 5, 1962
LA Coroner Medical Report
5’ 5 1/25”, 117lbs


While these documents suggest that her weight was a constant 117-120lbs, she was actually much heavier during the late 1950s, for example, the Some Like It Hot premiere on March 29, 1959 (below).  Some have speculated she weighed close to 140 lbs at this point.


“The Hourglass”

Marilyn wasn’t like most women in that she had an extreme hourglass figure. Many modern size charts like the ones below don’t even reflect Marilyn’s physical dimensions.

In 1945, Marilyn’s dimensions were 36-24-34.  The red circle on the charts below demonstrate how her body was different.  Note the “X-Small” and “Medium” sizes.


Note that the “plus sized” chart in the second example doesn’t reflect Marilyn Monroe’s measurements for bust, waist and hips.  So much for Marilyn being “plus sized!”


Marilyn Monroe’s Clothing Tells the Truth

While some say Marilyn Monroe was a large “plus sized” woman, her personal clothing items tell a different story.  Below are several examples of Marilyn’s clothing worn at varying times in her life, displayed on a size 6-8 dress form, with measurements of 33.5″ (bust), 24.5″ (waist), and 34.5″ (hip).  With these images and video clips you can get an idea of her true size.  Most important, even at her heaviest weight in 1959, her waist still measured just 28.5 inches.

1951 – Marilyn’s Personal Leather Belt

Marilyn-Monroe-Leather-BeltThis belt measures 27 inches (on the outside of the belt) when fastened.  Of course, this doesn’t even take into account the layers of clothing Marilyn wears under the belt.  Marilyn is pictured wearing this belt at RKO Studios.


1953 – Marilyn’s Personal Wool Skirt

This wool skirt is one of two that Marilyn owned.  She had one in gray and another in purple. Marilyn was known to buy the same item in multiple colors and this is an example of that. The photo below shows Marilyn wearing the purple skirt, which is exactly the same as this gray skirt.  No size is present on a tag inside.  When fastened, this skirt also measures 27 inches.  Again, this doesn’t account for layers of clothing.  The photo was taken during the filming of “River of No Return.”


1955 – Marilyn’s Personal Evening Cape

Marilyn-Monroe-CapeMarilyn Monroe’s silk evening cape, fashioned in a brocade pattern depicting roses and leaves, the interior lined in champagne-colored silk, worn to the 1955 premiere of “East of Eden” in New York City. This is a custom design, believed to have been made for Marilyn by George Nardiello.  This cape fits perfectly on this size 6-8 dress form.

1958 – Marilyn’s Personal Maternity Dress

Marilyn-Monroe-Maternity-DressThis red cotton button-down casual garment with a pattern of roosters and chickens was worn while Marilyn was pregnant in 1958 during and after the filming of “Some Like It Hot.” There is no size present inside the garment. The photos show how loosely the garment hangs on Marilyn, even while she’s pregnant. The seams at the shoulder measure 15 inches apart.


1959 – Marilyn’s Personal Cocktail Dress

Marilyn-Monroe-Black-Cocktail-DressMarilyn wore this black silk cocktail dress to a 1959 event honoring husband Arthur Miller. The dress was hand-tailored for Marilyn, and it’s one of a kind.  As it was handmade for Marilyn, this dress certainly provides an exact representation of Marilyn’s physical form.  At this point in her life, Marilyn was at her heaviest, with some speculating she weighed nearly 140lbs.  Even still, when displayed on the dress form, her waist measured an astonishing 28.5 inches.


The inside of the dress is shown below.Marilyn-Monroe-Real-Size-Cocktail-Dress-2

1961 – Marilyn’s Personal Overcoat

Marilyn-Monroe-Owned-OvercoatMarilyn wore this overcoat as she exited Polyclinic Hospital on July 11, 1961, following gallbladder surgery. Photos from that day show she has slimmed down and appears to be near her average weight. This coat hangs loosely around her shoulders as she exits the hospital and makes her way to a waiting limousine.

1962 – Marilyn’s Personal Pucci Blouse

Marilyn-Monroe-Pucci-BlouseFrom the 1999 Christie’s Auction, “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe,” Marilyn’s lime green Pucci blouse. The label in this blouse reads size 14. In footage and photos of Marilyn wearing this blouse, she appears to have lost even more weight, as she looks slimmer than she did in 1961 as she exited Polyclinic Hospital.


Yes, you read it right, size 14. Marilyn Monroe in fact wore a size 14 blouse, but a 1962 size 14 (and don’t forget Pucci is an Italian label). Today, Marilyn’s clothing fits very well on a size 6-8 dress form, and this is where vanity sizing comes into play. Throughout the years, clothing sizes for women have decreased while the actual size of women has increased. To complicate matters even further, clothing brands today don’t follow a systematic approach to sizing. The chart below shows how different clothing lines use different measurements for sizes.



Marilyn Monroe’s True Size

When she performed “Happy Birthday Mr. President” for John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, roughly three months before her death, Marilyn’s measurements were bust: 35.5″, waist: 23.5″, hips: 33.25″. By modern-day standards, she would likely be a size 4 to 6.

Marilyn Monroe Lifted Weights

Marilyn herself knew the importance of physical exercise. She owned her own weight set and she worked-out years before most people understood the benefits of staying fit and healthy.


Marilyn’s personal weight bench and weights.

Marilyn was also aware of the importance of her figure and staying in shape.   She’s known to have referenced her physical form in at least two separate interviews:

“I don’t want to be bone thin, and I make it a point to stay the way I want to be.”
Movieland Magazine
July, 1952

“The working men, I’ll go by and they’ll whistle. At first they whistle because they think, oh, it’s a girl. She’s got blond hair and she’s not out of shape, and then they say, “Gosh, it’s Marilyn Monroe!” And that has it’s, you know, those are times it’s nice.”
LIFE Magazine
July, 1962

While many believe that Marilyn Monroe was a “plus sized” woman, the fact is that’s just not true. Even during the late 1950s when she was at her heaviest, her custom made dress indicates her waist still measured a tiny 28.5 inches. She had an extreme hourglass figure.  The interesting part is that the hourglass may have varied over the years, but she was never obese.  Unfortunately, Elizabeth and Rosanne, Marilyn just wasn’t the “plus sized” woman you claimed she was.

107 thoughts on “Marilyn Monroe’s True Size

  1. This sizing issue drives me crazy . Elizabeth Hurley’s comment I thought was especially ignorant and hateful . I’m also wondering if she had eye trouble if she actually saw the clothes on the mannaquin. But, again is this the most important thing people worry about? Not the joy she gave , her psychological issues , the pills she was given like candy ,( keep the product going) ..
    If people want an actress who actually did become “plus “ look at Elizabeth Taylor, who did lose it ,but fluctuated often . A beautiful woman’s weight is a huge interest avd it’s sickening . Look at Denta Burke in 80s! Natural curiosity is one thing but people seem obsessed by weight of stars.
    I am 5”4 116/129 pounds. Usually 117 or so. I gave MS , so if I’ll abd on steroids I tend to gain , I can also get very sick abd get to 98lbs, ( look awful) I have a terrible time finding clothes, I am 37D 24 waist ( 23 before children and 35 hips. I wear anywhere from6-10 , even 12 depending on brand . I usually wear two piece outfits or make my clothes .. learned out if necessity and I like vintage look. Jeans are almost impossible to find .. an hour glass figure is hard to dress …
    The point I’m making is natural curiosity is one thing but I wish others ( not here ) would focus on her thirst for knowledge, her interest in civil rights, the awareness her death brought to pills, her acting , her love for animals and children . Not just make it about her body , even after death …
    Also , anyone can look at nude scene in Something’s Got To Give, she was in best shape ( physically) I mean figure as she was also ill with viruses and such during that time ..also the great photos George Barris took beginning on June 1,1962. He phototherapy and interviewed her over next 6 weeks. The book he wrote with her words and his and wonderful photos is called Marilyn,Her Life in Her Own Words.
    Thank you for wonderful site and article , and let’s allyry to watch out for our Marilyn , she deserves it..
    I know my childhood was rough , not financially , but therr was a stepfather … and a mother who wouldn’t leave the money .. I found Marilyn at 13, first book I read was Goddess by Anothony Sommers. ( great book) I then read everything else .. I learned so much from her , what not to do, how to go for my dreams , she was an inspiration for me as I’m sure for many others . I often think I would have been found overdosed if I wasn’t blessed with a great marriage and children . But , partly because of Marilyn I wasn’t ashamed to go for psychiatric help and get off the pills my mother started pushing on me at 12/13..
    Im going on and I’m sorry , but I wish so many people would realise she was so much more than a great body or a photo on a calendar .
    Thank you.

  2. Love this, Scott. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people call Marilyn Monroe fat. Even at her heaviest, she was NEVER fat. I’ve personally handled many articles of her clothing and I’d say she ranged from a modern day 4 to a 6 and then at her heaviest, an 8. But as your research shows, sizes back then were not at all what they’ve been here in the U.S. for the last 30-40 years. And on top of that, every woman today knows that she might be a size 4 in one brand but a size 6 or 8 in other brands. The worst example of “vanity sizing” is ironically at the totally inexpensive Old Navy chain. A size 2 there would be a size 10 anywhere else! They are ridiculously “off the charts” with their sizing, but I admit I love buying a pair of cheapo “Size 2” jeans there every now and then! And I’d like to believe Elizabeth Hurley was misquoted with that dumb ass comment—or she’s a dumb ass if she really meant it. As I’ve said for years, if Marilyn was fat, then I’d like to be “fat” exactly like her!

  3. Plus size doesn’t mean fat or obese tho? Plus size can just mean you have large hip or bust measurements. Tons of olympic level and/or professional athletes wear “plus size” clothing despite being in about the best shape you can possibly be as a human. Size doesn’t reflect actual fitness. It never did. The BMI scale is widely known to be a very poor indicator of actual size and health. My BMI is 25.0, and Id be considered overweight. But my bust is 37, waist is 27, and my hips are about 36.5. If I had more muscle I’d be even heavier. Y’all need to stop fat shaming and thinking that slimmer=healthier. The people who win the strongest person in the world contests don’t look slim. They look really fat. Cuz toned muscle and puffed up body building muscle do not mean optimum functioning muscle.

    While she was about what is considered average in modern times in terms of weight and general size (probly close to a 6-8 dress size), she was definitely not the puny size 0-2 we consider to be “ideal” today. She never had a thigh gap, she never had a totally flat stomach without the little pouch under her bellybutton, and she was never so skinny that her ribs or breastbone stuck out. So while she was never “fat” she was definitely a bit larger than our current society’s ideal.

  4. (My previous comment was not to the writer of the article, but to other commenters equating plus size with obesity, and apparent fatness as a bad thing. Unless you literally know everything a person eats and does, you don’t know how healthy or unhealthy they are. And that includes skinny people.)

  5. I hate the term “plus size” – plus what exactly? I always equated it with the XX added onto “large”. Maylyn Monroe was never Xlarge. She was a healthy weight and a beautiful woman

  6. Marilyn was perfectly a size 8 UK im a designer and pattern cutter and her measurements alone indicate she’s small sized. Even pictures/footages of her makes u guess she’s a size 6-8 uk. But its the natural body issues that her bust size contrasts with the waist. in modern (especially modern) size charts u’ll find waist and bust/hip measurements are quite close because they do it for the common sizes of modern women (hense we’re not fond of waspie 50s corsets) and whoever’s waist is tiny will simply have it altered and voila it fits perfectly. The confusion here comes from the 1950s size labels as her top is a size 14 many people think its modern 14, 14 is purely a size 8 today as i buy lots of vintage patterns and usually i buy them size 14 and 12 and im a size 6-8 uk. So yes, in any ways and directions this issue could stretch in to, she remains in the small size circle. Period.

  7. She was beautiful and she paid the ultimate price for her beauty in a man’s world all of her too-brief and tragic life.

  8. I don’t know what Marilyn s actual size was and it doesn’t matter because she was a beautiful woman with a stunning figure

  9. Very interesting to see she worked out with weights. Must have been very unusual back then. Today models and actresses routinely use weights to tone their bodies.

    I wish women’s clothing was sold like men’s, using body measurements. It would make shopping so much easier.

  10. Amazing to think mm was tiny to now. You’d think she was bigger . A photo I saw once she showed ribs. Ribs was something on a thin person . Mm was definitely tiny and thinner than expected

  11. the thing is, i believe plus size and fat are different words. “plus size” is for women who are curvy like monroe. but now, it’s as i dreaded, and plus size is intrinsic with horribly obese people (usually women) because they widely marketed it by associated the two. as for “plus size”, i believe that very word is harmful to women. they should just be sizes like every other woman. even for obese women, that doesn’t change their humanity. imagine if you went in the kids section and you saw “boys-plus size”. that could be harmful to boys who are struggling with their weight, as well as girls. just shut the whole thing down and throw it away. so, for those saying monroe was plus sized, i just receive it as curvy, but given the association of fat people and plus size, they could very well mean she was fat. which is just explicit jealousy because it’s been proven multiple times she’s not. she was desired all over the world. men around the world did not lust after a fat/obese woman. that’s just the facts.

  12. Anyone with eyes and intelligence can see that Marilyn was a slim woman with a gorgeous figure. In “Some Like it Hot” she was pregnant ( or experiencing an hysterical pregnancy, I’ve read both) and she was maybe 140. I’ve read that and I agree with it, maybe slightly more. And she was still drop-dead gorgeous. A little softer, her curves more pronounced, but her waist still small and her beauty undiminished.

    I myself am 5’4″ and I’ve been everything between 110 and 170 (nine months pregnant). I personally love being 140! That’s when I finally have breasts, lol! And the rest of my body is slim enough to make those breasts stand out. So Elizabeth Hurley can shove it. Her comments were unnecessarily mean. I imagine she was brimming with acidic jealousy that she will never have Marilyn’s figure because her DNA doesn’t allow it. Neither does mine. I don’t care. I can admire beauty in other women without being catty about it. Apparently Elizabeth can’t.

  13. I enjoyed this article it was a very informative read! I enjoyed seeing the pics and the different measurements at different times. The internet and social media is rife with misinformation. I recently saw a ‘Marilyn quote’ that said something about how you should never feel bad about not being a size 0. I thought that was so hilarious. That is actually what led me to check out the topic because I knew that there was different sizing then, but wasn’t sure about the details. It’s so funny how things catch fire on the internet and they are complete and utterly false, and no one even questions it. It was one of those pretty script quotes with some picture of Marilyn’s figure on full display. The fact that people are trying to suggest that Marilyn was plus size because she is curvy is just ludicrous. I am in agreement with those who say that plus size seems derogatory. I think they should just keep it at #’s or start going by measurements maybe. But for one to imply that Marilyn would be able to fit into todays ‘plus size’ clothing they are required to suspend logical thinking I feel like. It is very easy to see by all of her pictures that at every stage of her life she was WELL BELOW the size that someone is who fits plus sizes. It’s just silly. I dont know how anyone could look at the pictures of her and not just intuitively know that she is a pretty small woman! Yes, she has a larger sized bust and yes she is ‘curvy’ but she is curvy in terms of waist to hip ratio. You can be a very skinny person and if you have a 10″ differential I think you would still be technically considered curvy by the mathematical standards. Today, we tend to use the term ‘curvy’ to describe women who are are thicker and somewhat on the larger side, which I think is a much kinder and body image positive way of wording it… at the same time, when people try to lump Marilyn into the current idea of curvy, it’s just suspending reality. I really dont understand how anyone with eyes could not feel ridiculous trying to insinuate that she would fall into such a category… lol. As a side note, one comment was speaking on the derogatory nature of the plus size terminology, and spoke about kids and how that could hurt their body image. I am curious about that I cannot remember if there was a term for girls or if it was the same but I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid the term ‘HUSKY’ was for boys who were bigger and thicker. I am curious if they did away with that term and also if there was a version for girls of husky that had it’s own name. Why I can remember the name of the boys but not the girls is a mystery to me!! I think maybe because even as a young kid I felt like the term husky seemed kind of negative to me!

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  15. Roseanne Girl just stop, your ignorance is showing again. I don’t care how much surgery you have you will NEVER be in the same stratosphere as Marilyn. Elizabeth you are just disrespectful, please don’t allow us to keep you from killing yourself.

  16. Pictures (images) don’t lie. Marilyn NEVER had rolls around her waist or stomach; flab on her upper arms; or, thickness in her thighs: the normal physical attributes associated with being fat &/or “plus size.” Not to in any way imply plus size is unattractive. Marily merely had more flesh and curves than most of the female stars who preceeded her — who were skinny and flat and bony . Marilyn, Jayne (Mansfield), Sophia (Loren) – were all gorgeous curvy women — none of whom were plus size or fat! I think what needs to be recognized is how very skinny most starlets were. Even Greta and Marlene came to Hollywood fleshy and full and wete forced to get skinny.

  17. To answer one of the comments before mine- I bought my little girl jeans at JCP and the adjective was “pretty plus” if memory serves.Boys were “husky”. Now, thankfully the term is going to be “curve”. So on to MM.
    Here we are in 2019 and everyone still knows who she is without question. She was not only beautiful but smart too. Her size was just perfect and all men loved her. I once bought a fake drivers license of hers on vacation at a Stuckey’s and had so much fun with it. All the young women at work fell for it and told me how beautiful I was when I was young but the State Trooper that I tried to fake out told me,” Nice try, mam’me”. Just got a warning thanks to Marilyn. As a child I did want to look like her when I grew up and did have the figure but “Twiggy” was in when I was a teen which was a bummer. Now, Marilyn is back on top where she will always stay.
    RIP Sweetheart !!!

  18. Marilyn was fat. The pictures show she had excess body fat and not 22 inch waist. The definition of fat is having excess fat or flesh so yes she was fat. Hurley is slim and not fat.

  19. Ms. Hurley needs psychiatric help. So did Marilyn – the main difference being that Marilyn was doing something about it.

    Plus, Marilyn wasn’t weight obsessed, she was just naturally slender without starving herself or over-exercising, by all accounts.

    If Hurley’s idea of ‘fat’ is a modern size 8, there’s not much hope for any of us. I wouldn’t put her on a team of Red Cross famine relief workers in Africa!

  20. Ms. Hurley needs psychiatric help. So did Marilyn – the main difference being that Marilyn was doing something about it.

    Plus, Marilyn wasn’t weight obsessed, she was just naturally slender without starving herself or over-exercising, by all accounts.

    If Hurley’s idea of ‘fat’ is a modern size 8, there’s not much hope for any of us. I wouldn’t put her on a team of Red Cross famine relief workers in Africa!

  21. Marilyn’s body was perfect in my book but I feel no need to protect her by admonishing Elizabeth for her comment. After all, it is doubtful Marilyn cares what Elizabeth thinks of her figure. And so what about others’ opinions? Life is short and then we’re like Marilyn…

  22. Both ms.Hurley and Marilyn Monroe,walk..
    No…”STRUT” with that delitful, soul uplifting
    extra little “HOP”, that few others can never
    practice or attempt in a lifetime…!1

  23. Jon B what excess fat?! Because her bones weren’t showing?! You’re putrid. Where’s your pictures?!

  24. Is “fat” really the worst thing someone can be?

  25. Ugh…can’t help but feel the shade and hate from Elizabeth Hurley, ankut Marilyn Monroe.

    Even a super model has miniscular insecurities.

    Marilyn has been dead for years, but she can still steal the spotlight.

  26. I am pretty sure Elizabeth Hurley was joking, because from what I was able to find, those are Hurley’s exact measurements. Marilyn was a beautiful person and was never what I would consider to be overweight. I feel society places too much emphasis on outward appearance and not enough on personality and mental acuity

  27. Thanks for helping to dispel the stupid rumor. I have no clue where this idea that Marilyn was ever fat came from. From her pics alone, she was nowhere near being fat. She had natural curves, but she was normal, not obese. Why have fat women started clinging to MM? She’s clearly not in your club.

  28. This had been knowledge available to the public for a long time. It shows the power of spreading false information. The woman, regardless of size, had a stunning figure. The biggest takeaway is that Elizabeth Hurley is as shallow as her acting range.

  29. Are you guys just idiots and blind to not see that she wasn’t plus sized ? What kind of plus sized woman has a waist under 90cm (35 inch) ?
    Can’t you see that she was thin ?
    Of course you see some fat here and there because she was not bone thin she was thin with fat today we call it “slim-thick body” where the fat is in the right place.

    But she was always wearing a corsett for her movies to have a more tiny waist (22 inch) to fit in really tight clothes- that still doesn’t mean she has a thick waist even without corsett her waist was snatched. I even read that she was always wearing a shaper in her teenage years that explains why every 50s woman have a tiny waist at this time than today.

    I too have a tiny waist with 26 inches and 38 inch hips and 38 bust area and I always wear a size XS-S so I can compare myself to her AND I’m far far away from calling myself fat.

  30. I agree with the fact that Marilyn was never plus size, especially with the fact that plus size connotes obesity, and her BMI (not necessarily the most accurate measurement) was always in the lower half of the normal weight range. As a 5’5” woman with a 39” bust, 28” waist, and 40” hips, I wear anything between a 4 and an 8 (regular) depending on the brand. Considering my size compared to Marilyn’s she most definitely not plus size. She had a beautiful, perfect, and healthy figure and claims otherwise take away from her efforts to get that body!

  31. There has never been nor will there ever be anyone to come close to her. The most beautiful woman to ever have lived May she Rest In Peace

  32. The true allure of Marilyn Monroe, to me, was the way she moved, the way she would look at the camera, her body mechanics were extremely feminine. I have always thought and believed she was a full figured woman. The hourglass shape is extraordinary for any woman any size. I am a fan of full figured girls, not obese. Anna Nicole Smith, Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Jenny McCarthy, Sigourney Weaver are all examples of extraordinarily beautiful women of different heights and sizes. As I said before, to me, Marilyn’s allure was the whole package, to see her walk across a room in heels, the way she would move her arms and look at others while conversing. She was a master of her physicality and smarter than given credit for. As one of her famous quotes and my favorite state, “dogs never bite me, just people.” Brilliantly truthful simple words from an underestimated woman who wanted nothing more than to be loved for her insides and not her out.

  33. Marilyn was and will remain the most beautiful woman of all time…

  34. In “The Misfits,” her final movie, released in 1961, Clark Gable’s character asks Monroe’s character if she’s a size 12 and she responds yes.

    In her subsequent bikini and jeans scenes she shows a few extra pounds in her waist and hips, but not that many for her body type (and for the standards of that era). She does not have much in the way of upper arm definition and has a somewhat generous belly for someone who was working out regularly, as alleged in the above article. However, face and chin are lean.

  35. I love this article! Thank you so much for clarifying the many sizes of my idol, Marilyn Monroe! No matter what size, weight, height or shape she was spectacularly beautiful! I remember reading about Marilyn’s persona (whatever size!) She and a friend were walking down Hollywood Blvd. Her friend said to Marilyn “Unbelievable that no one is recognizing you like the great Marilyn!” Marilyn replied “Oh, you want to see Marilyn?” Her friend was shocked as Marilyn straightened her body, head held high and began to walk her famous walk. “Her friend said that immediately people began to flock to her!!! “Marilyn!!!!” they screamed!!! I try to remember that and although I am not “famous”, I love to see the looks I get when I walk tall and regally, like Marilyn taught us! No matter what size, it’s the attitude that matters! My undying love for Marilyn always!!

  36. She definitely had a very tiny waist. I don’t think the figures of the model agency were wrong, moreover, she didn’t change a lot ever after (her weight fluctuations at the end of the 50s due to pregnancy are not counted).

    I tried to measure my waist by the belt, and the outer circumference of the belt (as worn on me) was almost 10 cm bigger than my actual waist. There is similar research with Marilyn’s belts in this article.

    So her waist, her figure in whole, was just perfect, yes, and she was never plus size.

  37. come on……… like most ppl, her weight fluctuated. During times of drug and alcohol abuse, pressure, age and metabolism, when she was filming. Eating out of hunger or depression. She was human and considered very beautiful; at every stage of her weight fluctuation. Just love her.

  38. She’s a real intelligent woman, one often misrepresented by pop image and social beliefs and old chauvinistic men. She was a bit chauvinist herself which she used to her advantage at times. Oddly enough, her natural hair with reddish brown and looked darker or redder at times. She also had dark eyes, sometimes stylized dark blue or seen as such in modern assumptions. Most uniquely was her thin medium (not quite “hourglass” body type, nothing like the big thumping women these days, back then curvy ≠ thick. Uniquely she also had very pale skin but with beauty marks. She often highlighted her facial beauty mark.

  39. She most definitely was not plus sized, but I think the reason her waist measurement was virtually unchanged all those years is because of undergarments. She most likely wore (just like most women during this time) a girdle or other corset- like garment to sculpt her waist. I’m not saying she had a large waist or that she wasn’t hourglass shaped, but sculpting undergarments were well worn at this time, just like Spanx is today. My body measurements are almost identical to hers and I can often make my waist smaller by using similar undergarments.

  40. Well, Liz Hurley is bone thin, od course even Marilyn Monroe would seem big to her. I don’t even mean that as criticism towards Ms Hurley, but that’s the way it is nowadays. Women are expected to be so skinny that Ms Monroe, tiny as she was, could go as voluptuous.

  41. Monroe was obviously never a plus sized model, not by today’s standards and not by her day’s standards. The only issue I take with the above info (which is otherwise wonderfully researched) is that it was well known that during that era most female actresses including Monroe, regularly wore corsets and/or what we now know of as “shape wear.” I myself have a 28” waist, but when I wear a corset it becomes a 24” waist. Marilyn would have been wearing a corset or shape wear under most of these outfits, and therefore the waist measurements are probably a bit smaller than her true size. But even still, she wouldn’t have been much more than a 28” waist which is still not even close to plus size!

  42. As someone who collects vintage (1950s-60s) sewing patterns, size 14 is equivilant to modern day size 8 🙂 if that answers your question about the pucci blouse.

  43. I know women’s measurements (a little, I had a wife that was 5′ 3″) and if she was that size and weight as mentioned above. She was far from being obese and probably just felt really good next to any man that laid beside her.

  44. Regardless of her size she was beyond beautiful

  45. Marilyn Monroe was gorgeous and no one can argue with that. My question is why would it be such a shameful thing if she was plus sized? I think this article may settle the issue of how big MM was but it brings up a whole new one…why fifty-five years later is Hollywood still dictating the definition of beauty in the US?

  46. All I can say is I have the exact same body type as Marilyn Monroe, height, weight, hip to waist ratio etc and I wear a size 8 to 10 in Australia and men these days find me fat, I find men these days to be paedophillic – only interested in size 6 and under, not interested in an hour glass figure with “hips and tits, to men that’s mature = old, they like pre pubescent looking girls and women these days, I blame the porn industry.

  47. Don’t forget that every fashionable woman wore a girdle back then so Marilyn’s waist measurement was probably 25″ or 26′. My mom’s girdle made her waist 3″ smaller, but she was a larger woman.
    Still that doesn’t make MM overweight and she would still be considered an hourglass figure and slim!

  48. Doesn’t matter to me if she was a size 6 or 20 she was absolutely stunningly beautiful it’s not really about what the tag in your clothes say it’s his you look and feel actually so as I said whether size 6 or 16 she was gorgeous

  49. People forget she wore designer items which most were Euro sizes so yes it would make sense what a Euro size 14 back then would be a US size 6 today. I have personally seen that in my mothers designer Euro clothing from the 70’s and 80’s which she still has a lot of pieces from then.

  50. So how on earth did Kim Kardashian get into the President’s birthday dress? KK’s measurements have got to be way above MM’s 35.5/23.5/33.25 quoted above, for the dress.

  51. Ive heard people speculate Marilyns figure as well and it frustrates me because I’ve seen her films and she is in fact slim with a beautiful natural figure, larger breasts and hips and a narrow waste.

    Just because she doesn’t have the heroin chic skeleton thin, sickly looking 90s model look doesn’t mean she’s plus sized!

    It sickens me that Kim Kardashian had the opportunity to wear Marilyn’s dress…first of all her super fake silicone Filled, fat transfer ass and tits didn’t fit into the dress,
    Secondly it didn’t suit her skin tone it just looked horendous!

    Marilyns beauty was natural Kim is so fake if you look at old picture she looks totally different, trashy af.

  52. WHY would anyone be so STUPID to let phony Kim wear Marilyn Monroe’s fabulous dress (which was made for her perfect body for such a fabulous moment in time). Is there no respect for something meant to be cherished. Kim is a selfish idiot. Why is she even on the news? So sad that our young women even care about her.

  53. Marilyn was misunderstood in so many ways. At one time before she became a big star she shared an apartment with Shelley Winters. Shelley Winters was another actress with curves, and movie directors always wanted her to lose wight.
    In Shelley’s first book she talked about Marilyn, and revealed things not commonly known about Marilyn at that time. She was the whole package, and very intelligent even though she didn’t finish school. This hoopla about her being fat is just trash talk……she was so much more.

  54. I loved Marilyn & I always thought as a girl growing up in the 1980s how in the world is MM fat she was so beautiful & just perfect then they let someone like KK wear that dress what one artistic thing has KK ever done to remotely deserve to wear that dress then she damages it with that big arse! MM was all style & class no matter what size she wore!

  55. Marilyn, Jackie O, and Audrey Hepburn are icons. There is NO ONE, today, who can come close to the extraordinary beauty, class, and femininity of these three women. Kim Kardashian nor Elizabeth Hurley are ever going to come up to the standard of beauty that would make them icons. Real beauty is not a size…it’s a style that comes naturally…not from fake pretense.

  56. I am disgusted with most of these comments. By insulting skinny women you are doing favours to nobody! I’ve been bullied and called names all my life because I’m skinny, tall and small-breasted. Do I try to compensate it by insulting larger/differently shaped women?! NO, I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT! Trying to elevate your low self-esteem by bullying others or calling them names means you have much deeper and more serious psychological issues than just “low self-esteem”. I’m 35 years old, I don’t starve myself (quite the opposite), I don’t exercise much and I like to play video games. I’m healthy and I have lots of energy. Using words like “boyish”, “flat”, “a paedofile’s dream”, “little girl” etc. you are just showing how shallow and toxic a person you are.

    I’m comfortable in my body and I’m healthy. That’s enough. I’m not gonna let idiots tell me how I should look. Healthy level of self-confidence is also what is attractive to potential partners. Many people try to target on certain attributes on other people that they think the others might be insecure about. It does not mean we/they are all the same. It doesn’t even prove that they mean what they say!

  57. Her frame was so small that contemporary people trying to fit into her clothes is kind of like when modern man tries to don medieval plate mail armor and realizes how much smaller people were in the Middle Ages.

    She was tiny, a skeletal frame so small that very few adult people can compare. She came of age when food was not as bountiful and just didn’t grow as large as people do today.

    Her Seven Year Itch dress could not properly zip up on a size 2 mannequin. She was just a tiny person.

    Suzanne Somers, tho less well known, has also been called busty, curvaceous and what not. Check out the intro to Three’s Company: She was also tiny.

  58. Hey Tiffany, you realize if Marilyn was alive today she’d wear atleast a size 4-6 and she had an hourglass, “hips and tits”, etc. Not every woman who wears a 6 and under is shaped like a prepubescent 12 year old child like you implied. I’m certainly not. Maybe in Australia it’s different but in America she probably wouldn’t be wearing anything over a 6. Also I think it’s f****ed up to imply men are pedophilic just for having a preference. If they’re into actual children that’s actual pedophilia but a man who’s attracted to an adult woman who’s slim isn’t an actual pedo. That’s called having a preference and not every man is into bigger women and that’s okay, just as not all of them are into smaller women and that’s also okay. They like what they like and the porn industry doesn’t always influence that.

  59. The size of Marilyn that really matters in my opinion, is the size of her life….How she influenced multiple generations… How her screen presence is one that is always spectacular…. How she tried her best to be her best…through hard times and sad times and tabloid times…Marilyn tried to be her best… in Life and on the Screen….For that … Marilyn a Ten…and her “Size” is only her concern…and her Dress Makers….

  60. Plus size means (or at least used to) size above size zero which was a size of a runway model. Marilyn was above size zero making her plus but it doesn’t make her fat or obese!
    It’s politically correct to praise fat people now and give them attention, but they hijacked what plus used to mean, trying to portray sex icons as far and one of “them” by calling them plus, even though they certainly weren’t.
    Marilyn was curvatious, not fat.

  61. Whew, some of these comments are nuts. Size 0 did not exist in Marilyn’s time, although there were very thin stars like Hepburn.
    She would never be considered plus-sized, even when she was heavier with fuller curves. I think she might have been 140 at the most during “Some Like It Hot”…still not fat or plus-sized compared to most women today. And she looked gorgeous both ways, whether thinner or a bit heavier.

    Now as to the larger women here insulting more petite women…your comments are disgusting.
    You don’t want people calling you fat, but you have no problem saying that another woman looks like a boy. Putting other women down doesn’t make you more of a woman. It doesn’t make you prettier, or better, or more feminine.

    I wear a size 6 (close to what Marilyn might be today) and I have a nice shape, so you are wrong about us thinner women not having curves.
    Plus size women can indeed be very pretty…I have seen some that are absolutely gorgeous. But they look nothing like Marilyn. They would never fit into her outfits or be as tiny as she was. And you know what? That’s OK. They don’t have to compare themselves to her (it’s unrealistic anyway). They can simply be themselves and learn to find confidence in who they are, instead of putting down others and trying to pretend they look like Marilyn (when they don’t).

  62. Marilyn, still fascinating after all these years. I wonder if anyone will remember LH in 60 years time…..

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