Marilyn Monroe is one of the 20th century’s most famous actresses – an icon that continues to captivate the imaginations of millions to this day. Yet, according to Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde – a fiction novel that delves deep into the psyche of the star, and which was turned into a Netflix film in 2022 – Marilyn Monroe faked it until she made it.
The premise is that the celebrity had essentially two personas: Marilyn Monroe, the captivating, charismatic star that enthralled audiences and turned the heads of everyone in the room; and Norma Jean, a shy, demure woman who was not particularly confident. Monroe could then switch between these two characters at will, ensuring she always came across as ‘her best self’ in public.
TikTokers have run away with this idea, which has been taking over TikTok since 2023, and the Marilyn Monroe Effect has many users trying to create a second persona that is confident, charismatic, and magnetic, whose ‘shoes’ they can then get into when they’re at parties, out on dates, on recording their reels.
To do this, TikTokers suggest writing down how the new persona lives their life, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed: how do they interact with people? How do they stand? How do they speak? How do they feel? Then, before heading out to a social event, adopters of the trend make several affirmations in order to feel more confident and set the stage for the persona to take over their day-to-day character.
As we’ve said, when it comes to Marilyn Monroe, all this comes from a fiction novel, but there may be some truth behind it. Beyoncé, for example, is famously known to have an alter-ego named Sasha Fierce, while David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust.
Whether it works or not, depends on a number of factors, though our suggestion is to always be yourself and make sure you are happy with you are projecting into the world. Nevertheless, we’d love to know if this is something you’d consider trying, so let us know.