These Marilyn Monroe quotes provide a glimpse into the fast and furious life she led that was cut short far too soon. They show that she had a thing or two to say about life, love, and how to be happy, and she had a lot of credibility due to the life she led. Here are our selected quotes that give the best insight into what she was thinking during her time here.
“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.”
This is one of the most beautiful quotes ever uttered by Miss Monroe, and it’s especially touching because it comes from someone that spend much of their adult life as a star in the form of a celebrity. We all deserve to have our time to shine, and it’s a matter of taking the opportunities that are granted to us to show what we can do.
It speaks to the imbalance of attention given to only the best and brightest among us, even though we all have something to say, a talent to behold, and a spotlight that we deserve.
“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
This quote sums up life in a very optimistic way, and even though Monroe had many challenges and plenty of reasons not to smile, it shows she was always looking for the beautiful things in the world, and choosing happiness over sadness. Whenever you’re feeling blue you can remember this quote and look around for things to smile about. According to her there’s plenty to smile about, as long as you’re looking for them.
Look around you today for something to smile about. Tomorrow it might be something different, but there will always be many things available to put your attention on.
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“Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”
This puts a very good spin on those times when it appears that things aren’t going as planned, or after a bad break-up, or other low times in life. It would be arrogant to think that we know what’s best for us, and often the universe has other plans and is putting them into motion even if it means we have to go through some trying times or say goodbye to the people that once loved us. As long as you keep hope and optimism alive and keep the door open for something better to come along, it often will.
“If I’d observed all the rules I’d never have got anywhere.”
Here’s a cheeky quote that suggests it’s OK to break the rules now and then in the name of progress and success. Most of us know that rules are made to bed, and some might even need to be broken when going after the things that you want. It’s not a matter of breaking the law or showing a disrespect for authority, but rather confirming that you won’t let anything stop you from reaching your desired destination. Monroe wasn’t encouraging a state of lawlessness, but just giving a nod to the bendability of the established rules that govern our lives.
“You never know what life is like, until you have lived it.”
Here’s a simply stated way of saying that unless you get out and live your life you won’t really know what life is like. It’s almost as if she is saying some people live and die without really knowing what life is like. It’s a call to get out and do the things you’ve been wanting to do, to tell the people the things you’ve been wanting to say, and to feel the feelings that come with living a life that is meaningful and interesting. You don’t have to live to anyone else’s standards, as each of us has our own idea of what it means to live life to the fullest.
“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”
At first glance this quote seems like it might be a step back for equality for women, but when you consider that both genders can use it as advice it seems more sound. While chasing a career and money many men also give up relationships because they see the two as mutually exclusive. Only later when they realize the emptiness of having success and no one to share it with do they regret their decision to pursue the almighty dollar at all costs. Find a balance between your career and your love life so that you don’t end up old, bitter, and alone, is what she seems to be saying.
“Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.”
Marilyn Monroe had a strong desire to be seen as being more than just an actress, celebrity, and sex symbol. Many of her quotes attempt to shed light on who she was a person, and to remind her spectators that there was more to her than just a pretty face in designer clothing. It’s true that behind all of the glitz and glamor there was just a girl that started off simple enough married to a policeman. Who would have thought she’d eventually be married to Joe DiMaggio and have an alleged affair with JFK?
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
We’ve all had the feeling of wishing we were someone else, no matter how brief it lasted. Sometimes it can be easy to get fixated on someone else, whether it be a celebrity or someone you know personally. But it’s a huge oversight because it negates what a wonderful person you yourself are. It’s fine to admire the traits of someone else, and make it a point to have those same traits, but there’s no reason to wish you were them, especially since you don’t know exactly what it’s like to be them. If you were given the chance to be them you may realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
“I live to succeed, not to please you or anyone else.”
This is an interesting saying from Monroe, and it can be seen in the way she lived her life that she didn’t just say it but lived it. She was discovered after doing a magazine shoot and never looked back. She starred in dozens of movies and now has a star on the Walk of Fame because she didn’t live wondering what others were thinking about her, or trying to bend over backwards to make other people happy. Success was important to her, and by mapping the course of her life you can see that she was driven to succeed without second guessing herself based on opinions of others.
“A girl doesn’t need anyone that doesn’t need her.”
The same could be said for men as well, and it’s a good saying to keep in mind when you are in a lopsided relationship, or hooked on someone that is only lukewarm towards you. Why keep people in your life that don’t find you a valuable piece to their own life? In the world of celebrity this quote must ring doubly true. With so many people out to use you for their own ends and drop you as soon as your value is used up, it must have been from personal experience that she was able to deliver this line.
“Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.”
How true! But most times it’s so easy to forget this and feel like failure is just going to follow you all your days. It’s true that you can be a whopping failure at one thing but a raging success at another. Few are good at everything they try, and for many it’s a matter of finding what you’re good at and then getting better and better at that. It would be sad indeed if we failed in one area of our lives and then projected that failure to another area. Cast those memories of failure aside as you try your next endeavor.
“If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.”
This is a cute phrase that points out that while many people are two-faced, there are some that have ugly faces for both. Many times two-faced people are nice to your face but then go around behind your back being ugly. What Monroe is saying here is that she’s run into people that are ugly to your face as well as behind your back. She may also be admitting that she’s a bit two-faced as well, since one of her faces was so pretty. It could have been her way of revealing that she might have had an ugly side as well. Only Marilyn knows for sure.
“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Here’s words to live by if you’re ever caught between being ridiculous or boring. At the very least you don’t want to be absolutely ridiculously boring! She must have been making mention to the different people she’d met during her life, which must have been filled with the bizarre and the mundane. She’s saying that if you have to choose, go for being the oddball, the one that confuses everyone, instead of being the wallflower that doesn’t take a chance or speak up. Only one way ensures that you’ll live a life filled with no regrets and a lot fewer what ifs.
“In spite of everything life is not without hope.”
It’s easy to see that Monroe lived a life of some hardship, trials, and tribulations, but she never gave up hope that things would turn out alright. Here she’s saying that even with all of the things that happened to her, she still holds onto that feeling of hope, which surely lead to better days for her right up until the end. Several reports from those that knew Monroe well say that she was usually in good spirits, despite what was said about her in the aftermath of her death. It seems that Monroe may have led a troubled childhood and had a whirlwind of a life but always maintained her spirits with hope.
“All a girl really wants from a guy is for him to prove to her that they are not all the same.”
You can tell that Marilyn must have gone through her fair share of guys that ended up all turning out the same. Three divorces might do the trick, as well as a blur of Hollywood’s elite all vying for a chance to be with her. She gets down to the heart of what every girl really wants, a guy to show her that she’s special and that he’s special too and not exactly like all of the other guys out there with all of the stereotypical male behavior. Deep down, even with all the fame, she saw herself as an ordinary girl looking for an ordinary guy next door type.
“If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.”
Here’s advice for the guys out there, it’s not about the money you make or the car you drive but rather it’s your personality that will really win a girl over. Maybe not every girl, but the right girl. Rather than focus on those things that can be taken away at any time, it’s best to invest in your personality and make sure that it is at the top of its game. Maybe instead of “make” it’s better to say get her to do anything, but those are the words she used back at the time she said it, and also it’s a play on words with “make” her laugh.
“Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”
In six words Monroe gives a smack to the face to both fear and regrets. One often leads to the other, so it’s good to give them both the same treatment, since they’re closely related. It’s often fear that gets us to do the things we regret. The chances missed by sitting on the sideline, benched by fear. Once you get disrespectful of fear you’ll find that you have fewer regrets about the life you’re leading. Just remember that fear is a natural emotion, so don’t get frustrated if you feel it, just remember that it’s stupid, so says Marilyn.
“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”
Take it from a woman that was thrice divorced, she didn’t stay long in a relationship if she wasn’t happy with the way it was going. Notice how she didn’t say it’s better to be happy and alone than unhappy with someone, since that’s too easy of a thing to wrap your head around. She’s saying that it’s a better choice to be alone, even if you’re unhappy while you’re alone, than it is to be with someone and be unhappy just because you don’t want to be alone. This is for those that find themselves in a relationship because it’s preferable to being alone, even if it isn’t very good.
“I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”
Marilyn Monroe embraced her femininity and had no qualms of using it to her advantage, both to get famous and to stay famous. After being recognized for her photogenic nature she would later grace Playboy magazine and spend much of her adult life as a sex symbol. Rather than lament being seen as a sex symbol she seemed to utterly enjoy it, and even in her private life would use it as a way to get what she wanted. Think of her birthday song to JFK, that was a woman that was enjoying being a woman and all of the things it enabled her to do.
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”
If it’s a man’s world she’s saying a woman can pretty much do whatever she’d like as long as she’s Marilyn Monroe. Many things that Monroe is famous for saying were said during a time of women’s liberation movements, and they flew in the face of popular opinion at the time. This quote is a cute way of saying that she can get along just fine in a man’s world because of the fact that she’s a woman, much to the chagrin of women’s rights supporters who want an even playing field. Today’s women might not agree with this quote, but it worked for Monroe.
“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil.”
This quote helped to put Monroe in the right light, and was likely meant to take away some of the bad girl image, but not erase it entirely. You’ve got to respect a woman that is confident enough to admit to her sins and also make a distinction that she’s not all bad. She’s also saying that she’s a good person, though not perfect. And in a few sentences she pretty much sums up all of us, as nobody is without sin, and few of us go to such extremes of being an angel or a devil.
“I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.”
Here’s another example of Monroe viewing herself as a just an ordinary girl. Perhaps it was her way of digesting all of the fame and attention, and a way for her to make sense of it all and stay true to herself. Being the adoration of many men during her time and even having the sort of relationship she had with the president of the United States, she was anything but a small girl. But at the root of it all she held the belief that she just wanted to find love, and that’s what she set out to do, as is evidenced by the life she lived.
“Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting than being one.”
This quote brings up the idea that sometimes a dream is more exciting than living that dream. For years she must have dreamed of being an actress, married to policeman and waiting to be discovered. After seeing all that comes with the dream she remembers fondly what it was like to just dream of being an actress. It’s funny how a dream seems so perfect because you don’t dream of all that goes into it, you only dream of the best things about it. This is Monroe’s way of saying that sometimes it’s better to just dream.
“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”
It’s interesting to think that Monroe didn’t care for money, seeing how she made plenty of it during her lifetime. But the fact that she was just focusing on her life, and being the best she could be, and the money was just a byproduct is in line with how things typically work out. If you focus on the money you rarely get it, but if you focus on what you do and do it exceptionally well the money usually follows. Perhaps she may have sung a different tune earlier in her life when she didn’t have a lot of money, but once she had enough she could focus on being wonderful.
“Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right.”
This is one more instance of Monroe putting a healthy spin on the way life is. Sometimes things go wrong, but rather than wallow in it she used it to better appreciate the times when things go right. To be sure, things are right more often than when they’re wrong, and if things never went wrong you wouldn’t know when they were right as you wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. The best way to deal with things when they go wrong is to notice how you’re feeling and compare that to how you feel when things are going right.
“I don’t stop when I’m tired. I only stop when I’m done.”
This shows that Monroe had a work ethic and was not merely a celebrity for being a celebrity. Some might say that she was discovered by accident, that she used her sex appeal to get and stay famous, and got acting jobs because of the way she looked and who she slept with, but a quote like this tells a different story. She’s going to persist until she completes the task. This is one instance where she gives insight into the kind of drive she had and can be an inspiration to stick with things until fruition.
“I restore myself when I’m alone.”
A life filled with so much publicity and so few private moments must have been taxing to the system. Here she’s revealing that during the times she spent alone she would recharge her batteries and get ready for the next day or the next event. We all need a little “me time” and perhaps she never had enough of it. Being a celebrity has its disadvantages, and one of them is that you don’t’ know when a camera is on you. You always have to be “on” and that can be draining. We can take a page from her notebook and use alone time to recharge and refresh.
“All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.”
In the end, Monroe just wanted to be loved, and the same can be said for us all. She didn’t just want to be loved for the things she did, she wanted to be loved for the person she was. It must be hard for a celebrity and a sex symbol to find true love in the world, and maybe she lived and died without ever finding it. This quote resonates because it is something we can all relate to. You shouldn’t have to be a certain way or do a certain thing in order to be loved. You should be loved for who you are, and that’s all she wanted.
(Read this next: 55 Most Famous Quotes About Life)