If there is one word that could best describe Marilyn Monroe without causing any debate, that word would be: seductive. Perhaps nobody, before or after her, has had such a seductive power. And that power, is not limited only to men.
The film director Billy Wilder, who had directed her in two films The Seven Year Itch(1955) and Someone Like it Hot(1959), once said that Monroe's uniqueness was that "She does not infuriate women." And that's so true. Not even when she depicted a golden digger in platinum curls in films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953) and How to Marry a Millionaire(1953).
Threat to a woman? Perhaps, or definitely, depending on Marilyn Monroe's closeness - both physical and emotional - to the man of your life. But infuriation? Not really.
Marilyn Monroe is one of those creatures we call a girl woman, a woman with an angel's face and a devil's body, a femme fatale who has never lost the innocence of a girl.
Various directors-all men, from Billy Wilder, John Huston, Howard Hawks, Jean Negulesco to Laurence Oliver, had explored and exploited such rare quality of Monroe's, by putting her into some version of a role of "Blond with no brain" with underlying charm and fitting costumes matching such roles.
In the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953), Marilyn Monroe played Lorelei, a show girl who wanted to marry a millionaire while keeping her eyes on all men rich, old or young. In one scene, Lorelei was trying to escape from the cabin of a private detective who was investigating her behavior on a cruise-ship, on behalf of the father of her millionaire-husband-to-be, and she was stuck in the porthole window. A very young Henry Spofford III, originally one of Lorelei's potential rich targets, was passing by and Lorelei asked for help. The too-sophisticated-for-his-age Mr. Spofford III decided to help her after some thinking, and explained to her why he would do it: "The first reason is, I am too young to be sent to a jail; The second reason is, you've got a lot of animal magnetism." Whoever had written that last line, had definitely captured the essence of Marilyn Monroe.
Animal Magnetism, that is what Marilyn Monroe had, in capital letters. No man, no matter a military man, a sports man, a man of pen and brain, or even the president, no man had been able to say no to that animal magnetism. Even 60 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still singing her Siren's song to millions of men of the new generations.
Strangely enough, while she was in a swimsuit, which exposed her body and herself the most, supposedly at the epitome of her seductive power, Marilyn Monroe also looked like a girl the most, a naive girl who just happened to have a womanly body.