• Wed, Nov 6 - 1:22 pm ET

Chanel’s Creepy New Ad Resurrects Marilyn Monroe

Chanel

Chanel

This weird-ass culture we live in continues to get weirder-ass. In 2013, women don’t need to be alive to sell products.

Chanel has released a new ad featuring a 1960 audio recording of Marilyn Monroe, in which she talks cheekily about sleeping naked. Over footage of the star smiling for cameras, her famous voice can be heard saying,

You know, they ask you questions. Just an example, ‘What do you wear to bed? Do you wear pajama tops? The bottoms of the pajamas? A nightgown?’ So I said, ‘Chanel No.5,’ ’cause it’s the truth. And yet, I don’t want to say ‘nude,’ but it’s the truth.

Monroe is giggling as she talks, yes, and she famously presented herself in a sexual way, yes. But does anyone else find it kind of off that they’re using this clip without her consent? Even if it’s tongue-in-cheek, she’s still expressing embarrassment. What makes this woman’s life public domain? Couldn’t you argue that the way the public objectified her contributed to her death? Yikes, man.

Very Sexy is also using Monroe’s image to sell hair products that she definitely never used. And this awkward, fetishy exploitation isn’t limited to just Marilyn. In March, Galaxy used CGI to resurrect Audrey Hepburn and make her bat her creepy animate eyes to sell chocolate. Even Newsweek super weirdly photoshopped Princess Diana next to Kate Middleton for seemingly no reason.

Via YouTube

Via YouTube

Can’t we find a way to honor deceased icons without pasting them into things they didn’t sign on for? This is taking objectification to a twisted new level. “The glamorous sex symbol we’ve decided you are is more important than the breathing human you actually were!”

It seems to be a gendered issue, too. An investment firm used footage from Jame Dean‘s life in a 2009 campaign, suggesting that he could have accomplished even more if his life hadn’t been cut short. Somehow they managed to honor the sexy-bad-boy-with-a-good-heart image we know and love… without releasing audio of a private conversation or using Pixar magic to make him eat candy.

Let’s make a pact to stop turning famous dead women into zombies, okay? I think we did a fine enough job of using every last drop of Marilyn Monroe while she was alive. It’s time to leave her alone.

Via Daily Mail

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  • Julia Sonenshein

    So creepy!

  • Alyssa

    Apparently Audrey Hepburn’s kids really liked the chocolate commercial…

  • Kat

    I totally agree, it’s unethical at best and absolutely disrespectful to her memory! Consumers don’t even think of her as a human being anymore. Everyone should ban the products featuring Marilyn Monroe.

  • Jackie

    I don’t believe she was expressing embarrassment. Marilyn was never ashamed of her sexuality. The reason she didn’t want to say nude was because it was not ‘the thing’ at the time. Also this wasn’t a private conversation. It was a recorded interview for Marie Claire magazine conducted in 1960. The sad fact is that Marilyn is now a “brand”. Her name and likeness is owned by Authentic Brand Group and they licence her image out. As a long time Marilyn fan I’m glad that they have finally used her to endorse a product she actually used unlike the really tacky Dior commercial which was a computer generated version of her. Now that was really horrible. I think this commercial is classy and I always get a little thrill when I suddenly hear her voice on the tv. The footage they use is absolutely gorgeous too.