5 Famous Pairs of Lips


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was famous for her rouged lips: Their making up required a complicated blend of colors and finishes.
Marilyn Monroe was famous for her rouged lips: Their making up required a complicated blend of colors and finishes.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe knew how to make the most of her assets. She transformed herself from Norma Jean Baker, who grew up in foster homes and orphanages, into the world's most famous blonde movie star and unabashed sexpot. She bragged about wearing no underwear with her revealing clothes.

She used makeup to further her image of being overwhelmingly sexy but somehow innocent. Her strikingly light hair came out of a bottle. She had darkened, perfect eyebrows and a painted-on mole. And the lips -- Marilyn often made up her well-shaped lips herself, taking great care as she applied a blend of three shades of lipstick, and then covered it with Vaseline and wax [source: Fox]. And she knew how to use those shiny, flaming lips for a dazzling smile or a provocative pout.

Marilyn Monroe committed suicide in 1962, but her lips live on in art at the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. Andy Warhol, the pop artist, painted Marilyn many times after her death. Some of his works use vivid colors to emphasize her lips, and one immortal 1962 work of polymer, silkscreen ink and pencil on canvas is nothing but the image of Marilyn's disembodied lips, over and over. [source: Hirshhorn Museum]. The work is titled, aptly, "Marilyn Monroe's Lips," and it has been widely reproduced in posters and even on housewares. Yes, you can buy coasters and appetizer dishes featuring one of the world's most famous pairs of lips.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


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