Marilyn Monroe is the most beautiful and most intriguing woman that ever graced this Earth. She has universal good looks that appeal to everyone. Even today, men want her and women want to be her. Just look at how many celebrities have duplicated her glamor. Starlets bleach their hair to get the Marilyn style, they imitate her clothing, and they talk in her deep voice. Some succeed, and others fail. So we decided to dedicate this list to all the Marilyn copycats out there. We have ten stars that got it right and look hot, and ten that failed miserably.
Marilyn may be gone, but she isn’t forgotten. We like to think that she’d get a kick out of this piece, and enjoy dissecting the pics as much as we did. In this way, she’s able to live on not only in our hearts, but also in the public consciousness. For all you Marilyn lovers out there, this list shows you what stars do right, and what they do wrong. We’ve covered the gamut of celebrities, from modern day actress to reality stars to models. And if you appreciate this list, then we are more than happy to write you a sequel because some ladies didn’t make the cut this time. Singers like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, African Americans like Nicki Minaj and Keri Hilson, and lesser-knowns like Poppy Montgomery and Kelli Garner all tried their hand at being Marilyn.
20 Jessica Chastain: Hot
Jessica Chastain has been cast as Marilyn Monroe in the biopic Blonde, which is set to be released in 2018. It is based on a book of the same name penned by famed writer Joyce Carol Oates. The book is a fictionalized account of Marilyn’s life, but drew on facts and first person reports of the star and her troubled life. Many doubted that Jessica could play Marilyn since she is a natural redhead, but this pic proves them wrong. What’s so great about Jessica as Marilyn in this movie is that she recreates so many of Marilyn’s looks – not just the iconic ones like the white dress in The Seven Year Itch or the pink dress from How To Marry A Millionaire.
19 Courtney Stodden: Not
Reality star Courtney Stodden is channeling Marilyn Monroe in this shot. Courtney is placing her hands on Monroe’s cemented handprints outside Graumann’s Chinese Theatre. Marilyn looks like a flawless beauty with her fine facial features, buxom body and hair blowing in the wind. Courtney looks like she just crawled out of a birthday cake at a cheap bachelor party. Of course, she doesn’t see it that way. Courtney is enamored with Marilyn. She frequently dresses like her for photoshoots and copies her posing. She even visited Marilyn’s grave site and wrote a special note to her, which she left for the icon.
Here’s a Marilyn fact we bet Courtney doesn’t know. Marilyn insisted on dotting the “I” in her first name with a diamond in the cement outside the theatre. It was stolen that very night. Now that’s one nice piece of memorabilia, proving once again that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
18 Michelle Williams: Hot
Michelle Williams captured two of Marilyn’s loveliest photos in this mash-up she did for Vogue magazine. The one on the top shows Michelle engaging in one of Marilyn’s favorite pastimes: reading. Marilyn loved literature and books on art history. It also showcases Marilyn’s day-to-day life; she isn’t donning a figure-hugging gown, but rather a sweater and pants. We think she looks just as stunning either way. The bottom pic of Michelle looking out over the cityscape is a fine homage to Marilyn. It captures her childlike curiosity and zest for life, while also hinting at tragedy since she’s in such a precarious position.
17 Scarlett Johansson: Not
Scarlett Johansson is one of the most beautiful women of our time. But when we look at her next to Marilyn Monroe, we realize all of Scarlett’s shortcomings. Her smile is too toothy, whereas Marilyn’s lips are pursed in a more seductive manner. Her hair looks limp and thin, while Marilyn’s is full and bouncy. Her face is full and wide, but Marilyn’s is more attractive as it is more sculptural. And even though Scarlett’s breasts are legendary, they can’t compare to Marilyn’s. Marilyn’s are much more natural looking as they start to swell just beneath her clavicle. Scarlett would be well advised to stop trying to copy Marilyn and develop her own look.
16 Naomi Watts: Hot
Believe it or not, this is Naomi Watts! Who knew she was this bodacious? Her cinched waist accentuates her wide hips and ample bust line. It’s quite a change from her usual petite figure. While she doesn’t look like a twin for Marilyn, she definitely captures Marilyn’s more subtle qualities. Marilyn was an intensely private person who was also insecure. We can see this demure demeanor in Naomi, as she gives off the impression that she isn’t entirely comfortable in the bombshell role. The styling of this shot was also rather smart. The microphones are a nod to Marilyn’s singing when she performed for the troops, and when she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to JFK.
15 Paris Hilton: Not
Paris Hilton wore this Marilyn Monroe-inspired get-up during the launch of her tenth fragrance, and it’s an epic fail. She looks like a drag queen trying to impersonate the Hollywood legend. Paris’ hair is too long, and isn’t curled enough. Her face doesn’t have the warm quality of Marilyn’s, and instead has an air of snootiness to it. And her body is all wrong. Marilyn’s breasts were two perfect globes, while Paris’ look like overinflated water balloons. In fact, Paris’ whole body is at odds with Marilyn’s. Paris is too tall and too thin to ever be able to pass for Marilyn. And we know Joe DiMaggio would never have anything to do with her. He loved Marilyn for her sensitivity, her brains and her charisma. Paris has none of that.
14 Madonna: Hot
There is one star that has copied Marilyn Monroe more than any other has, or ever will – and it’s Madonna. Most people only remember Madonna playing dress-up as Marilyn in her Material Girl video, but it’s a fact that Madonna has tried to replicate just about every one of Marilyn’s photos. This one is rather special, because it a dupe of one of Marilyn’s lesser-known pics. It’s hard to say where either one of these photos were taken, but we like to fantasize that it was shot on a nameless street in Rome, outside a church that is now in ruins. In all likelihood, both women were photographed on a busy street in New York City. But that’s the magic of these two – their allure is so great that they can mesmerize us.
Kudos to Madonna for copying the look so well. We are disappointed, though, that she left out two details. The first is the gold drawstring bag, and the second would be the seamed nylons. Over the course of her career, Madonna has drawn inspiration from all the greats, like Garbo, Dietrich and Bardot. But her work influenced by Marilyn will always be the best.
13 Kim Kardashian: Not
We’re pretty sure that Kim Kardashian wasn’t actually trying to channel Marilyn Monroe when this pic was taken, but we can’t be 100% sure. Kim is always finding new and unusual ways to get publicity. All we can say is that Kim really pales in comparison to Marilyn. Both girls are curvy, but Marilyn knows how to accentuate her best features. Even in black and white, we can appreciate Marilyn’s long legs, her healthy physique and thousand watt smile. She practically invented paparazzi – not Kim Kardashian West!
12 Anna Nicole Smith: Hot
Anna Nicole Smith made a name for herself by emulating Marilyn Monroe in a Guess campaign. She looked fabulous as a modern day Marilyn, and was even blonder and more buxom. However, we wanted to show you a Marilyn-evoked look that you weren’t familiar with. Here, we see Anna Nicole and Marilyn holding carnations in between their teeth while beaming for the camera. Marilyn was often photographed with flowers, but the carnation seems to have special meaning. Some people claim it represents that she was a soft person in a hard world, as Anna Nicole would turn out to be. Others say it is haunting, as one of Marilyn’s possessions at the time of her death was a used tube of lipstick, Revlon’s “Bachelor’s Carnation.” It was later sold at auction.
11 Kate Moss: Not
We saw all sorts of celebrities, impersonators and everyday people trying to get the Marilyn Monroe look. But this one takes the cake – and not in a good way. On what planet does Kate Moss remind anyone of Marilyn Monroe? Kate is famous for being an emaciated model, who inspired the term “heroin chic.” Marilyn is famous for being the world’s most beautiful woman – because she typified the girl next door but had extra oomph and a winning personality. The artist that painted Moss was able to take liberties with her depiction, and even then this Warhol-inspired piece is a fail.
10 Lindsay Lohan: Hot
Lindsay Lohan took this shot for New York Magazine as an homage to Marilyn Monroe. What is most haunting about this mash-up is that this photograph of Marilyn was from a collection she took which would turn out to be her last nude photo session. We hate to admit it, but Lindsay nailed the look. Both women are the right balance between cheeky and mature. They are covered up, and yet we feel like we can see everything. Of course, we prefer Marilyn. We get a rush seeing the outline of her panties, her supple arms, and her piercing eyes. She knew how to work a camera. We just wish we could show you this pic without her lady bits airbrushed out!
9 Candice Swanepoel: Not
Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel took a turn trying to channel Marilyn Monroe, and the best we can say is: “Close, but no cigar.” A starlet hasn’t made it big until she has a photoshoot copying Marilyn. While that seems to be a rite of passage, there’s no guarantee that it will work out. Only a gifted few have the proper features to masquerade as Marilyn, and Candice isn’t so blessed (well, in that aspect). Candice is a gorgeous girl as evidenced by her work for the lingerie company. However, she just doesn’t have the right stuff to be another “girl with the horizontal walk.” Candice’s eyes are too big, her nose is too broad, and her skin is too tan. We’d be remiss if we didn’t place some of the blame on her glam squad, though. They could have thinned her brows, given her red lipstick instead of pink, and trimmed her hair.
8 Mira Sorvino: Hot
Mira Sorvino starred as Marilyn Monroe in an HBO movie titled Norma Jean and Marilyn. It chronicled the famed beauty’s early life, raise to fame and ultimate downfall. The most significant thing about the film was that it showcased how “Marilyn” was often at odds with her true self, Norma Jean. While the movie was forgettable, as many biopics about the star are, Mira does look hot in her interpretation of Marilyn. Mira has the right hair, the bright doe eyes, and a gown that is a decent replica of one that Marilyn would wear. We do wish that she resembled Marilyn more up top, though. When looking at the shot of Marilyn, she reminds us what a great pair of breasts should really look like. Hers are sloped, pointed and not squeezed together. They are all natural, and are the antithesis of what we see Hollywood starlets showcasing on the red carpet these days.
7 Gwen Stefani: Not
Gwen Stefani has been sporting platinum blonde locks since her No Doubt days. She’s always been considered a gorgeous girl. But her looks fade when stacked up to Marilyn Monroe. Physically, Gwen’s complexion is the worse for wear. She has large pores and wrinkles. Meanwhile, Marilyn was heralded for her porcelain skin. Gwen’s hair looks very much like she got her blonde out of a bottle. While Marilyn was not a natural blonde, she played the part well. Even on a figurative level, Marilyn comes across as more beautiful. Her smile is exuberant and her eyes twinkle. Gwen just looks old and tired. Frankly, we think Gwen has no excuse. She lives in an age when she has the best of beauty technology and styling right at her fingertips, while Marilyn’s access was much more limited since her heyday was the 50s.
6 Angelina Jolie: Hot
We never thought in a million years that Angelina Jolie could pull off looking like Marilyn one bit. But this pic is proof that she did it – and she did it well! Certainly most of the resemblance has to do with Angie’s blonde hair and Marilyn mannerisms, but it’s still pretty uncanny. Angie is known the world over for her dark looks, overly plumped lips and sinewy frame; so, it’s amazing to behold the glory of this particular transformation. Now that she’s single again (since her and Brad Pitt have parted ways), she should start emulating Marilyn’s style more often. Her image could certainly use an overhaul.
5 Gwyneth Paltrow: Not
Gwyneth Paltrow was a fool to try to play dress-up as Marilyn Monroe in this Max Factor makeup promotion. Gwyneth is all skin and bones, all arms and legs, all style and no substance. Marilyn was the whole package. Just look at how Marilyn worked the camera in her infamous gold lame dress. Her eyes are half-closed in a sultry look, her chin is up, and her shoulders are back. Her face and hair are just as radiant her gold dress. And she knew how to accessorize by darkening her trademark mole and wearing statement earrings. Gwyneth looks sickly – and quite frankly, out of her league.
4 Elizabeth Banks: Hot
Elizabeth Banks is hot in her modern interpretation of this classic Marilyn Monroe shot. Yes, it's true that Elizabeth could stand to eat a burger or two (or maybe even three), but overall her body can compete with Marilyn’s. She also rocks Marilyn’s signature red lipstick and windswept, blonde hair. It makes us view Elizabeth in a whole new light. She’s such a glamorous beauty, but we often forget that when watching her in movies and TV shows such as Walk of Shame, the Pitch Perfect films, 30 Rock and The Hunger Games franchise.
3 Rita Ora: Not
This tableau of Rita Ora and Marilyn Monroe sharing a Coke is enough to make us switch from Coke to Pepsi. Rita is not the next incantation of Marilyn – not even close. In fact, seeing Rita next to Marilyn just highlights how flawed Rita is. Her tattoos are a sleazy contrast to Marilyn’s sophistication. Her hair extensions look cheap next to Marilyn’s signature coif. And her VMA-style gown makes her look dumpy when juxtaposed to Marilyn’s even features. And who is Rita to be BFFs with Marilyn? She is such a nobody! We think Marilyn would prefer the company of Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston or Emma Stone.
2 Megan Fox: Hot
Megan Fox is such a Marilyn Monroe super fan that she got Marilyn’s likeness tattooed on her arm. On the surface, the two don’t seem to have that much in common. Megan is a raven haired beauty while Marilyn is a platinum blonde. Marilyn only had a rhinoplasty, while Megan has had a team of plastic surgeons work on her from head to toe. Marilyn has a womanly figure that stopped traffic, while Megan’s physique is ubiquitous in its thinness. However, Megan has somehow captured the lure of Marilyn in these comparison photos. Both women are at ease lounging in their birthday suits in bed while the camera is clicking away. Both women have come hither stares. And both walk the line between innocence and seduction.
1 Kate Upton: Not
Kate Upton is often compared to Marilyn Monroe. It’s hard to see why, though, when we look at these pics. Marilyn looks healthy with her curves, while Kate looks bloated. Marilyn looks comfortable in her skin as evidenced by her lounging backwards against the railing; Kate looks self-conscious with her closed body posture. Marilyn leaves something to the imagination, while Kate lets it all hang out. If you ask us, the resemblance begins and ends with both women being blonde. If Kate thinks there is more to it, then she needs a reality check. Marilyn will still be idolized 100 years from now. But the world will likely forget who Kate is by the year 2020.
Sources: uproxx, people