Certain moments in film are iconic enough to become ingrained into culture. These moments tend to outlive the media that spawned them, and people become aware of them without even knowing where they originated. The shower murder scene in Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” for example. Adolf Hitler, in the German picture Der Untergang, having a meltdown is another. That became a viral meme on the Internet; people removed the subtitles, added their own, and then uploaded it to YouTube. So, you can now see the worst megalomaniac in history become unhinged regarding everything from the iPad to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Another example would be Marilyn Monroe wearing a white dress.
The scene goes like this: Marilyn Monroe steps on a sewer grate in New York City. A gush of air blows upward, and the iconic diva fights to hold the dress drown. Originally, the scene came from 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. Now, however, it’s gone on to become a cultural reference that pops up everywhere. Most recently, Daniel Defoe crossdressed as Monroe in a Snickers Superbowl ad. He scowled as he held down the white dress. He did not want to be indecently exposed.
These references can even show up in places like China. Two years ago, when I first moved to Wujin, I once saw a Chinese college student wearing a jean jacket; Monroe was airbrushed on the back throwing up gang signs. The word gangsta! was written out below. Sadly, I never took a picture. Yet, I saw something even more absurd than that, recently.
It was at the RiseSun Manhattan plaza. It’s a relatively new shopping center in Xinbei. It’s not exactly filled with shops, and the last two times I went there, construction workers were still at work. Plus, new and different things were erected. One of them was a large statue of Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress.
This scene from the seven year itch has lived on because it’s tantalizing. It teases men with prospect a more private aspect of
Monroe, but the original film clip denies this at the same time. That makes the imagery all the more erotic — after all, it leaves men to their lewd imaginations. Only, this version of the white dress gets a little more raunchy. It leaves little to the imagination. Yes, you can see Marilyn Monroe’s white panties.
I can imagine some potential critics right now, screaming, “Pervert! Why were you intentionally trying to look up Marilyn Monroe’s skirt?” That’s the thing, I wasn’t. This statue is makes the undergarments extremely visible. If you are standing behind this statue, you have no choice but to see them.