In case, you’re wondering why the whole world is going gaga over Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, it is simply because the two have become extensions of the Hollywood personas of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Just to make it clear — it’s not that Gomez and Bieber are consciously imitating the two most iconic Hollywood legends of all time.
Rather, a long, long time ago, in a studio far, far away, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean captured the imagination of the movie-going world. A record like theirs in the collective consciousness would be very hard to erase, indeed. In fact, this monster memory that Hollywood has unleashed, like a mummy trapped in the great pyramids, would resurface from time to time in history.
Now fast-forward to the 21st century, and the two lost souls suddenly find themselves two budding young stars in which to impregnate their reincarnation. In truth, Selena Gomez bears no uncanny resemblance whatsoever to Marilyn Monroe. And neither does Justin Bieber vis a vis James Dean.
Nonetheless, there are some life parallels. For example, Selena Gomez holds the record for shutting down the red carpet 15 times in her career — and she’s not even done yet. Her secret? According to Seventeen, the Selena Gomez fashion statement involves the artsy fusion of the new with the classic, or the old. In doing so, she seems to invoke the spirit of the dead and now not so dead, Marilyn.
Like Selena Gomez, Marilyn Monroe has a huge zest for life. To be honest, we have seen this Joie de vivre from Selena more than any other present-day persona in Tinseltown. Why she’s a completely unstoppable force in sickness and in health. According to Time, the Marilyn Monroe formula for immortality had to do with having a non-stop love affair with one photographer after another.
The strategy clicks, and this is why a lot of people have this Marilyn nostalgia to this day. These people feed themselves with old photographs of their idol. And because the late star has done her due diligence in perpetuating her stardom even after death, we still see Marilyn Monroe in films, books, T-shirts, paper bags, and other paraphernalia.
It’s as if she never left our world at all. Let’s look at the most memorable Marilyn Monroe photographs, and then compare them with recent pictures of Selena Gomez.
Whereas Marilyn Monroe would perpetuate herself in the public consciousness by maintaining her loyal stable of photographers, Selena Gomez does everything through Instagram of which she is the reigning queen.
Now let us look at James Dean and Justin Bieber. Dean has always been associated with the image of Rebel With a Cause. In the present time, Justin Bieber is our rebel, always getting himself into trouble with excessive partying, driving above the speed limit and, of course, dating many different women. This is why we fear that Justin Bieber might have a very short life because he is blowing his fuses too fast, too soon.
No doubt, the Justin Bieber rebellion has thawed since 2014. But at the height of his rebellion, Bieber was definitely the bad boy of America. Why, some citizens even petitioned that he be deported to Canada, where he was born. So the question now is, with his bad boy image on the down-low, will Justin Bieber still be able to maintain his popularity?
We’ll leave that to Bieber’s publicist to figure out. For now, the Justin Bieber stardom is definitely still holding. And one of the tools in a publicist’s trade goes that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
From the looks of it, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean have moved on from acting to singing or from being movie stars to music artists. With Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber around, it feels like, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean never left us at all. Somehow, we still feel their presence as both Gomez and Bieber go through their respective concert tours.
Justin Bieber is looking for a deep sense of purpose in his world tour. Is it a lost cause? Selena, meanwhile, is preaching revival in her own music tour. Hence, in the case of Selena Gomez, we can only expect more of the same Marilyn Monroe connection as opposed to a disconnect. After all, revival connotes a rebirth instead of an abrupt or complete change.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]