Looking up Marilyn Monroe's skirt isn't any less creepy because she's a statue
Kids ham it up under the Marilyn Monroe statue in Pioneer Court on North Michigan Avenue on Friday, July 15, 2011.The 26-foot-tall sculpture is by New Jersey-based artist Seward Johnson, known for placing enormous pop art icons in public spaces, including twice previously in Pioneer Court. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / May 1, 2012)
The city announced the giant, confusing, Marilyn Monroe statue, titled "Forever Marilyn" is not-so-forever--it's scheduled to be taken down May 7. The announcement robs Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue of perhaps its strangest and most disturbing tourist attraction since, well--ever.
Not sure what I mean? Let me explain.
From an early age, men are taught a simple truth.
It is never, ever, ever acceptable to look up a woman's skirt. It is especially unacceptable to do this in public. It's creepy, it's gross and it makes all parties involved feel really uncomfortable.
Somewhere along the way though, this truth became a falsehood in some people's eyes. No, there's not an epidemic of men walking around staring up women's skirts, at least not that I know of. There is something that is equally as creepy and gross that happens in broad daylight every day though.
From my cubicle on the 10th floor of Tribune Tower overlooking the NBC Plaza, I have the kind of view of Marilyn Monroe that would make Don Draper and millions of other men who came of age in the 1950s and 60s jealous.
And every single day I see hundreds, if not thousands of men and women looking up her skirt, some of them taking pictures as they point and make funny faces.
Note to everyone--I know the statue isn't going to be around much longer, but please please please do not flock to her with your cameras with the sole intent of taking an everlasting digital memory of her giant ceramic granny panties.
Just because Marilyn is a giant statue and not a real woman does not make what you're doing any less weird. Standing underneath a giant fake woman and looking up her skirt is no different than walking around with mirrors on your shoes trying to see up a real woman's.
I get that it's (hopefully) not every single day you see a pair of panties as big as your car. The fact is, the artist who created said statue spared no detail when it came to recreating the iconic subway grate scene from "The Seven Year Itch", right down to her undergarments, which are there for all the world to see.
It's hard to avoid glancing at said undergarments. I've done it, you've done it, nearly everybody who has visited the statue has done it. But, in the Facebook generation where literally every photo ever taken winds up on some sort of social media, are you really going to want to share with the world the fact that you stood under a giant woman's skirt and took a picture? Are your friends really going to be impressed by that goofy face you made as you pointed skyward at the statue?
If the answer to that question is yes, please, get some new friends.
--Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor