Mean Girls and Warhol

7:00 AM

Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe, 1962

The Plastics - Regina George, Gretchen Weiners, and Karen Smith -  rule the school. Their expensive clothes, freshly-colored hair and flirting skills make them the girls all the guys want and who the other girls want to be. Take this description back to the 1950s, and you have Marilyn Monroe. A young girl who wanted to become a face recognized by millions. And boy did she become just that. Both Marilyn and the Plastics are idolized for their looks. The Plastics with their “fake” features that never seem to be amiss, and Marilyn for her classic red lips, black eyeliner, and white dress. The girls are glamorous, desirable, role models to some, but their looks are more than just something to idolize. They are something reproducible.

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” Translation – if you want to sit with us, you must match us. Copy us. Reproduce the look that has made us famous. Become one of us, and you too will be popular. Produce TV shows, movies, paintings, release photos, dress up as Marilyn for Halloween, and you to can reproduce her image. Andy Warhol’s 
Gold Marilyn Monroe does just this. He produced this glamorous painting silkscreen combination from another image, one from a movie, and then released his creation to be imitated by others. Different colored copies of this image litter the Internet, each one portraying Marilyn through a new filter. Marilyn can have pink lips, a yellow face, blue hair, purple eye shadow, and yet, everyone recognizes her and connects the altered image to her natural image: Blonde hair, pale skin, red lips, glamorous smile. An image that can be recreated. After all, Marilyn created this image for herself, as did the Plastics. They molded themselves into the women everyone watched, everyone idolized. They produced their own images. 

Through makeup, clothing, language, and mannerisms, people today can reproduce these images for themselves. But do you really want to wear pink every Wednesday?

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