Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chanel No. Five

Saw a Chanel ad yesterday on Hulu that superimposed a Marilyn Monroe quote about wearing No. Five to bed onto old black and white photos of her. It's not a surprise her presence long recedes her--the woman was an icon. But it sort of blew my mind that that little part of her entire life has receded so far into the future. The bombshell used Chanel No. Five. Marketable info for decades.

I wonder how heavily Marilyn considered taking on that ad campaign. Maybe she really did love Chanel No. Five, and she was happy to support it. Maybe she looked at all the zeros on the contract and happily signed away, a foster kid from the 30s. There's a slight chance she didn't want to degrade herself to a commercial, but it was a ritzy one. So? I wonder if it ran through her mind, "It's just a commercial, what does it matter in the course of my life?" Little did she know she didn't even have much life left. Or maybe she did know, and that was the point. Regardless, maybe she knew when she passed at age 36 we'd still be talking about her fifty years later. But even if she did, could she have imagined me? A 90s kid watching her ghost rep perfume and womanhood in general? I don't know the person who invented the creative behind the ad to begin with. He might be dead too. Could he picture me? Just because he has no face or name to the world at large doesn't mean what he did doesn't matter. It matters big. Or at least it did yesterday morning when I thought all these things in conjunction to his work. Legacy is part of the American Dream. A problematic, unhappiness suck of a black hole. But legacy need not be sought. It is part of existing.
Friends hula-hooping. November 2013.

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