Even 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still hailed as a classic beauty–though her famous figure would be considered “plus-size” today. But how did the soft-voiced starlet maintain her appearance? According to FitPerez, who found an interview with her in an old issue of Pageant magazine, the Marilyn Monroe Diet isn’t exactly one we’d advise following today.
Here’s what Monroe said a typical dietary day looked like, from to Glamour‘s Vitamin G blog:
Breakfast: She would warm a cup of milk on the hot plate in her room, then crack two raw eggs into it and whip the whole thing up with a fork.
Dinner: Marilyn would stop at the market near her hotel on the way home to pick up steak, lamb or liver, which she would broil and eat with 4 or 5 raw carrots.
Evening snack: She would stop at a local ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae, saying, “I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.”
Pretty sure that meal plan isn’t one that would be recommended by most experts. It’s lacking in key nutritional groups (those four or five carrots aren’t really enough), and pretty high in cholesterol and fat. Also, it sounds pretty icky. No lunch and eggs in milk? Oh, Marilyn.
This isn’t the first time that this particularly revealing 1952 spread has been revisited, either for laughs/ewwwws, or as a way to examine how much diet and nutrition information we’ve learned in the past six decades. In 2001, Glamour featured an actual image of the spread as their Photo of the Day, which is the photo you see above.
In it, you can see Monroe’s description of her exercise regimen–at least 10 minutes per day of light weight lifting, to “firm” the areas she used the most. Which is way more healthy-sounding than her diet. It also explains this classic photo of her pumping iron in denims and a bikini top:
The Marilyn Monroe Diet may not be the next paleo craze, but it is indicative of the ever-shifting perception of what’s healthy and nutritious. Because while we may be highly concerned about America’s obesity crisis, we have figured a few things out. 7Up is no longer considered a healthy, nutritious drink for children, for example. These days, our expanding waistlines are mostly due to the fact that our portion sizes have ballooned since the 1950s, and because we’ve acquired a taste for prepackaged convenience foods.
Still, I’m pretty sure that if someone came along and wrote a self-help book called The Marilyn Monroe Diet and recommended skipping lunch in favor of ice cream sundaes, there would be plenty of die-hard disciples in no time.
Images via Glamour and by Phillipe Halsman