There are many famous blondes in Hollywood but none could match the cultural impact that Marilyn Monroe caused, even years after her untimely and mysterious death on Aug. 4, 1962.

Pop culture’s fascination with the iconic blonde has ceased to waver, and it seems to still make waves even decades after her tragic demise. A biopic is soon to be released titled “Blonde” starring Ana de Armas who shares an uncanny resemblance with the deceased star.

Very few stars, let alone those who have already passed away decades ago, continue to dominate global headlines as they did in their heyday. With the rise of Tiktok and social media platforms, the “Blonde Bombshell” continues to garner attention from today’s generation.

It has been 60 years since the young starlet passed away, but that leads one to ask how she still manages to be relevant and why pop culture is so obsessed with her.

Blonde, red and human

Not everyone might know her name but show a picture of her gorgeous smile, her lips stained in retro red, and her blonde curled and bobbed to perfection, and people will quickly identify the starlet. That is how popular she is. But it takes more than just being pretty and blonde to be immortalized by pop culture forever. It was her charisma, intelligence, innocence, passion and wanting to be more than a sex symbol—something the entertainment industry and the Hollywood press pushed her to be—which elevated her status. Her signature trademark was enough for her to be recognizable around the world, and the juxtaposition of her unapologetically sexual image, the vulnerability in her characters and her insecurities that festered deep whether if she was a good actress or not. It goes without denying that posthumously, Marilyn Monroe was more of a myth; a timeless beauty to be fawned over and objectified as she always was during her heydays.

Forever 36

There will always be a weird obsession or fixation on dead celebrities, especially if the circumstances of their passing has the perfect ingredient to create convincing conspiracy theories. However, the world’s odd fascination for Monroe is perhaps more focused on her youthful image of womanhood and sex. Time may be everyone’s enemy but not against Marilyn. Given that she had very little of it and spent most of it drowning in her sorrows and battling her demons, her legacy defied time and seems it has continued to do so in the 21st century.

Today, the blonde starlet continues to turn heads as she is widely referenced in countless films, TV series, songs and other forms of art. However, learning about her life means undoing the dehumanizing treatment that she received during her prime years. Hollywood is still far from the ruthless industry that it has unapologetically been but humanity owes it to Marilyn. Her lustrous yet cataclysmic journey as one of America’s icons, be a reminder of how much can be stripped off from a person bit by bit until there is nothing left of oneself.

Marilyn has given so much of herself to the world and it is only fair that we give her back what she sorely lacked: Humanity.