Marilyn Monroe Tattoos Meaning, Design & Ideas

So, you’re thinking about getting a Marilyn Monroe tattoo, are you? Well, you are not alone in thinking that it is a very cool tattoo design to get. What you might be surprised to find out is that there are multiple reasons why people decide to get this tattoo.

It is easily one of the most popular celebrity portrait tattoos in the world, but the design can mean one thing to one person, while it means something completely different to others. Below you will find all of the information you would ever need on Marilyn Monroe tattoos.

Marilyn Monroe Tattoo Meaning

The iconic actress, Marilyn Monroe, is a figure of body acceptance, a free-spirited woman, and a face of sunshine in the dark alleys of Hollywood. In a way, the Marilyn Monroe tattoo means freedom more than some of the more popular freedom tattoos because the actress seemed to do what she wanted when she wanted. That’s the outlook that many others share and it’s a good enough reason to get the Marilyn Monroe tattoo in many cases.

Marilyn Monroe is used as a symbol of femininity and finding comfort within that femininity. While many tattoos of beautiful women are meant to be men’s tattoos, that is certainly not the case with the Marilyn Monroe tattoo. In fact, it seems like far more women get this tattoo than men since there are far more feminine meanings that come along with it.

She is an image of beauty, charm, and sex appeal in the 1950s, a classic look that has carried through until today. Many people who get the Marilyn Monroe tattoo want that constant reminder of what was back during the middle of the last century. It always took a special talent for a woman to break through in the male-dominated Hollywood and Marilyn Monroe seemed to know exactly what she needed to do without crossing any lines. Many women want to channel those “powers” in their everyday lives so they can also break through those barriers.

In retrospect, Monroe has become a symbol of sexual norms in the mid-nineteenth century as well which leads to a focus on the aesthetics of her blonde hair and soft-spoken tone. When these specific reasons are given for getting the Marilyn Monroe tattoo, it becomes far more of unisex tattoo than a female tattoo. Men and women alike see Marilyn Monroe as one of the sexiest celebrities of all time and they want that sexiness on their own bodies.

Marilyn Monroe Tattoo Variations

Below are some variations of the Marilyn Monroe tattoo for you to check out. Combined with the pictures at the bottom, you should get some good ideas on a direction to go in.

Black and Grey Face Tattoo

Marilyn Monroe is an unmistakable idol of American pop culture and her portrait is an iconic image. A stencil-like rendering of her face is often used, done in black and white. The stencil is a more somber nod to Andy Warhol’s colorful pop art diptych that he created after her widely mourned suicide. While there are two or three images that most people will use, many will alter it slightly to make it a bit more unique.

Red Lips Tattoo

This tribute to Monroe serves as a memoir of her demure character. Her signature red lips are sometimes included, emphasizing her status as a sex symbol. In a way, this holds very special meaning to people who get the Marilyn Monroe tattoo. Plenty of people are shy and reserved, yet they want to have to ability to let loose and show off their sexy side when they want to. The Marilyn Monroe tattoo can be used as a motivational tool in these cases.

Beauty Mark Tattoo

Often, only her features are used, completed with her handwritten signature, focusing on her recognizable appearance and iconic beauty mark. What’s amazing is that by only including a tough outside of her face and using that beauty mark, just about everyone will instantly recognize who it is.

Marilyn Monroe’s image is a synthesis of her desirability in the 1950s and defines the classic look at the end of the Hollywood Golden Era. There are a lot of people who miss that classic look and sometimes getting a Marilyn Monroe tattoo is the only way to hold onto that era.

Marilyn Monroe Skull Tattoo

A more modern image of the starlet combines her portrait with a skull, emphasizing her death at a young age. Mortality and the inevitable end of life are created as the theme here, giving a more ominous tone. The beauty of life and melancholy of death are juxtaposed in this image, taking away from the femininity of Monroe’s visage.

Marilyn Monroe and Roses Tattoo

Roses are sometimes added to make the image appear more like a traditional tattoo, twisting the standard notion of the pristine Monroe. It also makes sense to do, though, since tattoo artists have so much more skill these days and can come up with creative ways to make the Marilyn Monroe tattoo more personalized for the owner. They can choose a classic image of the actress and then the artist can work their magic to make the image come to life in different ways.

Marilyn Monroe Quotes Tattoo

Quotes of Marilyn Monroe are used to emphasize her image and shine a light on her genuine personality. Although she was valued greatly for her beauty, her simple and modest words of love and self-acceptance were cherished by her fans. Iconic phrases attributed to Monroe are often rendered in a swooping, elegant script and accompanied by her red lip print as well as her signature.

Facts About Marilyn Monroe

Because we are talking about Marilyn Monroe, we wanted to share some facts about her in the spirit of the Marilyn Monroe tattoo.

Marilyn Monroe wasn’t paid very well in her life. When Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell co-starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Russell was paid almost ten times what Monroe was paid. She was only paid $100,000 for her last unfinished film called Something’s Got to Give while Elizabeth Taylor earned somewhere around a million dollars for her role in Cleopatra. Dean Martin, who was Monroe’s co-star in Something’s Got to Give, was paid $500,000 for his role.

That being said, Monroe was a million-dollar movie star when she passed away. She was actually fired from the film Something’s Got to Give because of her constant tardiness. She didn’t even show up for the first two weeks of filming that movie. However, she received a deal from Fox for two pictures and worth 1 million dollars four days before she passed.

For Marilyn Monroe, it was tough for her to learn her lines. It took her around 60 takes to say the line, “It’s me, Sugar”, in the movie Some Like It Hot.

Marilyn was paid $50 to post for her Sweetheart of the Month pictures in 1953 by Playboy. Hugh Hefner bought the picture for $500. Another thing that Hugh bought was the burial plot next to Monroe’s. He bought it in 1992 for $50,000 at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Many of the vaults next to Monroe’s have been put up for sale. A woman named Elsie Poncher, who was the widow of the man who was in the vault above Monroe, put the vault on sale on eBay and had many offers one that was said to be around $2.8 million.


Marilyn Monroe went by different names throughout her life. She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, when she was baptized, the name said Norma Jeane Baker and she called herself Jean Norman and Mona Monroe when she modeled.

The first screen name that she went by was Jean Adair, was checked into a psychiatric clinic under the name Faye Miller and she would check into hotels using the name Zelda Zonk. 1956 was the year that she legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and she had already been a star at the time.

While she was growing up, Monroe was put into foster care when her mother was institutionalized. She was placed with 11 different foster families and even spent a year in the Children’s Aid Society Orphanage in Los Angeles.

At the age of 18, Monroe became a Christian Scientist and in later parts of her life she would experiment with alternative spiritualities like Anthroposophy which is the philosophy promoted by Rudolf Steiner. Before her marriage to Arthur Miller in 1956, Monroe switched to Judaism.

During the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl, Monroe’s weight fluctuated a great deal. So much so that Beatrice Dawson, her costume designer, had to make the same dress in different sizes. It was a very stressful time for the people who worked with Monroe on set because of the dramatic changes she would go through

When she was working in film, she would always have an acting coach by her side. The first coach she had was Natasha Lytess who was with Marilyn for 22 films over a span of six years. Apparently, Lytess was a nightmare to work with while she challenged all the people with authority including the studio heads who happened to pay her bills along with Monroe.

Later on, Paula Strasberg filled the role that Lytess had been filling but she was easier to deal with as she was only consulted between the takes of the film they were working on. She was paid $25,000 to coach Marilyn through the film, The Prince and the Showgirl, which was as much as some other featured actors were being paid to be in the movie.

After Death

Authentic Brand Groups purchased the licensing rights to the estate of Marilyn Monroe for around $30 million. The people who work for Authentic Brand Groups are looking at keeping her career alive in technology.

Monroe’s white baby grand piano was purchased by Mariah Carey at the 1999 auction of Monroe’s effects for $662,500. The estimate for the purchase of this piano was around $15,000. Prior to Marilyn’s death, Monroe’s mother had purchased the piano but ended up selling it after she had a nervous breakdown. Marilyn finally tracked down the piano and bought it back from the person holding it and ended up keeping it until the day of her death.

At the time of her death, it was said that Marilyn Monroe was planning on remarrying Joe DiMaggio. They had started reading poetry together during the later years of their lives as Joe gave up baseball, started going to therapy and stopped drinking alcohol.

At Marilyn’s funeral, she had an open casket and wore a platinum wig and a green Pucci sheath dress that was made of nylon jersey. It was said that her head had been shaved for the autopsy.

All this should give you an idea of how big of an icon Marilyn Monroe was and why she is so popular in tattoo culture these days.

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