By Pam Archer

Marilyn Monroe was a size 14! I’ve heard it from many sources so it must be true. Since the first time I got wind of the claim, I have closely examined pictures of her, watched True Hollywood Story, and caught clips here and there from her movies and I have trouble, how is it they say it, wrapping my head around that idea. Ms. Monroe had a tiny waist and I don’t believe it was an optical illusion created by her bosom!

I was around in the fifties and I remember Monroe. I remember a lot about how most American women looked. There was far less obesity then, fewer heart attacks, and less cancer. I wonder why? I can only speculate, but I do have some pretty solid opinions backed by considerable research.

For those of you who remember those days you will probably recollect that dining out was reserved for very special occasions, particularly if you were part of a large family. Money was tight in the fifties and very few people had much of it. Ours was certainly no exception.

It was 1956 and Mother and Daddy and all six children crammed into a 1947 Chevrolet for a journey to Kentucky. We were going to visit friends of my parents who lived close to Cincinnati. Since I-75 had not yet been built, we traveled a two-lane road all the way. It was in July so it got very hot in our car. The only air conditioning came from windows rolled down. If you recall from a previous column, my place in the car was on the floor between my brother’s legs. It was not a great place to be anytime, much less on a long trip. This trip was so long that we had to stop and stay the night in a motel, also a first experience for us. That evening my younger sister and I stayed at the motel with Mother while Daddy and the older children went out for a hamburger. They brought our food to us, so I didn’t really get to eat out, but it was still a very big deal to me. It was my first taste of a restaurant hamburger. I wasn’t particularly impressed with it! I was too used to my Mother’s homemade hamburgers. Come to think of it, you just can’t beat a homemade burger can you, even fifty years later!

Things surely have changed! In 2010, there are fast food restaurants by the hundreds dotted throughout the region. Many of us eat out more than we cook; it is a convenience. Families don’t have a set dinner time together anymore, mostly because we are too busy scattering in so many directions that we don’t have time to cook.

So you might ask me what eating out and Marilyn Monroe’s dress size have to do with each other. It’s simple really. I have trouble believing that a size 14 of the 1950’s and a size 14 of 2010 are remotely the same. I think that we have not only biggie sized our burgers and fries, but the designers have had to accommodate us by re-sizing our clothing. I’m of the opinion that if they had left well enough alone, that we might think twice before we agree to the biggie sized burger if we thought we were going to have to biggie size our clothing! This in no way implies that a size 14 is a biggie size; I am just making a point of comparison here. Marilyn was a much healthier looking specimen of curvy womanhood than the emaciated Hollywood icons of today. Clothing size isn’t the important thing, but how healthy is our heart, how high is our cholesterol, and what are our risks for any kind of weight related disease? These are the questions we have to ask of ourselves.

It is possible to be too thin to be healthy. There has to be a happy medium…no pun intended. There has to be a happy medium in our food intake, the variety of foods that we eat, the amount of exercise that we do, and the amount of time that we spend working versus playing. Being a healthy person doesn’t mean wearing a certain size, but about finding this happy medium in our lives. It takes effort, planning, motivation and a commitment to accomplish these objectives. Whether we are small, medium, large, or biggie sized, moderation should be our motto for food intake.

I would enjoy hearing from a Hollywood fashion expert to verify or clarify the rumor regarding Ms. Monroe’s dress size, but is it really anyone’s business? Monroe isn’t here to defend herself, so we really should stop speculating about it. She did star in a movie called “Blonde’s Have More Fun”. I tend to agree with her! That’s about the size of it for this column. 10-four…or 14.

Pam Archer is the President of Pamela’s Exclusive Floral & Event Design, located in Kingsport, Tennessee. As a professional wedding and event planner, Pam has assisted brides with untangling the financial nightmares they have created, due to a lack of information regarding where to start when planning their weddings. She is the  author of  “99 Things You Wish You Knew before You Planned Your Wedding”, and writes articles on a variety of topics including business, health and lifestyle. Learn more about Pam at and