Is Auctioning Marilyn Monroe’s Medical Records to Prove She Had Plastic Surgery Going Too Far?

Medical records proving that Marilyn Monroe had cosmetic surgery -- and when -- are going up for auction. But is it going a little too far in the name of celebrity memorabilia?

Marilyn Monroe

It’s long been debated whether or not Mariln Monroe had plastic surgery. Now we’ve finally got an answer—it’s yes—but I can’t help but think that maybe we didn’t really need to know in the first place. And I especially think we didn’t need to find out this way.

Here’s the deal: Julien’s Auctions will be auctioning off medical records that apparently prove Marilyn had plastic surgery done. According to the press release, the file includes X-rays and doctors’ notes from the offices of Drs. Michael Gurdin, Conti, and Steinberg. Gurdin’s chart on Marilyn is first dated July 14, 1958, when the actress 32 years old; she’s listed as Marilyn Miller, a nod to her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller. The chief complaint described is “chin deformity”—apparent Marilyn had a cartilage implant in her chin in 1950 which had started to dissolve.

The last entry is dated June 7, 1962—just two months before she would be found dead of an overdose in her Brentwood, Los Angeles home and two days before she was fired from her last film, Something’s Got to Give. Marilyn reported a fall early in the morning, injuring her nose in the process. During these visits, she used the alias Joan Newman; the X-rays taken by Conti and Steinberg determine that there was no permanent damage done to her nose.

Read 10 Life Lessons from Marilyn Monroe

To some extent, I understand the obsession with celebrity memorabilia; there’s something thrilling about having in your possession something once owned or associated with a famous person, especially if that person has been a role model for you. But I do think there comes a point when it gets morbid, unnecessary, and even exploitative—and medical records step dangerously close to that line.

Maybe that’s just me, though. What do you think, Bettys? Is auctioning off Marilyn’s medical records to prove that she had her first cosmetic surgery procedure done in 1950 going too far?

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.

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