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Blonde wigs, beauty marks, white sunglasses and white swimsuits took over Australia’s Brighton Beach on Sunday. The bizarre scene wasn’t part of a Marilyn Monroe fetish club or anything like that, although some probably enjoy dressing up as the famous actress.
The more than five hundred Marilyn Monroe impersonators hit the beach each year for the annual Marilyn Jetty Swim. The event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, raises money for cancer research.
This year was the biggest turnout to date. The event attracted 513 Marilyn Monroe impersonators and raised more than $220,000.
For some perspective, the event had 300 attendees last year. To date the event has raised $1 million for Cancer Council SA. The event was organized by Sarah Tinney, who lost her mother to cancer in 2007.
She came up with the idea to dress as the famous sex symbol because she thought it would be an empowering and fun way to raise money for cancer research. It’s certainly an interesting way to raise money.
“Every year when I see new Marilyns come, and they have their stories and I can see where they are at, they’re at day one of losing somebody they love,” Tinney said. “I go back there, and I know exactly how they’re feeling.
“And I love that there’s something that we can all do together, even if it’s kind of wild and not what you expect … because grief isn’t orderly, grief isn’t predictable.”
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There are far worse things that can be done dressing up like Marilyn Monroe. And just imagine the kinds of events that could be planned.
Dressing up in a swimsuit and going for a swim with an inner tube float seems like a pretty tame way of approaching this. Pulling off a “serenade the president” event, for instance, would be much harder to do.
Although, hundreds of Marilyn Monroes in swimsuits does kind of eerily sound like some sort of John F. Kennedy dream. RIP.