Blonde is a bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates published in 2000. It is a work of biographical fiction that chronicles the inner life of a historical figure, namely Marilyn Monroe, recreating elements of her life based on historical research yet in turn telling a fictional narrative. Oates brilliantly blurs the lines of biography and fiction to reveal the very real and iconic impact of abuse, neglect, sexism and violation. It is a poignant portrayal of the perils of owning what I refer to as the “beauty passport”; its seductive sparkle as a passport to empowerment, recognition and happiness and, ultimately, its dizzying, fast-track access to patriarchal hell, powerlessness, victimization and incapacitating humiliation.

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