Timeless Stars and New Spotlights: Looking for Marilyn Monroe on Youtube (2014)

As part of the FanPhenomena series, this is a book chapter that focuses on how Marilyn Monroe is captured in the YouTube canon. Buy this book!


Since its launch seven years ago YouTube has progressively become the video-film entertainment alternative to traditional modes of consumption. With YouTube participants deciding what and when to watch, the visual based Internet platform has transformed the way we consume film, television series, news and now user-generated video. As participants create channels, load content, and decide what to feature, when and how, this newer cutting edge broadcasting phenomenon continuously transforms the traditional modes of visual media use. YouTube is innovative in that it gives way to the growing bottom-up, user-generated approach in creating stardom, and yet maintains the long-standing Hollywood star system. In this space, current celebrities quickly gain (over-)exposure and fade away, while past stars find a new spotlight. Hollywood idols reclaim their status as timeless icons that are found, re-found and, to a certain extent, re-introduced and re-created within this cluster of the participant led content that is YouTube. In this context, this study looks at this popular culture phenomenon through the lenses of the Marilyn Monroe fandom. From original film scenes and lost interviews, to user created parodies and Marilyn inspired ‘how-tos,’ this chapter aims to identify to what extent, as well as how, Marilyn Monroe’s timeless presence is captured and recaptured on the YouTube canon, infiltrating once again into the public consciousness.


Elali, L. & Vazquez, C. (2014) Timeless Stars and New Spotlights: Looking for Marilyn Monroe on Youtube. In Block, M. FanPhenomena: Marilyn Monroe. Chicago: Intellect Ltd.