I was kind of sexually repressed growing up, and f you look at my Tumblr, you might think I’m overcompensating a bit for it now. Really, though, I’m mostly interested in pin-ups, which certainly have sex appeal, but also play into my love of fantasy. The ornate, exaggerated aspects to such pictures remind me somewhat of old-school illustrations. Anyway, I find burlesque dancer, model, and fetish icon Dita Von Teese to embody glamorous exaggeration of the female form.
I’m not sure when I first heard of Dita; I know SamuraiFrog and Becca are fans, but it seems I’d come across at least a few references to her before reading their blogs. Anyway, I recently borrowed her 2006 book, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese (it’s sort of two books in one) from Suzanne, and I enjoyed it.
It’s a combination of Dita’s own experience with some historical context for burlesque and fetish, as well as occasional fashion tips. Dita tells a story in the book that I’d seen on the Internet before, about how she was disappointed in the plain bra her mother bought for her, and went out and purchased garters and stockings for herself the next day. From what I’ve seen, while obviously not always dressed for a performance or photo session, Dita always dresses glamorously, as she’s uncomfortable in casual wear. Sounds like a lot of work (I’m a very casual dresser myself, and while society doesn’t seem to mind that as much with guys, there are still the occasionally men who dress up regularly), but it’s also endearing. The book defends striptease and fetish, something I find welcome in our modern world where everyone is perverted but no one wants to admit it. And, of course, there are plenty of pictures included.
While I’m on the subject, I think it would make sense to include a clip of Dita’s most famous performance, the martini glass dance: