All Hail Queen Dita von Teese ♕

Dita von Teese is a modern marvel of self creation. From ordinary beginnings as a Michigan child to becoming the best-known burlesque dancer in the world, she has seemingly perfected the art of riding on the wings of glamour. As far as I can see, this is a woman to admire – for her precision, attention to detail and mastery of a craft that she’s loved since she was a teen. Dita pulls no punches – she’s 100% in the ring of professionalism giving it all she’s got; advocating ‘glamour every day, every minute.’ That’s commitment.

Born young blonde Heather Renee Sweet in Rochester, Michigan USA, the woman who has since taken the name Dita as a tribute to silent film actress Dita Parlo and ‘Von Teese’ from her breakthrough Playboy cover told Vogue UK that 25 years of collecting vintage lingerie helped refine her tastes for her own Von Follies lingerie line, and that she may consider designing jewellery and handbags in the future – though not shoes because legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin is a close friend and does his job so well (which I’m sure we can all agree with, as I explore in this article on Christian Louboutin.)

Dita’s appeal lays not only in the exuberant glamour she is a self confessed junkie of, but in her bold and brazen acceptance of her path, style and sexuality. Being hailed as one of the most important style icons of the past decade is all the more incredible when the starlet does her own hair, makeup and dyes her locks a healthy black with a ten dollar box of hair dye from a local pharmacy.

“I’m more attracted to glamour than natural beauty. The young Marilyn Monroe was a pretty girl in a sea of pretty girls. Then she had her hair bleached, fake eyelashes, and that’s when she became extraordinary. It’s that idea of what you’re not born with, you can create.”
~Dita Von Teese

Through the intimacies of her work, she knows not only what many of us women want – extreme body confidence (which Dita may cultivate by her choice never to point out her physical flaws) – but what the combined market of both genders want too. In her Jonathan Ross interview (below) she reveals that many of her audience in the UK and Germany slant towards the darker photography of her book Burlesque and the art of the Teese, giving us valuable insight into the realm of personal secrets that she inhabits in our modern world.

Treading the mist between the surreal and desirous, her market is one of fantasy – and she is a self crafted myth that exists exactly as she wants. She represents to many of us who are fascinated, intrigued and impressed by her the fully fledged power of flourishing as our true creative self. No matter how the world tries to tell us otherwise, all we can do is truly utterly and completely commit to being whatever it is that we deeply feel we are. In any area of life.
Said to the LA Times :

I’m an ordinary blond girl from a farming town in Michigan. And I know how different my life is with and without glamour. I did give myself a big Hollywood makeover like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth did. And I believe it’s possible for anyone to go from modest beauty to bird of paradise.

I believe this is why Dita has such a widespread appeal. Some strongly dislike her, and that’s fine, but many of us would benefit from questioning what it is that we love or hate about Dita. Yes, she’s an uninhibited playgirl stripper who loves vintage glamour and self creation. But is she so much more than that?  A self made icon, a creative director, designer and entrepreneur? What is it about Dita that provokes our responses?
Is it what she does? Why she does it? Or how she does it?

“My idols are women from the past, like Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and Rita Hayworth. I felt like I could capture the spirit of that. A lot of people ask me about confidence, and I tell them. This is how I found my confidence.”

In the slew of articles on Dita is my favourite- the Vogue interview that sheds so much light on the glamour she lives with, and shares with us mere mortals that she is herself a mere mortal who climbed the ranks painstakingly by sacrificing comfort for beauty and sharing ideals and collaborations with designers who have become household names. A glimpse into any interview reveals the reality of her glittering facade. She really seems to have chosen this as a way of life, not just for us, but for herself, humorously confessing even her famous last name is from a typo of ‘Von Treese’ that some brilliant Playboy editor probably decided upon with a knowing wink.

“I wanted to be known with just a simple first name—Cher, Madonna . Then when I first posed for Playboy, in 1993 or 1994, they told me I had to pick a last name. So I called and said, “I’m going to be Dita Von Treese.”
I remember picking up the magazine, and it said Dita Von Teese. I left it because I didn’t really care. I didn’t know I was going to go on to trademark it all over the world!”

Does she, like creative phoenix Madonna or ambitious entrepreneur Victoria Beckham, represent going full throttle towards what we want? Fearless and belligerent, tenacious and unstoppable, refusing to stop or falter no matter how many challenges or heartbreaks they experience? Do these women – and this particular woman – represent a beautiful kind of female power and strength?

As an entrepreneurial author, Dita’s books are popular across the world, and she has many of them – from burlesque photobooks to makeup books and books in that fetish arena mentioned earlier…

 “I’m more attracted to glamour than natural beauty. The young Marilyn Monroe was a pretty girl in a sea of pretty girls. Then she had her hair bleached, fake eyelashes, and that’s when she became extraordinary. It’s that idea of what you’re not born with, you can create.”

But being a successful author isn’t quite enough for the girl with the midas mind who gives everything she does her very best shot. She has an eponymous empire, attaching her name to everything she creates – from perfumes to body washes, makeup, official MAC Viva Glam lipsticks, bras and panties and sexy maternity wear. It’s no wonder I’ve written an article on 5 Success Tricks I’ve Learned from Dita von Teese.

So then, is this surprisingly grounded glamazon simply a petite dreamer who made her delusions of grandeur come true?
Is she still our Dita when the stage lights are out, when she’s sweating through her daily Pilates or eating avocado on brown toast? I think that she is, and I think we like the honesty with which she confesses to love the fakeness of it all as much as she confesses to work hard at keeping her body in shape for her performances. She shows us illusions and tells us her truths, allowing us to accept it or not as we please.
Perhaps this Dorothy was bold enough to take the ruby slippers and overthrow the Wizard of Oz to become reigning queen.
For those of us with a glittering dream in our hearts and sublime pursuit of beauty in our soul, Dita is an emblem of the dazzling illusion of opulence we adore. Thanks to her work and refusal to be anything less than she is, we can bask in the luxury of seeing a dream realised, ambition succeeding, and devoted perfectionism pay off.

Added bonus for Dita lovers..
This Funny or Die video on how to to unsexy things in a sexy way… making Dita 120% more awesome for having a sense of humour. (The microwave…lol)

OFFICIAL DITA VON TEESE WEBSITE : http://www.dita.net/

“I make a point to never, ever point out my physical flaws… this is advice I give to women as often as I can. People don’t notice the things we see in ourselves that we hate, so why direct them to it?”

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Raven Tao

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