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Dita Von Teese 'Shocked' That Americans Think Burlesque Is So Taboo

Dita Von Teese is hands-down the most in-demand burlesque belle on the face of the earth and even though shes practically considered royalty across Europe thanks to her chic, choreographed dance/stripping routines, she cant understand why so many in her native America still have so many reservations toward burlesque as an art form.
I dont mean to America bash, but it is interesting that burlesque is an American invention. Burlesque as we know it and the great burlesque that was prevalent in America in the 30s and 40s in big theaters with big stars that were in the movies and on TV and wrote books. Its shocking to imagine it is now 75 years later and people are still saying 'I dont get it, shes a stripper,' Von Teese told Tarts at the Samuel French bookshop in Studio City on Friday night where she was signing copies of her new flip-book Dita Stripteese.
I dont mind being called [that] because that is what I do, but I dont understand why there is such a taboo attached to it. Basically what I do is like an actress that has nude scenes in a movie, it's part of the role and its part of what my show is. Its not really any different. I think its just too easy for people to criticize.
SLIDESHOW: The Lovely and Talented Dita Von Teese.
And while Teese said shes had to overcome numerous critics since starting her shows in underground strip clubs in her early 20s, these days most of her fans are actually female.
When I first started doing what I do, a lot of my fans were men. A lot of them were comic book fans, Bettie Page fans and into that sort of thing. It is interesting the way it has shifted and the majority of my fans are women now. Probably 80 percent, but I can see why, Teese explained. I started thinking about that more over past several years why that is and I think a lot of women like to see another kind of sex symbol that doesnt fit into the blonde, tanned, California beach babe beauty. I can never fit into that role so I think there are other women like me that say no, me neither and there are things that make us feel good about ourselves. I dont need to have a tan to feel sexy. Its not like you have to have these things, a lot of women see what I do and the way that I portray sensuality is another version. Its the opposite of all of that, you can put on red lipstick and put on black gloves and you can curl your hair and play dress-up. Then if youre tired of it you can just get rid of it. It is not like you have to go to a tanning salon and do all these things to make yourself a certain way, its something you can try on and leave.
Speaking of looks, heres something we dont hear everyday in Tinseltown: Teese actually likes looking older!
When Im scrubbed clean people cant even consider that Im the same girl. I get a lot younger, everything thinks Im about 23, she added. People say that dont understand why I wear all that makeup because it makes me look so older but I never had the intention of looking younger. In fact I always wanted to be older than I was.
So when does the 37-year-old starlet and ex-wife of Marilyn Manson feel the most fabulous?
I feel sexy when Im in love and with somebody that thinks Im the best thing ever with or without all my hair and makeup, when Im just totally myself, Teese said. I feel sexy when Im having fun whether its on stage and having fun and I think its hilarious that Im doing what I do or whether Im with my friends and family that really know me. Its all about your degree of confidence and how much fun you have in your life.
"I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."
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