Dita Von Teese | Beyond Burlesque Queen

dita von teese in harpers bazaar russia

Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Monroe are two American women who understand the importance of sensuality in a woman’s life. 

Dita Von Teese — who I adore — has an interview published in The Frisky, in which she talks about feminism and being pro-woman. I just updated one of our most popular articles about my own relationship with Marilyn Monroe.

Feminism is a ‘weird’ word for Dita Von Teese and perhaps for Marilyn Monroe, too. Dita’s reluctance to embrace the word ‘feminism’ says much more about American feminists than the burlesque artist’s command over her own global stage.

dita von teese in frisky interview

Both Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese and  are my kind of Smart Sensuality feminists, strong and confident women who possess, enormous talent brains and a strong sexuality.

Personally, I’ve resented the pressure from some women in the women’s movement to deny my femininity and womanly essence. I like high heels and lipstick and have never resented being regarded as female, as long as my physicality doesn’t define the space in my playing field.

Men should not determine what women can be, whether she wants to be a single-woman, university professor studying artificial intelligence, or she wants to be a sensual performer like Dita von Teese and Marilyn Monroe. 

The challenge is whether being a sensual female has prompts us not to rock the boat on feminist issues. Marilyn’s history is more cloudy, based on her time in history. Dita Von Teese speaks with clarity, in pro-woman terms.

dita von teese talks burlesqueDita has a connection and intimacy with women that Marilyn never enjoyed. Perhaps 30 years later, the struggle is easier for post-sexual liberation women. Dita Von Teese is a great role model in the traditions of burlesque, making mystery and seduction the core of her art, a dance in which she is in charge.

As American women embrace Dita Von Teese, increasing numbers of young women express ambivalence about the nature of Aemrica’s sexual marketplace. The loaded term ‘sexual dysfunction’ applies to young women more than ever today.

In America — unlike Europe — we rationalize away the positive nature of sensuality, saying women’s loss of sexuality is man’s problem, not ours. We say we’re happy to be ‘rid of it’ in many cases. Many of us consider sensuality a burden, just one more item on our already overburdened To Do lists.

It’s challenging enough for modern women to nurture what they value.  When sensual vitality isn’t even on our radar, except for the endless hot and sexy messages thrust down our throats by media, we make little effort to cultivate this core life force.

American women deny that sensuality is an important part of our identity, putting us at odds with many other women in the world. Many of us disagree with Shakira, who calls libido the ‘engine of the world’.

I do not agree. Not being connected to our sensuality — which many believe is a core life force now being studied by scanning machines and brain wave MRIs at universities like MIT — is a core loss of human essence. Science is committed to studying the theory of the jailed Wilheim Reich, who introduced a theory of orgone energy, as a function of human sexuality.

dita von teese talks feminism

It’s my firm belief that unless the research is banned by the patriarchal morality police, technology will prove that sensual energy is for real, and that some of us have more than others. Do diet and living conditions depress our sensual energy? The current extent of my reading don’t allow me to speculate.

Even if America condemns this research, as it did in the past, the Scandinavians will confirm or deny the reality of an orgone-like energy. Censorship won’t govern the science of sexuality in those countries. With the Internet wide-open, we will learn of their findings.

Do I believe that Dita von Teese and Marilyn Monroe have an understanding of human biology that many women don’t? Yes, and perhaps we should learn a life lesson or two from them.

I’ll let Marilyn have the last word here:

I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity. We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift. Art, real art, comes from it .. . everything. Marilyn Monroe

More reading: Marilyn Monroe | A Smart, Sensual Blonde

Saint Shakira Calls Libido the ‘Engine of the World’

Photos via Fashionising.com.