Burlesque and Beauty at Any Age

Stephanie Blake, photographed in the kitchen of her Simi Valley,

Is Monday morning too early to start talking about naked ladies?  I’m not quite sure what the proper etiquette is here – all I know is no booze before noon.  So this morning we’re going to talk about stripping.

People forget that Dita Von Teese didn’t invent burlesque and that so many women blazed the trail before her.  The amazing thing is that you can still find some of them – old enough to carry an AARP card – strutting their stuff in Vegas.

A few shared their stories with photographer Stephanie Diani for her series, “Dames: The Legends of Burlesque.”  They opened up about why they began dancing – for money, art, sex, travel – and slipped into their old costumes to be photographed.

I think there’s something really inspiring about their confidence.  While the rest of us shrink from our own imperfections, these women in their 70s and 80s are still proud of their bodies, gravity and all.  (I, for one, wear so many layers to cover up mine, I look like an arctic explorer most days.)

To me, these women are so much more intriguing than the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog.  (Though I’m a little pissed about the one with the birds who still has abs.)

Would you ever take a class in burlesque?  It’s been on my life list for years.

Check out the other dames here (including an octogenarian in pasties!) and a few photos below:

Big Fannie Annie, by her own account 450 pounds of sizzling sex,

Satan's Angel was known as the Devil's own mistress, the queen o

Burlesque 6

Burlesque 7

Burlesque 5

*Photo Source: Stephanie Diani*

(Via Slate)


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