Today I’m launching a series called My Style Icon. Every Friday I’ll be featuring the styles of people I admire and how that person’s style influences my style choices. In this inaugural edition, I’ll be sharing about the amazing Dita Von Teese. Though she’s most well-known as a burlesque performer, Dita is also a model, lingerie designer and actress among many other things. Really, she does everything.
Before going further, I have to venture back to 2004 and my first semester of college in New York City. That year I shared a room with a girl we’ll call Beth. Though I had my fair share of interesting college roommates, Beth was by far the strangest. She had jet black hair, always curled to perfection, red lipstick and porcelain skin. She always wore a hat in the sun and dressed in vintage. I quickly learned this was all to emulate her style icon, Dita Von Teese. By the end of year, Beth was walking around the apartment in lingerie and three inch heels, begging her parents for money to do a pinup photoshoot for her 30-year-old boyfriend.
Needless to say, I was not a fan of Dita Von Teese.
I don’t recall the exact moment where I happened upon Dita again, but it was sometime around 2010. Far removed from my weirdo roommate, I saw Dita with new eyes. I admired her candidness in interviews, her style, her hair, her makeup, basically everything. The more I found out about Dita, the more I wanted to know.
One thing that stands out to me about Dita is that she admits and talks about how her beauty is created. In a culture that so admires the natural beauty, blonde with the right curves, there’s something to be said for people who rebel against the beauty standard. Dita embodies her standard of beauty, one that’s a throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood and Betty Paige.
I also admire that Dita’s style doesn’t stop once the photo shoot is over. In the street style photos I’ve seen of her, she’s always dressed to perfection even if she’s coming from Pilates. A lot of times, I get hung up on which clothes in my closet are nice clothes and which ones aren’t when really I should just be living my life in my clothes whether it’s to an event of just running errands.
Life is too short to get hung up on other people’s ideas of what’s beautiful or what women should wear. Dita Von Teese is the ultimate embodiment of do what you want. And I will.
Interviews with Dita Von Teese
Here are some really great interviews with Dita that are worth the read: