Dita Von Teese is a smart woman. People tend not to think about that. Media tend not to think about that, because in true media fashion, whenever a woman does something, they mostly care about the way she looks while doing it.
NOTE: Burlesque is not only about the visual, but the visual is an important part of the show, which I am so happy she talks about in her book.
Dita is perfectly aware that out of all the things she does, most attention is paid to the way she dresses, the way she does her makeup and hair. She has made it her strength and she built a huge portion of her business around it. Think about it – over the years apart from strutting her stuff onstage, Dita was the face of brands such as M.A.C., Cointreau and Perrier, she had her own line of cosmetics, lingerie (there was also a cooperation with Wonderbra if memory serves), stockings (Secrets in Lace), clothes (line of dresses, a cardigan), gloves, sunglasses, perfume, nail kits, and, you know, authored other books (Burlesque/Fetish and the Art of Teese, Dita: Stripteese).
I may have forgotten about something, but this just goes to show how hard-working that woman is!
Now, Dita capitalizes on all the attention around the way she looks, creating a huge book, all about the work she put into transforming herself from Heather Sweet to Dita Von Teese. And spoiler alert: it’s a lot of work.
I think the subtitle of the book should be “Ultimate Guide to Dita’s Glamour” because in its majority it’s about Dita Von Teese’s specific look. Make no mistake – this is not a guide to general vintage-inspired look. It’s a guide to her look. You can read how to take care of your body like Dita, how to excercise like Dita, how to do your makeup like Dita, how to do your hair like Dita, etc. etc. If you’re a fan of her particular style, this book should definitely be on your must-read list. And even if you’re not, it’s still, well, inspiring.
The book is very much about how to look like Dita, but you can learn other things if you read between the lines. Between the beauty routines there is a tale about unapologetically sticking to the image of yourself that is in your head. It’s reinforced by short interviews with Dita’s friends and collaborators such as Ali Mahdavi, Douglas Little, Gregory Arlt, Sutan Amrull, Catherine Baba, Angelique Noire, Danilo Dixon, Betony Vernon, Suzanne von Aichinger, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Jason Fox. I like these bits – they talk about what glamour means to them and how to incorporate little and big bits of it into your daily life.
There is power in transformation, in creating a look for yourself and sticking with it. While reading the book, I was reminded of the countless situations when my corporate day job colleagues noted on my stiletto nails or my preference for strong colors and figure-hugging designs. In this environment, I tend to stand out. And as a showgirl, I like to stand out. I like to be the girl with huge fantastic cleavage, the girl with the highest heels you will see, with red or pink lipstick and claws that could cut you. It’s inspiring for me to read a book by a glamorous eccentric who makes no excuses and no compromises about her look. This is what she likes and she will stick with it. You won’t catch her without her signature red lipstick. So if she can do it, so can I, just the way I want to. And so can you!
Buy your copy of “Your Beauty Mark” here! (affiliate link)