womp womp

MCM ended up being a bit of a bust. I was too sore to do the cosplay thing, and I ended up only going on the Sunday and walking around on my crutch and on my own under a hat of shame.

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It’s not the hat’s fault really, I just felt sorry for myself. Cue sad violin. The hat is fabulous.

Still, it was pretty inspiring. Even though I wasn’t the only one wandering around in my civvies, it was total carnival of different fandoms and genres, and everyone was just in it to celebrate! It was encouraging that even most of the traders were in similar spirit, dressing up and enthusiastic about their own passions. Everyone seemed to be in deep and joyful conversation, and I wish I’d made a drinking game for the amount of ‘free hugs’ signs I seen! Or maybe not – alcohol poisoning isn’t cute.

After a while, I realised I was starting to feel the strain of walking around and I was lucky enough to nab a front seat to the Sunday Masquerade. For those (like myself) who’ve never been to a show like this, a Masquerade is part talent show, part costume design critique. There was a panel of judges and although not everyone was entered to ‘compete’ (some just wanted to celebrate their costume) the audience went out of our collective minds for each person and group to go on stage. The littlest geeks went up in costume with proud parents for applause and cheers, then the teens braved the stage before the contest portion started. I can now die knowing I’ve watched Winifred Sanderson perform ‘I’ve Got A Spell on You’, as well as seeing two of the happiest guys I’ve ever seen take about a minute and a half getting up the 4 steps to the stage in an AT-AT costume, panto horse style. It was the most I’ve laughed in ages! Overall, the level of dedication and talent was completely mind-blowing and I walked stumbled back home with a reinvigorated attitude to making the time in my life to create.

Since then, I’ve performed my last burlesque show I can for about a year. It was bittersweet, and probably something I’ll talk about soon. What going to MCM did for me though, was encourage me to continue making my costumes (up to the last minute!) better for the show, even though it’ll be a long time before I can use them again. I finally made a tentacle skirt for Ursula that is worthy of the diva she is, and I rhinestoned practically everything I could for Harley Quinn. She may be criminally insane, but she likes her guns to be wicked sparkly! It helped to see so many people making these costumes for the joy of making and wearing them, not just to perform. Think about it – some of those cosplayers will have spent 100+ hours on a costume they only plan on wearing once, so I should dedicate at least that to something I’ll eventually wear again.

Now I’m just waiting on my ankle surgery to happen so I can get working on getting back to normal. In the meantime, I’ll be creating. I’ve got the excuse of Halloween coming up, and I’ve already started on that! I’ll hopefully write about the process soon. Want a sneak peek? Of course you do!

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I’ll be working on it more today, check out my Instagram for updates!
Until next time,

Sig

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Mama’s first convention!

Hey guys, today I’m trying to sort out what I’m going to be doing for my very first con! I keep wanting to go but life gets in the way. Damnit, life! This time though I’m definitely absolutely for sure going to MCM!

Thanks to a lovely friend who accidentally bought 2 weekend tickets, I’ve finally got the chance to dress up and go along. Since I’ve not performed in a while, I’m excited about the prospect of getting creative and being surrounded by people who are as passionate and excited about their hobbies as I am! To me, burlesque and cosplay are very similar in that you really need to love what you do, the artistic pay-off is more important than financial gain. Your blood, sweat and tears go into your project as a way of expressive release. I miss that right now.

So, I’m doing 2 cosplays for MCM. Maybe, maybe 3. Luckily, I’m surrounded by friends who are experienced cosplayers who have already helped me in creating costumes for stage wear. In particular, Psyclone Jack (who has had experience in both burlesque and cosplay) has been a tremendous help in the construction of costumes. I’d totally recommend seeking him out for commissions if you want an awesome costume made!

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On Saturday I’ll be wearing my Ursula costume – with a few changes! When I made my costume I didn’t put much effort into making it comfortable, since I wouldn’t be wearing it long. This has been the impetus to improve on the costume, and make changes that will be both appropriate for long term wear and still easily removable. There will be more rhinestones too obviously! I figure that improving on the long term wear of the costume will increase the overall sturdiness of it, since I’ll also be taking it in and out of suitcases, different shows etc. Ursula comes in a few different parts, which I want to maintain. So far, she comprises of;

  • bra
  • underbust corset
  • pasties
  • wig
  • underskirt
  • stuffed tentacles
  • boa
  • fishnet tights (geddit?)
  • knickers

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I decided not wear shoes for this routine, mostly out of necessity since my ankle is *bleep*ed, but I’d like to have something on my feet. I know the joke is that burlesque performers are a hardier bunch that can withstand the grottiest conditions, but I’d rather not test that theory too much! For the convention, I’ll be wearing simple ballet flats, and my focus will be on the skirt and bra. I’ll be making a hoop skirt (using this brilliant tutorialand sewing my tentacles onto the band of the skirt, attaching the length of them to the skirt by loosely tacking them to the hoops so they still move around a bit. I’ll be bedazzling the tentacles with black glossy sequins and flatback rhinestones, and attaching purple or lilac flatback pearls to the purple part of the tentacles. For the bra, I’ll also be covering it with the same black sequins and rhinestones I used on the tentacles. I’ve not decided if the underskirt should be purple or black though – what do you think? I’m also thinking about combining barefoot sandals and nude padded footsies, but since I won’t have to do that for the con I’ll discuss that another time! I also think I’ll forego wearing the corset and have the skirt connected to the bra with snap poppers. I think having the hoop width start just below my bust will give me the extra Ursula shape, so to speak! I’m excited to see how it’ll all pan out!

I’ll discuss my other cosplay in another post, but to give you a clue – dang dawg, inapprops!

Sig

Packing It Burlesque 2 – Pack Harder!

Travelling around for burlesque shows, LARP events and visiting family has taught me that I used to pack WAY too much. Streamlining my luggage was the only way to save my sanity, and packing smart meant I was huffing around less stuff I ultimately didn’t need, which is especially important when travelling on public transport. Whether planes, trains or buses, most of them have luggage limits which isn’t always helpful when you’re going from Glasgow to London with 3 acts worth of luggage, make up, shoes, props and civvie clothes! I’ve condensed what I take and when possible use other ways to transport anything I need. In this short series of posts, I’m going to discuss how I pack my essentials, from a burlesque perspective.

I hope the first part of this little series was helpful, today we’re moving on to the the biggest part of the travel – the suitcase. Again, in the cases of public transport, it’s best to check and double check the weight limit of your suitcase. A cursory look at some travel sites show the average weight allowance is up to 20kg, and you can get luggage scales from places like Home Bargains or Boots to double check before you leave. My personal suitcase has dimensions of L66xW42xD19, so that’s the size I’ll be referencing. I’m also assuming an overnight stay at the location.

Before I pack, I get all my act stuff together. I have a checklist for each act on my Google Drive (yes, I’m that nerdy!) and starting from the outside in, I piece my costumes together, minus shoes. For illustration purposes, I’ve used my Mama costume.

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Once everything is together, including props small enough to pack in, I fold it in itself as small as possible. If I have a belt in the costume, I wrap it round the folded costume, which helps keep it all together. I stuff my shoes with tights/stockings for the act, put the shoes in a plastic bag and put on top of the corresponding costume. If I can, I’ll use one pair of shoes for all acts, and some acts I have are better performed barefoot anyway! I pack the acts in from the bottom of the suitcase up, as seen below, this ensure the heavier things are at the bottom and I have space nearer the top for more fragile props and such.

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Costumes and small props in, I then pack a small laundry bag (another Poundland find!) of underwear, safety knickers for under the costume underwear, another roll of tit tape, and a regular bra or two (if you’re lucky enough to not have to wear a bra you obviously can consider not bringing one!). I pack my civvie wardrobe, usually a vest, tee shirt and skirt. I place the vest inside the tee shirt, then lay the skirt over the tee shirt and roll it up as tightly as I can. I also pack a dress to wear for curtain call and place that inside a nightie, then a dressing gown (perfect for backstage!), fold it up and add to the suitcase. By this time, the case is usually ¾ full. If I’m wearing wigs for any of the acts, I place them in wig bags and put them in last. Some of my wigs are styled and pinned so I treat them delicately! Any other delicate props, hair accessories and such go in at the very top. If they are very delicate, I wrap/stuff what I can in either a hand towel or scarves, which can double up as accessories too, obviously!

Lying the suitcase flat, I find little spaces in between things to stuff travel size hairspray, tampons (even if I’m not due!) and deodorant. I used to try and bring shower gel and such, but I’ve found it easier to pick it up from a shop when I’m there, if the hotel room doesn’t provide it.

Zipping up, I always zip it to the bottom so it’s less easy to access. I’ve never experienced it myself, but I’m always nervous of stories of people wheeling along a street and finding out the zip has been opened and a thief has tried to grab whatever is on top. If it doesn’t end up in a theft, chances are they’ve broken something. Not good! I also tie a colour ribbon onto the handle, especially handy for black suitcases, so it’s easy to spot in a sea of black suitcases! Other things to consider is a tag with your name, accommodation you’ll be staying at (under ℅), the dates you’ll be there and a contact number you’ll be using while at that particular location. If your luggage gets lost, there’s a better chance of it reaching your destination rather than being returned to the point of departure. The other side of the tag should have your home address.

Remember to weigh your suitcase once you’re done! It’s not just about the weight limit, you need to lug it around too, so make sure you’re not going to struggle. Next week I’m going to talk about the extra bits, so if you want to tell me about any information and advice you have, let me know!

Sig

Packing it burlesque!

Travelling around for burlesque shows, LARP events and visiting family has taught me that I used to pack WAY too much. Streamlining my luggage was the only way to save my sanity, and packing smart meant I was huffing around less stuff I ultimately didn’t need, which is especially important when travelling on public transport. Whether planes, trains or buses, most of them have luggage limits which isn’t always helpful when you’re going from Glasgow to London with 3 acts worth of luggage, make up, shoes, props and civvie clothes! I’ve condensed what I take and when possible use other ways to transport anything I need. In this short series of posts, I’m going to discuss how I pack my essentials, from a burlesque perspective. First up, the carry on!

Not that kind Babs!

Not that kind Babs!

Generally my handbag will have my phone, charger, foldaway bag, hand sanitizer, gum, purse and passport in it. For travel, I try to pack it full!

I’m really particular about my make up. It’s an issue. Most of the time, I try to pack it in my carry on. I tend to go barefaced the day before and after a show to give my skin a chance to breathe, the most I’ll do is throw on some tinted moisturiser, mascara and lip balm. The bonus of that is there’s more space for the stage make up! Most importantly, pack the glitter well. We’ve all opened our bag to find glitter everywhere, and it’s not called the herpes of the craft/burlesque worlds for nothing! I use sandwich bags to pack anything loose like powder or glitter. I like using the travel or trial size products wherever possible, the best ones to look for are mascaras, cream blush and foundations.

If I’m doing different make up looks for my acts, I tend to stick to a basic base (which is easier on my skin to switch up the looks!) and use mostly lipstick and contouring to make a big difference in a small way. I sometimes change the shape of my eyebrows too. Again, it means I’m packing less. Alongside the make up, I use the wee trial pots you get in Lush and decant my cleanser (Ultrabland ftw!) and moisturiser into them. You can also get travel size bottles and tubs out of drugstores, but these are free! If I can double up the use of a product I will. My moisturiser is a decent primer, cream lipsticks are great to use as blush and I use liquid liner as a mascara, especially if I’m using false eyelashes anyway.

I put any costume jewellery I’ll be using in sandwich bags and also stick them in the carry on, and pack a small pencil case (not just for school!) filled with mini pens, a sharpie, tit tape, some business cards and a small note book. Nine times out of 10, I’ll stick a pair of nail scissors, clear nail polish (for a multitude of uses!), nail glue and a small sewing kit (grab them from the £ shop or the complementary ones in some hotels!) in that pencil case too. I roll up a pair of slipper socks so I can use them while I travel as well as when I’m backstage. Using an empty Tic Tac tub, I store bobby pins and hair bobbles and pop them in the bag. I usually pack a snack or two, a bottle of water and a sachet packet of my beloved Pukka Tea. And done!

Whew! Sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. By using different bags and cases, pretty much everything I’ll need is at my fingertips whenever I’m travelling. I’ve seen those full bag inserts with all the different compartments, but I’ve not tried them out yet. What do you think? Anything you think I’m mad for missing?

Sig

Being Good to Mama

My signature act is When You’re Good to Mama, sung by Queen Latifah. I debuted as a burlesque performer with it and I’m pretty protective of it, I love it so. However, I knew that after 3 years, it was time to update it. I had a very focused idea on what I wanted to change so my act was still recognisable but had extra pizazz! I’ve realised that quite a lot of my acts have black costumes (what can I say, it’s slimming!) and I wanted to move away from defaulting to black all the damn time. As I planned around the changes I wanted to make I started researching things like prison dresses, quick changes and even glue! It’ll all make sense soon… promise.

So although this version of the act always went down a treat, I know Mama needed a little more colour and sparkle. I wanted to evoke the drama of the fantasy sequence of the movie but ground it in the idea of the prison. I grabbed onto the idea of a quick change move, but despite all my searching I realised that the move is a closely guarded secret among the magicians of the trick. I had to improvise.

I settled on the idea of having a drab, too big ‘prison’ dress, with a gown hidden underneath to be revealed at the right moment. I found a massive button down denim maxi dress in a charity shop that I shortened to knee high, and cut away the small amount of frippery to turn it into a basic, utilitarian dress. I intended to hide snap poppers behind the buttons for ease of removal, but I realised that by using an elasticated belt to hold the reveal dress underneath I could forego the snap poppers, place the buttons over just so and be able to unbuckle the belt and remove the denim dress in one fluid motion. The reveal dress was more difficult to find, so precise was my idea for it. Eventually I just pulled out my sewing machine and hit the fabric shop. I found a gorgeous bronzed gold fabric (on sale!) that was 2 way stretch. I took photos of it with and without flash to see how it would look, and I was so excited to work with it! Easily enough, I turned it into a full length wrap dress with a deep cut back. I fastened Velcro dots in two hidden places at the front, although I’ll probably replace them with magnets eventually.The photo below doesn’t do it justice, it drapes beautifully! While at the fabric shop I also found striped black and gold material which I loved, sort of the mix between the prison and fantasy, as well as looking like prison bars! I made some high waisted pants and covered the cups of a (frankly amazing) Primark bra*.

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I was almost done. Even though I still want to do more to the costume, time got away from me. I was due to perform at Flaming Tease Edinburgh and I’d lost a few days to injury. I was confident with what I had though, and couldn’t wait to see how my vision translated into reality. In front of an audience mixed with people new to the act and people who loved it, I was looking forward to seeing the reaction. Ever get that fist pump, fuck yeah I nailed it feeling? Yup. My gold dress was folded up underneath and completely hidden, so when I dropped the denim dress the audience went wild! I’m grinning so hard just thinking about it. When I came off stage I stood shaking for a solid 10 minutes with pure adrenaline. I didn’t even have that reaction after my very first performance!

Like I said, there’s still more I want to do to the costume. A burlesquer’s work is never done! I want to add black AB crystals to the black stripes of the bra and knickers as well as the gore and wings of the bra, add embellishments to the gold dress that’ll not weigh it down, and get a prison guard badge for the denim dress. I also want this wig, and to update my dollar fan (read – make bigger!). Finally, I’ve spoke to Lady V about doing me new pasties, which I think will look awesome as dollar signs, of course. Mama is all about money, honey!

All in all, I’m super happy with the changes I’ve made to the costume and to the routine. I may have lost the funny ‘can’t get the glove off’ bit, but I’ve gained an amazing new dress from it! I’ll be looking at the make up I’ll now be doing in another post, but for now – whatcha think of my new goodies? When I get the video from Flaming Tease I’ll update this post with it so you can do a proper comparison, I just couldn’t wait to write about this til then!

Sig

*I’ll be doing a separate post on this bra. I’m the first to admit I’m a snob about bras, but this may change my mind on Primark bras!

Spotlight on: Flaming Tease!

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I first came across Flaming Tease when I was asked to provide cakes for a show. It was in a teeny tiny pub in Stirling called Whistlebinkies and the event was only open to ladies, due to an outdated and silly bylaw that stated burlesque could not be performed in front of mixed gender audiences. It was an intimate and fun show, and I left knowing I would be back! Since that night, Scarlett Flame, performer extraordinaire and organiser of Flaming Tease, smashed through the bylaw and Stirling’s only burlesque show was open to everyone! Today, Flaming Tease has a new, bigger home in 20 Rocks and is growing more popular with every event.

In the meantime, I finally starting performing myself (but that’s another story!) and Flaming Tease is a great favourite of mine to perform! Of course, I still provide cupcakes and cake pops, it’s a long running joke now that I wouldn’t be allowed to come without them! I asked Scarlett, killer of silly bylaws, a few questions about Flaming Tease and what’s next for this fantastic show.

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Why did you want to start Flaming Tease? Was it important to you to host it in Stirling?

I wanted to start my own shows because over the years I have performed at so many – some good, some great- but what was important to me was holding the kind of night I would want to go to, which bring together performers and friends. I wanted to run a show with a happy friendly atmosphere for everyone!
Hosting it in Stirling was always the obvious start, because so little happens here and because I love bringing burlesque to new audiences. We have always wanted to start here and expand, taking the same mix of quality burlesque and a brilliant atmosphere with us. I wanted to do a show in my adopted hometown, and I’m really happy that there is a market for it!

What drives you to hold these nights?

Enjoyment. Its brilliant to see so many wonderful performers on my stage and knowing that I had a hand in making sure that they have a great time. It means a lot to me to bring opportunities to my friends, and people who have become friends through the shows. Its great to get the feedback that we get from our audiences who all love the shows and love the performers involved.

What do you think makes Flaming Tease so successful?

Hard work, and the commitment of everyone involved. All of the performers work incredibly hard to make sure that they do a great job, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate them – the shows wouldn’t happen without that!
Also, we really value the feedback that we get from our audiences, and do make a point of collecting both verbal and written feedback so we can make our shows even better.
Finally I think part of it is that we approach it as a full package – performers, traders, cake, drinkies, its really a proper night out and our audiences throw themselves into it!

What is your favourite story involving Flaming Tease?

There are so many… We’ve done 6 shows in Stirling, and all have been filled with some of the things people assume I make up. Ringmistress dislocating her thumb onstage, Favourite Sin shaving her head, two of our audience members starting a relationship at the show, some of the laughs backstage.. there really are so many, and so many more to come I am sure.

Has there been a time you felt like giving up doing Flaming Tease? Or did difficulty strengthen your resolve?

There are always times when its hard and when it all gets really stressful, but no I have never really thought about quitting. The hardest show was the one I missed when I was in hospital, and that made me so much more determined to make the next show even bigger and better!
Given the amount of obstacles (from venues, to money, to divas) it would be easy to quit, but I think I need to keep doing it to prove I can!

You have a great reputation for encouraging new acts from performers, has there ever been a time you were nervous about or refused a proposal of an act?

I have, and thats a really hard thing to do. I always worry about asking for too many new acts from performers because of the expense and commitment involved for them. There are a few that I have been nervous about, but thankfully almost all seemed to be a hit when they were performed! Its really rare for me to veto an act altogether, usually its a minor tweak that’s needed.
Its fab as well that we can use Flaming Tease as a platform for new performers (students from my classes are offered their debut spot at the show) and for performers who are new to the burlesque scene, perhaps more cabaret or other performance art. Its lovely to see people using it as a chance to network!

Flaming Tease is very obviously a team effort, did this team evolve over time and start with fewer ‘Teasers’, or was the group together from the start?

Team Tease! The Team has really been around over the whole incarnation of Flaming Tease, and again we couldn’t do it without the hard work and dedication of everyone. We have the best stage manager that I know of, and the best soundman in the biz too – he even rearranges his holidays and proper job (he’s sound crewed some of the biggest names in rock and pop) to be with us. Our raffle machine and decorator was the force that got Flaming Tease to happen, she talked me into it!
I am hugely proud of the whole team, performers and crew, they are all a really talented bunch and make Flaming Tease an absolute pleasure to put on!

Burlesque in Scotland is a growing and vital industry, with performers coming from all over to grace our stages. What do you think makes Scotland so attractive to performers?

I like to think its a combination of things; great shows, great performers, great audiences, friendly atmosphere, and a huge amount of variety.

Finally, what’s next for Flaming Tease?

More shows! We have lots of plans afoot… so do keep up with us on Facebook, and through my website. Our next show is the 7th Sept for Stirling, and maybe we’ll arrange something before that too! Flaming Tease is more than just a show, we are all friends too. Under the heading of Flaming Tease events we are booked for other places, and can take a full show to pretty much anywhere! (We are available for hire or reward!)

Anything else you want us to know?

If you have never tried burlesque before Flaming Tease is great, because we have so much variety – you are bound to find something that you like! What our audience think is vital, so please do let us know what you think!
My final thought has to be a big thank you to everyone who has been involved – performers, traders, crew, venues and audiences.

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Burlesque & Stripping… two sides to the same coin?

(c) Jamie Mcfadyen

Anyone that knows me knows I love burlesque. I was an audience member for 7 years, and last April, I made my debut as Mama Silverside. I’m strictly a hobby performer, and have no intention of turning it into a career, but my passion for all things burly is as strong as any career performer. I believe. I know. Yes.

Anyway, recently a few performers and enthusiasts had a great discussion based around a newspaper interview with a lap dancer, where she states there is very little difference between performing burlesque and working in a strip club. It raised opinions from each end of the spectrum, and loads from in between. I gave my opinion and read with interest everyone else’s, but I’ve found that days, even weeks later, I’m still thinking about it. So I thought I’d write about it! Please note this is about female burlesque, I’m not negating the boylesque branch, it just isn’t what this discussion is about. Boylesque deserves its own post, which I’ll enjoy writing about soon!

  1.      Burlesque is an art form, stripping is for male titillation.

This is a fairly popular opinion, so I thought I’d explore it first. These days, most people see burlesque as socially acceptable entertainment, geared towards the empowerment of women. It focuses on the beauty, the comedic and artistic merits of women, where the ‘strip’ is not more important than the ‘tease’. This can be seen when we talk about the famous performer Gypsy Rose Lee, who managed to whip men into a frenzy and all she removed was a glove! Of course, she revealed a lot more than her hand during her career, but the reason she is remembered as an icon was the artistry involved in her routines. But this same story can be viewed from the other angle, where Gypsy performed (at least initially) solely for men. Back then, burlesque was for male titillation. She just managed to be memorable enough to break through the old music halls and vaudeville theatres and perform also for mixed crowds who regarded her performances as artistic, if a little crass. These days she is regarded as a pioneer, but then she was simply a stripper, a title she owned up to. Nowadays, burlesque seems to have little to do with stripping, but without burlesque, stripping wouldn’t exist. Strip clubs remain the domain of men, and asking around most men I know would seldom even admit going to a strip club outside of a stag (bachelor) party. Strip clubs as a form of regular entertainment seems tacky, seedy and according to my male friends, embarrassing to admit to. Women I know have went to strip clubs on a lark, as a cool and different activity, but often end up chatting with the ladies dancing there instead of watching them perform! And what of the performing? When you think of strip clubs, is it pole dancing, stripping, or lap dancing you think of first? If we leave out lap dancing as an obvious act of male titillation, most strippers have a routine they have worked on, with music, costume, make up. If they use a pole, they also need hours and hours of practice and exercise. There is even pole dancing competitions and classes where the focus is not on titillation but artistry, form and poise. You must be very fit to look good on a pole! There will always be strippers who wear a ‘sexy’ outfit or nothing at all and mindlessly grind and dance to a song with no thought other than making money, but I feel lumping all strippers together as that does a disservice to the women who make an effort to inject some personality and art into their routines. Like their spiritual predecessors, they perform primarily for men but insist on setting standards for themselves.

2.      Stripping demeans and objectifies women, burlesque empowers them.

This one actually annoys me more than anything else we discussed. This opinion relies on treating strippers as poor lost souls who have been forced into the profession. I can’t deny that could be true of some strippers, but it certainly can not be the case for all. Some women do it simply for the money, some because it makes use of whatever qualities or talents they possess. Some may enjoy being the centre of attention. I would place my last penny that some even do it because they enjoy performing the same way burlesque performers do! Burlesque as a tool of female empowerment is a relatively new concept. Again, back in the early days of burlesque, the general consensus about burlesque was no different to how a lot of people view strippers today. It almost seems that when burlesque and stripping split, burlesque took the positive aspects and stripping took the negative! When I perform, I do feel fantastic, the audience is there to support you, cheer you on and make you feel like the centre of the universe for 4 minutes. I know that regardless of body shape or size, burlesque enthusiasts champion body confidence and enjoy the variety of performers on show. I know it’s a big part of why I love it so. With stripping, it’s easy to assume its all teeny tiny tanned blondes with big boobs. Again, its easy assumption to make, but to judge that kind of appearance while championing variety seems counter productive. The funniest thing to me is it’s been proven time and again men like all sorts of women. The choices strippers make about their appearance is their own, no one else’s. In the end, I don’t see why it has to be stripping = bad to mean burlesque = good. This doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. It’s not empowering to any women to put one down in order to raise another up, if that’s the only reason you think that.

  1. So what about the lap dancers?

Stripping and lap dancing are as different as burlesque and stripping. They are related, held together by a common ground, but they are not one and the same. Not all lap dancers perform on stage as strippers, not all strippers are lap dancers. Again, it’s down to assumption. Even so, I don’t see lap dancing as ‘beneath’ anyone. You either enjoy it or you don’t. If you don’t, that doesn’t give you right to bash people who do it or enjoy it.

Opinions are like assholes…

…everyone has one. I respect that other people will have differing opinions on this, and I encourage discussion on it, because it’s the only way to learn. What I can’t abide is the frankly unnecessary hate and judgement that comes with the ’us versus them’ mentality. I’m not asking to like, enjoy or support anything you don’t want to. But when it comes to differing opinions, one doesn’t have to be wrong for the other to be right.

So what’s your take on this subject? Do you prefer burlesque to stripping? Do you think there’s much difference or do you hate when people think they are one and the same? I’ll be writing more on this subject but I’m taking pity on those who’ve made this far! Until then, feel free to sound off!