|In 1972 a fair haired babe was born in Michigan. Her father, a machinist and her mother, a manicurist, named her Heather. As she grew up she developed a passion for ballet and wanted desperately to be a professional ballerina. When she couldn’t afford lessons, she cleaned the bathrooms to cover the cost.|
As a teenager she landed a job in a lingerie store and was captivated by both the femininity and allure of the lingerie: “I’d had a fantasy of wearing these things… I had a different perspective on lingerie to lots of people… to me it was a rite of passage into womanhood”.
There was another part of the job she loved which was the independence gained from having her own income stream. She enjoyed the sense of responsibility and ownership.
In general, she didn’t love her teen years. She wasn’t brilliant at making her new friends, taking a while to come out of her shell, and she found the changes in her body through puberty quite confusing and stressful. A strained relationship with herjudgemental father added to the challenges of coming into her own.
“People who know me from back then are amazed by what I went on to do”
Her fascination with lingerie, womanhood and transformation led to her dying her natural blonde hair dark, keeping her skin fair and making red lipstick a permanent fixture. With the wrong build to really make it as a ballet dancer, Heather took her dance skills and established herself in a different type of performance.
“In the public eye as a burlesque star, I’ve been called both brilliant and stupid, ugly and beautiful in equal measures. I’ve strived to let insults fall off me like water off a swan’s back.”
In 2002, Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese, entered the public eye, on the cover of Playboy magazine. Today, this “Burlesque Superheroine” (Vanity Fair) is the performer of choice at high-profile events for brands including Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. She is also the author of a New York Times bestseller, and has her own lingerie line.
“In my fantasy retirement, I’m still designing my lingerie collection, I’m building my beauty brand, I’m writing more books and I’m directing a show filled with all my intellectual property that I’ve built up over the years. I’m teaching a beautiful boy to do my Martini glass act, I’m teaching a girl to do my carousel act, I’m directing a show filled with all of my life’s work in it and I get to sit back and watch.”
“Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.”
– Austin Kleon
|If you’d like to sign up to our mailing list, you can subscribe here|