Burlesque and Exotic Lingerie
Lots of people assume that burlesque refers to the art of female stripping. To the contrary, burlesque encompasses a huge selection of theatrical and musical forms. But, today's exotic lingerie definitely has its origins in the burlesque tradition.
Burlesque has ever thumbed its nose at conventional notions of modesty and sexuality by wearing exotic lingerie and other outrageous costumes. By way of instance, Lydia Thompson, a British born actress and burlesque performer, composed and produced a drama in which young girls played mythological figures dressed in tights. This production was performed in New York at the height of the Victorian age. At the moment, when even the merest hint of the feminine form has been considered scandalous, young girls appearing in exotic lingerie caused quite a stir. Obviously, the operation was a smashing success financially, if not morally and ethically.
As burlesque gained popularity, exotic lingerie and outrageous costumes became a mainstay of the artwork. However, it's important to remember that the intention of the burlesque is to titillate. Although burlesque managers tried to eliminate showing as much of the feminine form as possible in exotic lingerie, nothing overtly vulgar was permitted. Millie DeLeon, a famous burlesque dancer in the 1920s, used to don exotic lingerie and toss her garter straps into the audience during each operation. She was well known for showing a reasonable bit of leg and then departing the stage leaving the audience crying and clamoring for more.
In the early phases, burlesque provided an alternative to restrictive sexual norms. A guy could go to a burlesque show and see his dreams come to reality. Where he doesn't ask his wife to model exotic lingerie or perform a strip tease, he could attend the burlesque and see his secret desires enacted on the stage. However, the loosening of sexual mores in later times sounded the death knell for the burlesque tradition. As sexuality started to be expressed in a number of forms, the exotic lingerie costumes lost much of the titillating appeal. To the contrary, burlesque began to show itself in others ways and the exotic lingerie of this burlesque began to crop up in unexpected places.
In the 1950s and 60s, burlesque began to make its way to bedrooms across America. Retailers started to capitalize on women's desire to look attractive because of their husbands by introducing several traces of exotic lingerie made to feed to male fantasy. Lacy bras, garter belts, corsets and bustiers were only a few examples of the kinds of exotic lingerie which became available on the mainstream market.
In today's society, where many forms of sexual expression are acceptable, burlesque is once more gaining in popularity. Burlesque revues have arisen in areas as varied as Montreal, New York and Oslo. It's too soon to say if burlesque will have a full blown revival, but there's something to say for art that relies on suggestively exotic lingerie in an environment where anything goes.
Although burlesque is a truly comic form, it has done much to celebrate the female form in all shapes and sizes. Burlesque dancers have always been around the curvier side. In its heyday, it wasn't uncommon to find a fuller figured woman dance about in exotic lingerie on a burlesque stage. Today, as the art revives, there are numerous burlesque troops which are particularly composed of plus size women.
A lot of the exotic lingerie which we see today has its origins in the burlesque tradition. Exotic lingerie such as corsets, bustiers, gloves, sheer underwear, garter belts, fans and lace were a normal part of the burlesque dancer's apparel. Burlesque was about observing the outrageous and thumbing its nose at conventions. Exotic lingerie and outlandish costumes were the focus of this burlesque dancer's performance.
Today, even though the heyday of burlesque is gone, it is possible to catch a bit of the irreverent attitude with a few exotic lingerie of your own.