That headline was a bit clickbait-y, and I regret it. But you’re here aren’t you? Mission accomplished. Burlesque queen and beauty icon Dita Von Teese just wrote a fascinating must-read piece for In Style on aging and ageism and whether or not she’s still comfortable performing in her forties. The short answer is YES, it’s who she is and what she does, and she still has a lot to give to the world. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t think about what it means to grow older, though.
Check out this excerpt below:
When people make ageist remarks or ask age-related questions, I find it so shortsighted. What’s the alternative? Die young? Would you ask me this if I were a man? Are you wondering whether I’m worried about getting old? Yes, I am; we all are.
I remember doing an interview with a German journalist when I was in my mid-30s, and she asked me, “What will you do when you get old and you lose your beauty and are not interesting anymore?” That question struck a nerve. Maybe it was lost in translation, but still. Then I thought about how the concepts of perfect beauty and talent were—and still are—uninteresting to me. I grew up wanting to be a ballerina but wasn’t good enough to make that a career. I believe my shortcomings were what led me to burlesque. What I lacked in natural beauty and talent made me look at things from a different perspective.
The singers and actors I like are usually slightly flawed too. They are the people, like Madonna, who had to overcome being told that they were never going to make it in show business. That’s how I feel. I can’t really sing. I’m no good at sports. I’ve never been the best at anything, except for burlesque and striptease.
Anytime I question myself, like, “Should I really be on tour, doing my burlesque show again in my 40s?” I recall [my friend; ’50s bombshell Mamie Van Doren, now 86] and her wonderful spirit. Or I’ll see a video of J. Lo doing backflips in a G-string onstage in Vegas and think about how she’s a few years older than me and up there in lingerie, looking amazing. I truly do believe that we need to see and experience beauty and sensuality at all phases of life.
I hate it when people say, “You look good for your age.” It should be, “You look good.” Period. Getting older is a good thing.
And Dita makes getting older LOOK GOOD. She gives us all confidence. Here’s hoping she’ll still be performing at 60, 70, and beyond.
Read the whole article here. It’s worth your time, I promise. (Photos: Pacific Coast News)