The 5-Minute Interview: Dita von Teese, Burlesque artiste

'The truth is that I'm a very ordinary blonde girl from Michigan'

Dita Von Teese, 34, is credited with bringing burlesque to the mainstream. She will be performing throughout London over the next few months, including this weekend at Erotica 2006 at Olympia.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Putting on lipstick. I have various meetings around the city [London] today and I am also choosing a hat to wear after a gig I'm doing at Koko in Camden.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Good manners. They're forgotten in America. I think it's bad manners to stand around in public with ripped jeans and your hair in a mess, holding a Starbucks.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was ...

Success. I am pleased by it. I have been performing burlesque since 1990. I thought it would remain underground and specialised. I wanted to be a ballerina.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I can't possibly be shy and do what I do. You have confidence about certain things and not about others.

On fantasy ...

I feel I've lived out a lot of my sexual fantasies and the ones I haven't are better left as fantasy and shouldn't be revealed. I have always been interested in fetishes. Why is one person turned on by a woman's bare foot and another is turned on by a nice rear end? In my opinion the female form is very visually appealing. I am not a lesbian but I think that there is something about the way a woman's body is made.

The stripping industry is ...

Just made up of girls trying to make a living and that's all I'm trying to do. I don't put myself above them. I used to work alongside strippers and pole dancers. In fact I miss it.

On feminism ...

We all have things that make us feel degraded and other things that make us feel empowered and that's what's great about the world. To be a feminist you should just be what you want to be.

I am not a politician but ...

You see I steer away from political conversation as much as possible. I'd rather talk about feathers and rhinestones. I don't like to start conversations that make people upset.

I'm good at...

Creating an illusion of glamour and mystery and fantasy. The truth is that I am very ordinary blonde girl from Michigan.

I'm very bad at...

Singing and maths.

The ideal night out is ...

To go out to dinner with my husband [Marilyn Manson] and meet friends for a cocktail afterwardsand be home by 2am. I like a little bit of everything.

In moments of weakness I ...

Spend lots of money on frivolous things like a handbag or a new coat.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

When things get you down, make the best of your own life rather than worrying about what everyone else thinks.

Sara Newman

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor