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Dita Von Teese — The Queen of Burlesque | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast) | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Dita Von Teese — The Queen of Burlesque | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast)".
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"Optimal minimal." "I did this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking." "Can I also do a personal question?" "Now what is it?" "My perfect time." "What a type of reality." "I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue of a metal empress killer." "My two parents show."
Dita Von Teese: Career And Burlesque
Athletic Greens (00:20)
This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show's brought to you by Athletic Greens. "I get asked all the time. If I could only take one supplement, what would it be?" The answer is inevitably athletic greens. I view it as, and a lot of you now view it as all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it way back in 2010 in the 4-hour body, and I did not get paid to do so. I've been using it since before that, and I use that in a lot of different ways. I travel with it to avoid getting sick, or to help mitigate the likelihood of getting sick. I take it in the morning to ensure optimal performance, and overall it covers my bases if I can't get what I need from whole food meals throughout the rest of the day. If you want to give athletic greens a try, they're offering a free 20-count travel pack for first-time users. I nearly always travel with at least three or four of these one-dose bags. In other words, if you buy athletic greens as a first-time buyer, you now get, for a limited time, an extra $79 in free product. So check out the details at athleticgreens.com/tim.
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Introduction to Dita Von Teese (03:00)
Hello, boys and girls. This is Tim Ferris, and welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferris Show, where it is always my job each in every episode to speak with a world-class performer. And today, performer, I suppose, is very literal in a lot of respects. And this wide-ranging conversation will involve my guest, Dita Von Tease. Dita Von Tease is the biggest name in Burlesque in the world since Gypsy Rose Lee, who was born in 1911. Dita is credited with bringing the art form back into the spotlight. She is renowned for her iconic Martini Glass Act and dazzling Hote Couture Strip Tease costumes adorned with hundreds of thousands of Swarovski crystals. This Burlesque super heroine, as she's been called by Vanity Fair, is the performer of choice at high-profile events for designers such as Marc Jacobs, Christian Lou Butang. You'll have to excuse me for my French, Louis Vuitton, Chopin and Cartier, among others. She is the author of the New York Times' bestseller, "Your Beauty Mark," subtitle, "The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour," and has a namesake lingerie collection available internationally at prominent retailers. She can be found on the socials on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook at Dita Von Tease, D-I-T-A, V-O-N-T-E-S-E. Dita, welcome to the show. Thank you. And I have wanted to meet for so long Amanda Palmer, first peek my curiosity. There are so many directions we could go, but I thought we would start with a word, "Hote Couture," which we started to talk about a little bit because I didn't know what it meant. What is "Hote Couture"?
Hot couture (04:39)
Well, I mean, it's like a term that's used very loosely these days. Everyone wants to call it something "Hote Couture" if it's extra special, but it really means high-sewing, like a high level of sewing. And so when you talk about a Hote Couture designer, there's a ministry of Hote Couture in France where you kind of get the stamp and you can call your clothing "Hote Couture." So it's kind of loosely used. You'll find like "Hote Couture donuts" and things like that, but it's really not accurate. So I always say that I do "Hote strip," so it's like a high level of strip. But wearing "Hote Couture" costumes, which means they're made with extravagance and excellence that is not something you can buy in a store. So speaking of things that you can't buy easily in a store because you forged your own path in a lot of respects, I would like to take a 90-degree turn, I suppose, from where most people would expect me to go and talk about vintage cars.
Ditas career as a vintage car VW bug driver (05:28)
So it's my understanding that you've done very well in collecting, flipping, refurbishing, vintage cars. Yes. Where does that come from? Well, it first started in the early 90s. I was big into the swing dancing and a pinup model. I had a boyfriend that drove a 1930s car and I sort of thought I should have a 1930s car. So I got my first car in 1939 Chrysler, New Yorker when I was in my early 20s. And I love that car and I used to drive it all around Orange County where I lived. And I sold that car not that long ago, maybe like 10 years ago. And I bought it for like $8,000 in the 90s and sold it to someone in Germany for like $30,000. So I thought this is kind of, I should do this more. So I started buying more cars. I met a really great guy that helped me with my cars. And so he goes to all the auctions and finds things at a good price and then we fix it up. I drive it for a while because also for me with vintage cars, I like cars from the 30s, 40s and 50s. But with vintage cars, it's like a relationship. I've had cars that I had a bad relationship with, like the brakes going out. And I had the 65 Jaguar S type for a while that I loved. It was so beautiful. I actually bought it on eBay while I was drinking red wine and taking ambient, which was probably not the best idea. But so I picked up this car and it was so beautiful. I picked it up when I was sober. It was still beautiful. I thought I bought it, but it was not a good fit for me because the brakes kept going out on this car. And you could imagine that's really terrifying. Yeah, sounds like a downside. One moment in particular that I remember was I was pulling up to the Playboy Mansion. And this is like in the 90s when it was like these amazing parties happening. And I remember going up the hill and knowing the brakes were starting to fail and just leaning out the window to all the valets. Brakes don't work. And they all ran and I was going up the hill quite slowly at that point, but all these valley guys running and their red coats to stop the car. And then I just got out, went to the party and had the car taken care of the next day. But it was one of those things where I couldn't get. I kept taking it to mechanics and they were like, "The brakes are fine. The brakes are fine." And then I'd get in it again and then they'd go out on me. So I feel like you have to have the right fit with a vintage car. And so I buy them, I drive them and I decide if it's the car for me or not. Is it easy for me to drive? Do I love how it feels to drive it? Does it leave me on the side of the road or not? And so I've kind of just, right now I have three cars. I have a 1953 Cadillac that I've had for a long time, a Fleetwood. I've had that one for a while and I love that one. And I have a 1940 La Salle, which is a Cadillac. It's a convertible, like a big black gangster car. Really beautiful, but I don't drive it that much. And then I just bought a car, it's called a Woodill Wildfire. And it's a convertible. It looks like the Disney Cars car. So I bought that one actually to flip it because it's super, super rare. And it's not really the kind of car that I can cruise around to LA in because it'll be like a really, you know, it'll go to Pebble Beach for sure next year. So I'll drive it for like a year. I'm having it all done up and then I'll take pictures and it drive it and enjoy it. And then flip that one. Now, it's part of the ability to flip these cars associated with the fact that you have driven them or is that a selling point or is that not part of the selling process? I think it's a little bit of both. I feel like vintage cars are one of those things. If you can keep them for a long time, they will always retain their value. It's just you have to not be desperate to sell it and you can always turn a profit. But yeah, like having the pictures or video or me getting photographed with it, that's but I don't just buy them and take pictures of it and then sell it. I really use them. I really love them.
Ditas appreciation for everything vintage (09:51)
And you collect or you have collected other things or I should say vintage cars are not the only vintage that you've acquired in the past. No, I mean, I pretty much collect dead people's things, all that of all kinds. My house is like a museum. I am a maximalist. I love, I like recyclables too. I like vintage clothing because it's another thing that retains its value. I started wearing vintage when I was just out of high school. I graduated from high school in 1990 and I bought vintage clothes because I couldn't afford anything else and I kind of wanted to get the designer look. I could emulate designers like Vivien Westwood or Jean Paul Gautier by buying vintage bullet bras when you could buy them for nothing. So I started like that because I couldn't afford the designer jeans my friends in Orange County had are the cool sneakers. So I kind of went to flea markets and went to vintage stores and then lo and behold, all these years later it's super collectible and I have amassed an amazing collection of vintage clothing that has a lot of value. It's amazing how that works and it makes me think of my habits and hobbies with comic books as a kid. I mean, I didn't acquire them to have them appreciate the value. But like you said lo and behold, it's kind of a life lesson, right? Like if you do things with authenticity, like that's what I've always retained from there's it's a common thing of all of my life lessons is like things that are authentic if you do it in an authentic way. You know, like what I never said, I'm going to be the world's most famous burlesque star. I'm going to be a stripper in the modern times. I just did it accidentally and it's the same thing with collecting, you know, with the cars and the vintage clothes. It was sort of like I just loved it and then I'm lucky that it all worked out. So we're going to look at at luck and we're going to look at decisions. I think they go hand in hand. Very often you have maybe not equal doses of each, but certainly doses of each.
When an Orange County eccentric needs a second surnamed initial... (12:06)
Let's talk about burlesque, but we're going to do it kind of hopping backwards and forwards.
The origin story of Dita's name. (12:13)
The first question that I wanted to ask is about the name. So Dita Von Tease, where does the name come from? What's the backstory on the name? Oh, it's funny that one time I remember a few years back someone was talking a journalist at how cliche my name was, how calculated and cliche it was, but it wasn't at all. So I was working in a strip club in the early 90s in Orange County and I had picked the name Dita because I had just seen a movie with an actress called Dita Parlow. And then there was also like the Madonna character in the sex book and I kind of was, you know, to this 20s look at the time. I kind of went through different eras that I loved and emulated that. So I picked the name Dita and then a few years later I was asked to be in these Playboy news stand specials. I don't know. Some people remember this, but they used to have always these special magazines called the Book of lingerie or whatever. So I was in those in like the mid 90s and they told me I had to have a second name. So and I said, no, why Madonna share Dita? What? And they said, no, you have to have a second name. So I opened up the phone book because we used to have yellow pages back then or white pages and I was like people with a VON are cool in their name. So I looked under the VONs and I found this name VON trees T-R-E-E-S-E and I called Playboy and I said, I'm going to be Dita VON trees. And they're like, okay. And then I remember the magazine came out and I went to the liquor store and I grabbed my issue and I opened it up and said Dita VON trees. They forgot the R and now I wouldn't think anything like, oh, this is cool. It's like strip tees, Dita VON trees. I thought I need to call them and tell them, you know, give them what for. And so I call them and said it was supposed to be Dita VON trees and they said, yeah, yeah, we'll correct it next month. So you know, the magazine came out again and it said Dita VON trees. So it's just kind of, I just kind of left it. I didn't think ever for one minute that I was going to be famous with that name or I was going to be trademarking it internationally. I would have probably done it differently if I had known that it was going to turn into what it has. So it just did work down. Yeah. But I was just, you know, I was just like working in a strip club, posing for these Playboy magazines and, you know, it was something I thought I would just, you know, get married, you know, have a baby and like that would be my past of being this pin up star and stripper. Well, it seems to me that there's an argument that people can make for planning big, thinking big and making those decisions with this really long term outlook.
Crafting oneself for the world. (14:42)
But I think there's also an argument that could be made if you look at a lot of the people who have been on this podcast that if they knew then what they knew later, they would have fucked it all up by trying to sort of craft themselves for the world. And they would have lost that authenticity or that spontaneity that is actually kind of the genie in the bottle that helped them to do what they did.
What is burlesque, and how does it differ from ballet? (15:19)
What is burlesque and how did that enter the scene? Because my understanding in doing the research and also you very generously contributed your answers to travel mentors is that ballet was one of the, I guess, first focal points. So how did burlesque enter the picture and what is burlesque? Yeah. Okay. So I wanted to be a ballerina my whole childhood, but I was just not really that good at it. I just loved it and still to this day. It's like I like to take a ballet class, but I'm the ballerina in the back and I have to follow everyone. And I just never had that. I just not naturally meant to do that, you know, but I loved it. So burlesque was a type of show that was sort of a spin off of a vaudeville show back in the 1930s and 40s. So vaudeville was kind of like where a lot of amazing comedians and singers kind of made their mark in America in the 1920s and 30s. And, you know, pretty much it was dead by the 40s. But so burlesque was kind of the naughtier cousin of vaudeville. It was a little bit more about sex. It was like a workie man's entertainment, cheaper ticket. You could go and see, well, actually originally it meant it was kind of just a variety show. But the stars of the burlesque show kind of became the strippers and it was kind of by an accident. You know, they say there was like a dancing girl. There's a few different, there's different folklore for how it actually started, how burlesque in America really started. That idea of strip tees to music with a band or on stage. There was one story about a girl who was trying to do a quick change and she started like pulling off her outfit before she was concealed from the audience and they went crazy. And so, you know, in those days it was like, well, you know, what can you do to get, make a name for yourself? So obviously that turned into like a strip tees act. But yeah, it was kind of like the strip club of that time, but you know, there was a live orchestra band and you had comedy and dancing girls. But you know, you had great stars that came out of burlesque like Gypsy Rosley, who a lot of people compare me to or compare my career to. She was the subject of the musical and film Gypsy starring Natalie Wood, which came out in the 60s. So burlesque was kind of a very niche entertainment. I think I don't think it's ever, of course it went away. You know, it got the burlesque theatre got shut down in the 50s and then burlesque answers like Lily St. Cyr were performing in like supper clubs and whatnot. But burlesque was kind of dead by the 50s in a lot of ways.
eBulestr was dead when Dita was born. (18:11)
And so it's dead in the 50s and yet somehow it finds you or you find it and you were born in the working class rural Michigan. Is that right? Yes. I was born in Rochester, but I grew up in a place called West Branch, Michigan, which is near Traverse City. Yeah. And so how did burlesque or strip tees or any of those forms of entertainment or those iconic women enter your life? Well, I had this idea in around 1991 that I wanted to be the new Betty Page. I wanted to create pin up pictures with the emphasis on bondage and fetishism because I kind of got introduced to that world in a roundabout way through my job working in a lingerie store. I worked in a lingerie store. I've been obsessed with lingerie since I was a little girl. Like I have really distinct memories of being curious about what these weird things that women wore under their clothes were like bras. I sneak into my mom's bra drawer and I used to steal things. And to me, it was like symbolic of womanhood and femininity. And I was like, I want to be part of this world. So I was always obsessed with lingerie. Anyway, I became obsessed with things like garter belts, stocking. So when I was a teenager, I worked in a lingerie store. I asked someone for, I had been looking for like a Victorian corset and someone gave me this, gave me this address when I was like 18 and I walked into the store where they, I supposedly could get something like that and it was a fetish store. And it kind of opened my whole, my mind to this whole other world that I had no idea existed. And I was shown this picture of Betty Page and I thought, why isn't anyone doing this now? And I decided I was going to be that. And so in the process of me making all these pin up pictures and even bondage movies and all these things that were from that in a 50s theme, I would be looking at these vintage magazines and a lot of the models that posed for these vintage magazines or these fetish magazines that would say they were a burlesque dancer too. I was like the burlesque dancer. So a lot of these women that posed for pin ups back then in men's magazines in the 30s and 40s, they were also dancers and I thought, oh, what a great way to use my failed ballet career. I could perform on stage and perform in these vintage outfits. So my first stages for that were strip club, regular strip club and then as I became more famous with Playboy and everything, I would headline the big strip clubs all over the United States. And then suddenly I was the most famous fetish model in the early '92. So I was performing at this like torture garden in London and the fetish ball here in LA and kind of doing all these fetish parties. Okay.
Gaining authenticity and finding your voice. (21:22)
I have so many questions. I have so many questions. Thank you for that. So your career and trajectory is so interesting to me on multiple levels because and then I can list off all the reasons. But there's a perception that I have is that the strip club or stripping, strip teas world is very would be very difficult and very competitive because you have a lot of beautiful women or beautiful girls and the, at least in some places I would imagine the sort of barrier to entry is decently low and yet you were able to craft this unique career for yourself and really differentiate yourself. And I want to harken back to something we were chatting about before we started recording, which was Amanda Palmer in, I guess, the art of asking if I'm getting the title right, talked about you because she contrasted what you did and feel free to fact correct. But with a lot of what was happening at the time where you'd have these sort of bleached blonde women, completely nude, you know, enormous fake breasts, doing their thing, getting kind of singles or fives and you would have this elaborate long strip teas with much more clothing and then there was one guy who would give you a 50 and it was like, yeah, that guys your customer. So hi, which to me is so beautiful because and I'm going to read a quote here, if I may, this is from your answer in tribal mentors. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? And the quote that you gave was, you can be a juicy right peach and there will still be someone who doesn't like peaches. And I'll just finish this real quickly. This is a quote that my friend's great grandmother told to her and she told to me and I've always loved it. And you go on to say how in the public, I as a burlesque, sorry, you've been called brilliant stupid, ugly and beautiful and equal measures, but you found your niche. You found your true believers. How did you do that? Like when did you realize that it could work? Was there a, that's a very long winded lead up to a question, but it's like you, you broke through and became so big in a world where I think the belief would be that's extremely, extremely difficult. So what, like when did you realize, wow, I think I'm on to something or you found that secret sauce? Yeah. I feel like the first thing I think about is that all along I was just having fun and enjoying what I was doing, having the time of my life. So it was never high stakes like, am I going to make it or break it? I didn't really care. I always kept my normal job, you know, while I was going to strip club. First I worked in lingerie and then I worked in makeup and beauty behind the makeup counter at Robinson's May. So I kind of always kept my other, my job. And so it was never like, if I don't make it, what am I going to do? I just felt like this is fun. So I think not having like that pressure, but there's certainly a couple turning points in my career where I mostly felt I had to live up to accolades I was getting suddenly. Like when I was on the cover of Playboy in 2002 for the Christmas edition, it was still a time when every one of the people knew who was on the cover of Playboy and people cared. It was kind of before it was all reality stars and it was when you had like actresses wanting to be on the cover. So that was a pivotal moment in my career. And then I was in Vanity Fair and they wrote this article about what I did and I felt like I better live up to some of this. And that kind of made me take myself more a little bit more seriously. And then I came out with a book where I told my story not in an autobiographical way, but a photo book with Judith Regan. And she kind of let me go wild with this book. And it was the first time that Harper Collins and Regan books had done a book like this where it was sort of autobiographical, but mostly a photo book. And on one side, it's called Burlesque in the Art of the Teas and Fetish in the Art of the Teas. And it was a book where you could flip it over and read the other side, the light side and the dark side. And I found, I did this big book signing in London at Harrods in the night before I went on the Jonathan Ross Show. And when I showed up, they had blocked off the streets and there were thousands of women there. It was like a sea of like girls with red lipstick on and I suddenly went, "Oh, I didn't know that I'm standing for something now." And I realized that by just telling my story about feeling like I wasn't very beautiful, wasn't very talented, all these things, it kind of resonated with other people. It said, "I felt that way too." And I kind of just felt like I had a mission and something to stand up for and realize that all has to just come from speaking my truth and being authentic and not like calculating because talking about what we were saying earlier, there's so many people that want to be the new me and they're going to be more Diedavantisse than Diedavantisse was and they're going to make their career and they're going to be more famous than me and do better than me here at all the time. But it's like you can't really, you can try to make it up and you can decide you're going to do all those things but I think ultimately I'm not super spiritual, like the universe is watching but I just feel like my whole career path is just a matter of doing something that I loved, that I believed in but without the desire or want to be famous. I wanted to be acknowledged certainly but I didn't expect it. When did you know you could make it a full time gig? So I'm thinking about the road leading up to the cover of Playboy. I would imagine a few things happened leading up to that. When did you end up quitting those backup jobs? I think I ended up quitting those jobs around 2000 and maybe like right before Playboy and that's when I was really touring and shooting pictures and I also met my ex-husband Marilyn Manson. A lot of people know me because of him. He's always been a cheerleader for what I do and still is in a lot of ways. I think that that was a moment too where I felt like I could focus completely on showbiz instead of my paycheck because I was also like let's be real. I was basically his cook. I'm a good cook. I was sort of like the housewife and took care of him while he was making records. He made a record called the Golden Age of Grotesque which was sort of a tribute to my world and around that time I was sort of moved in with him. We got engaged and I was packing his suitcases, unpacking his suitcases, acting like personal assistant half the time but also had the freedom to start building, put big props up in our backyard and rehearsal on them and make bigger better shows. That was kind of a moment where I could focus more on that. You have said that the advice, well actually I'm going to come back to the advice, not the advice to your younger self but that your 16 year old self might be surprised that you've managed to find your voice and that you experienced a lot of fear as a kid.
Personal Background And Influences
Escaping childhood shyness. (29:18)
You do, just in our interactions leading up to recording, you seem very, in some ways very introverted or on the shy side which is not a bad thing. How did you find your voice? What changed? I grew up really shy, I remember being in grade school and being sent but I was sort of always confused by this but they sent me to a speech class or something like this because I was so soft spoken but mostly I was just terrified for them to ask me anything or call on me and I felt that way through high school and everything. I could have never, I used to duck out of speech class or in high school when you'd have to give speeches, oh I would never, I never went to theater, I didn't want to be an actress, nothing like that but I liked ballet, I liked performing but that was different and I feel like I found my confidence actually with first, one of the things I talk about with my book is learning how to find confidence in how I present myself and listen, it's like drag, the way we dress ourselves, the way we wear hair, the makeup we wear, I feel more confidence than when I'm with the character I created which is not, it's a character but it's not, it's like an aesthetic character but I still find the importance in being still Heather Sweet from Michigan and the vulnerability coming across not just with the appearance I've created but on stage with how I perform. Heather Sweet from People Who Don't Know, your birth name.
Confidence with the Persona (31:09)
Yeah, I'm Heather Sweet, it sounds like a stripper name, I know, yeah. What was I saying? You were talking about confidence and the, when you put on the, and I'm just paraphrasing here but when you put on the persona that allows you to assume a level of confidence that you don't normally have access to. Like wearing my makeup a certain way and wearing my clothes that change my posture and make me want to walk proud or people wondering who I am, who's that girl? It slowly but surely helped me gain confidence and of course there are, I feel like it's definitely about maturity too, right? Like when you're in high school you're a certain maturity level, it's just when you think about the science of it too and I just kind of thought eventually I learned that if I make mistakes in front of people, there are people that are all saying I'm like that too and it's endearing. So when I was a spokesperson for the MAC AIDS Fund for the MAC Viva Glam thing and I had to give speeches all over the world and I was so scared but then I realized that once I got up there and I'd have a triumph, it made me have more confidence and so I love to challenge myself in doing things that terrify me. I have never been a singer, I cannot sing but I got asked to make an album by one of the greatest French musicians and I thought okay, you know I said to him, you know I can't sing right? And he said this album wouldn't work with a singer and I wrote it for you and I thought okay and just the whole process of going into a studio and being around all these like sound technicians and this artist that I admire so much and like learning and going to that place of feeling like Heather Sweet from Michigan again, I enjoy it and I come out of it and it's one of the things I think my fans and people that know me like about me is that I'm not trying to like look to me, I'm so glamorous and I have confidence in everything I do, like I don't talk like that, I don't act like that, you know I know how to bring it on stage but I also know that the little things that are the real me are what make it an interesting thing to watch. You mentioned feeling terrified, I want to wind back the clock a bit and because I deliberately didn't want to kind of fill in the gaps on some chapters in your life because I wanted to hear it from you directly also because I can't believe everything you read on the internet.
Childhood and Being Thrown from Home (33:38)
Is it true that you were thrown out of your house in high school? Yeah, well my parents were getting a divorce and I always feel so bad talking about this for my dad because he'll you know it's one of those things I haven't really gotten around to like sitting down and talking to him about but I will. So my parents were getting a divorce. My mother was having an affair with my dad's best friend. My dad was having an affair with his mistress back in Michigan. We're all living in Orange County at that time. They're both having this like you know they're affairs with these different people. I'm 16 years old, I'm working in the lingerie store. I have the same boyfriend since I was like 14 years old. You know I'm living my life, I'm working, I'm going to school, I'm working, I'm hanging out with my boyfriend. I'm not you know I'm pretty, I'm not getting amazing grades but I'm not getting bad grades. I don't do anything bad. And I'm working in the lingerie store and I'd wash my little like black lace lingerie things and hang them up in my bathroom and my dad just had like a fit about it and was calling me you know a whore and like horing around with your boyfriend and I was sort of like what? You know I was like I have a credit card, I'm working in the lingerie store selling lingerie to like you know grown women and it's a legitimate, it's not a sex store. It's you know I'm selling like nightgowns to ladies in their 50s half the time. So my dad like kind of threw me out of the house. I mean he was drinking a lot at that time so I went to go live with my mom which was better for me because I've always been closer to my mom and we've always understood each other a lot better than you know dads and daughters don't always understand each other that well. So that's the story of me getting thrown out of the house. Was that hard for you? I mean I've never been thrown out of a house man. I've certainly had my own childhood stuff but was it more of a relief than anything? Yeah it was kind of like I feel like I could recognize whatever my parents were going through and that you know divorce is never easy on anyone and I was sort of like it's you know it's always very like relaxed about things like that and even looking back it wasn't traumatic. I sort of just went and lived with my mom and you know I had more freedom that way. It wasn't you know it wasn't long after that that I you know moved out you know it was a couple years later that I was kind of on my own and yeah I don't know. It was more it made me think about it a few years ago I didn't think about that too much but it made me think about how people have their own associations with certain things and my association with lingerie and black lace and garter belts and stockings was kind of innocent one like I said it goes back to that rite of passage of being a woman. Not sex you know certainly I know how to use the tools of seduction and things like lingerie and I know how to use that in my personal life but you know I don't it's never been that for me and I thought oh that's my dad putting his issues on me it's not about me and I still think that and that's the conversation I need to have with my dad is like I do understand that something that made him associate black garter belts and black lace with something bad with a wicked city woman and a prostitute he was really disturbed by his you know 16, 17 year old daughter wearing that stuff but none of that was my problem that's his problem. How did you develop the capacity to handle all of that as calmly as you did it was is your mom that way are you did you somehow develop that over time I mean that seems atypical for a 16 or 17 year old getting thrown out of the house to be to be able to watch the watcher in a way and have that level of kind of calm awareness. Where does that come from? I'm not necessarily I'm not really sure if I felt that way at the time but I think I've always been someone who you know kind of disappears into the work whatever it is and I kind of I don't I'm not someone who reacts unless I'm really like provoked and pushed and then suddenly I can explode but I certainly wasn't that way when I was a teenager I think things would be different now if someone like my dad talked to me and even when he does talk to me now if I if he says something I don't agree with or that I'm offended by like I wouldn't be that person it's like I'm just gonna go. I'm a little more confrontational with with with my my father now you know.
Being the best Dita von Teese (39:02)
You mentioned the ballet and wanting to be a ballet dancer and I want to come back to that because going back to one of the questions and throughout mentors I asked you know how is a failure or parent failure set you up for later success do you have a quote favorite failure and quote of yours and there's a lot to the answer so I'm not going to read all of it which is a great answer but you mentioned at one point you know truthfully I never really loved dancing per se I loved what ballet stood for and then you went into what that meant and the part I want to highlight here is I believe that sometimes our shortcomings can leap to greatness because those of us who have intense desire but lack natural God given talent sometimes find roundabout ways of realizing dreams so this I think is really really really important because there are certain places certain fields of endeavor certain careers that require mutant like attributes that you're either born with or you are born without I agree and if you want to sprint alongside alongside we say in bolt good luck thank you better have some very unusual genetics if you want to be a superstar ballet dancer at the top of the world similarly you need there's a certain phenotype a certain build and their attributes that are prerequisites in a lot of respects you managed to take your abilities in different areas and combine them into something unique what are other either failures that helped you along the way or key decisions that you think have helped you to craft this very unusual path for yourself yeah for some reason I've always loved people that are have like shortcomings or when you read you always read about people's opinions like oh she's not that good of a singer why she the most famous singer in the world they're better you know I always loved those people yeah and so I'm kind of you know because I can relate to them you know and I I those are always the kind of singers I like like I can't stand listening to vocal gymnastics like when people are like the great singers of today I like people that have flawed voices are interesting voices that have like commute that communicate and I always felt the same way about dance and myself like I'm just trying to communicate I'm trying to be on stage instead of look like I'm trying to dance you know I get insulted a lot with she's not that good of a dancer even and I like oh actually I probably could be but I don't want to ever look like I'm trying too hard because to me like sensuality and eroticism is an epic fail if you look like you're trying to do it it's better to do less you know I mean like I even think when I watch someone like Beyonce her best moments are when she stops you know she does all this crazy stuff and then she stops and breathes you're like yes do the more of that you know it's no great so I I'm that's just I think that my failures and not really finding what that thing that I might be amazing at is because I also I'm always fascinated by what you were saying like how does someone you think of all these people that are walking around and what if they could have been the greatest whatever but they were never given the opportunity or they weren't interested in it like what if they could have been the best like basketball player or they could have been the best actor but like they never had the opportunity or the interest in trying it and there's probably people out there with hidden talents it could have been the best in the world and they would never even know it and I think that you know why I like this this answer you gave and this topic is that whether it's people listening whether it's you and what you've done you're not limited to 27 preset tracks called careers like you can be the best in the world but you have to figure out how to be the best D. Devontes in the world if you're D. Devontes and you mentioned you know people try to out D. Devontes like that's never gonna fucking work right because like they try all the time but like they're they're they should race their own race right it's like they're they're not going to have the endurance or the enthusiasm or the passion or the lack of attachment that you had in the beginning so they've kind of in a way already lost right like they're they're trying to dominate in a category of one which is already owned by D. Devontes and I think quite a bit I've had two folks on this podcast Mark Andreessen who's a very famous entrepreneur and investor and then Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert and both of them have very similar thoughts on building incredible careers or finding your own path which is in a sense and this came from Scott first in his writing is you can try to be the top 1% of 1% of 1% in one thing like basketball but you're gonna have a hell of a time doing that and you are gonna be relying heavily on attributes that you are either born
Notable influences (44:07)
with or without and that is a sort of a finite game in a sense and then on the other hand you could combine really unusual I shouldn't say unusual things you could take usual things that are usually not combined like a law degree and a computer science degree and fill in the blank a love of Japanese anime I'm just making that up now all of a sudden you're the one horse in the race yeah right what other you've mentioned a few of the women who have inspired you are there any other whether it's women inside or outside of burlesque or really anywhere who inspire you along those lines kind of people who have carved their own path you mentioned Madonna earlier this is something I also want to mention like she's had people throughout her career say oh she's not she doesn't know how to sing she has no idea how to dance or whatever it is she makes a movie she can't act yes she directs the movie she can't direct but she's fucking Madonna right so like why is she Madonna like that's a really worthwhile question to ask for decades she was Madonna right I mean she still is Madonna but like she's she's been able to reinvent herself successfully so many times and it's because she is the best at combining all those just yeah but not only that people sometimes forget and this is the thing that bothers me she was the first person to sort of like I'm gonna make a music video on stage and this shows with all the dancers and you know all of it around her she was the person that was like I'm going to make this stage show that is like a spectacle and so every you know what bothers me is that you people definitely have every show that's the benchmark now everyone has to try to have all these dancers they have to have designers making their outfits they have to do all this stuff but sometimes they these people will forget where they wouldn't even she's the one that paved the way for that and inspired everyone to do that and you know I it bothers me when somebody doesn't get credit for that you know yeah for sure I mean because I watch people all the time that are like they'll imitate one of my shows but then they act like they never saw me but they've never heard of me before you know because there's always that everybody wants to be recognized they want to be feel like they did something that was the first thing you know and they changed the world and but it's honestly like why don't you do that first you know and then you can instead of just trying to sweep it under the rug that you saw you know you saw somebody else do it and you decided you were going to try to make it better but you didn't know I agree I totally agree are there what other notable influences have you had any gender any discipline it's anyone come to mind there's there's one that I can definitely bring up just because I think she's amazing but no no I want to hear oh Madonna okay no no Madonna while I was the one there no no I brought her up as as just someone top of mind that I didn't want to forget well let's just jump to it May West oh yeah May West I mean who is May West for people who don't know she's okay she was an actress that is I think there's still no one that's ever done what she has do you know much about May West very
Mae West. (47:44)
little other than what you wrote about her just because of her incredibly well titled book on sex health and ESP yeah very rare book yes but also her quotes I've just found her quotes to be so brilliant in all right I've had few too many cappuccinos prior to this interviews is my mall over the place but I just to get it out there so when when I get attacked by someone on the internet usually I don't reply before that I don't even go looking for it but if I just happen to be having a tough day and and I come across someone and feel compelled to feed the trolls I will very often respond it's usually because I've offended somebody in some ridiculous way and I'll almost always just reply with them wait May West quote which is those were shocked easily should be shocked more often yeah and I just let her do my speaking for me but who is okay so May West is this fascinating she was the biggest sex symbol in the 1930s and the things that make her fascinating the short version are number one she made her first film at age 40 and she was the biggest sex symbol of her time so that's imagine that now also she wrote every line she ever said in every film so when you look up May West quotes and you will get like the best quotes ever written the best one liners ever written you know she is that like and that's what she said you know she's like the originator of that kind of quote so and then she went to the studio bosses when she made her first films and became a sensation she said how much does the studio boss get I want more than that and she got more than that and she was the only person she was the only actor actress that made more than the studio bosses just because she asked for it and she demanded it and she was you know a sensation back then so she's kind of like a sexual gangster to you know she was the one that flipped the script everything was you know women had a certain role in Hollywood and she was kind of like the male version and she even when you watch her film she's objectifying men left and right it's just it's astonishing to watch and I can't think of anyone in history that's done what she's done since I mean to actually write every line in every film is kind of and she made so many films and of course you know she's there are some of her things about her that are problematic because it was a different time but you know what kind of stuff is problematic well you know I mean they she she appeared I mean there's a great documentary coming out about her I hope people will watch but you know she grew up a lot of people say she appropriated black culture with her likes her swagger and the way she sang and talked and everything and that was kind of an imprint of childhood because she was actually like a child actor in a minstrel show so that was kind of like she just picked it up you know and turned it into something totally different so that's you know that's one thing but you know then we could also argue like she completely swirled it into something new and became May West and you know May West is like this character that you know there's never been another one like her and you know she's drag queens do May West everyone does May West you know it's like this character that we've never seen again and when you squint your eyes are like that's May West so yeah she's someone I definitely admire she went to prison for like writing a play about sex I mean she was talking she was sex positive in a time before it was popular I mean she wrote a play called sex I think she went to prison for like a week but you know she loved it because she got to hang around all these other women and write more material and she felt like she came out better than ever because of it. The pork shopped in the prison visit. So she is a fascinating person I'm glad they're finally there's some great books about her one my favorite one is she always knew how but she also wrote that's the name of the book. Yeah she always knew how that's a biography about her that I really like there's several and of course she wrote an autobiography and if you can ever get your hands on love sex and ESP sex health and ESP sorry that book is great I used to read aloud from that book in in Paris I'd get my friend I lived in Paris for a short time and I'd get my friends together and we'd all drink champagne and read read aloud from that book because it's so crazy. Do you have a favorite film of hers? Not really it's like one that you would suggest people start with. It's hard to say I would suggest anybody interested just go and start watching Mae West clips like watching some best ofs like reels of her quick one liners of the things she would say that that's what I would say because it's one of those things where the clips are almost better than the films in their own. We're just talking about Mae West writing her own lines and I've read something that may or may not be true you can tell me do you use stylists or do you not use stylists? I don't in my personal life I am forced to often in my professional life like for photo shoots for a magazine and what not but I am self-styled you know when I go on the red carpet I just pull from my own wardrobe or I have direct relationships with the designers which has always been a good thing for me is having that direct contact with the people that I want to be dressed by that whole machine of hair, makeup, stylist I can't be bothered with all of it I don't need it I feel like I know if it looks right it is right and also that's kind of what I built my whole career on is being self-made and you know in my books empowering other women to be able to do whatever I can do.
Beliefs And Advice
I don't know if this is apocryphal or if it's a real story but I had read of some stylist picking up some very I suppose classic vintage shoes and saying oh these would go great with jeans and you're like okay I think we're done. Yeah this interview is done here yeah it was actually Marilyn Manson's stylist when we lived together and she was like oh yeah let's go look in your wardrobe and she's a good friend of mine now and it's all fine you know it's just that I always you know and I figured out early on that I didn't need advice you know I don't I don't need advice I want to wear I know what to wear. Prep for your shows let's talk about prep so I had read that you arrive sometimes four or five hours in advance of your performances and that you could prep you could get ready very quickly but you choose not to.
Why both Wentworth Miller & Adam Arrive so Early (54:50)
Yeah it's a nightmare. Why do you arrive as someone who arrives to the airport like 17 hours early for domestic flights I feel like we might be birds of feather in that respect but why do you arrive so early? Well there are a lot of you know yes I can get ready within a certain time frame but when you start throwing in all of these things like answering text messages and people asking you questions you know when I'm doing my tours I arrive like five six hours before because there's things like I want to look at the theater I need to look at the stage sometimes you know I need to set where the props are going to go because the stage is a different size than usual but mostly it's like why rush it's part of the fun of it is getting ready I love listening to music I love listening to Tim Ferriss podcasts in my dressing room. Thank you for that. Particularly the ones about psychedelic drugs and I just like taking my time you know there's when you I'm in such a better headspace when I spend too much time preparing I have a lot of bad experiences with being rushed I mean most recently I was performing at this party for Anastasia Beverly Hills and it was like all the Kardashians in presence and I was sort of like in the dressing room and there were some Kardashians in there and I was like too many being kind of bombarded and you know I get really stressed out when I'm being rushed you know to get ready and I kind of got like can you go on stage in 15 minutes and I was like ah you know it's not how I want to do it that's not the way that I want to feel I don't want to feel stressed out or rushed or like you know because I feel like that's when I start getting in my head and I'll be like I'm not good you know all the bad things in my head like I'm not good enough yeah I can't I don't know what I'm doing they're going to find out I'm pretending to do this they're going to find out I have no idea what I'm doing. Yeah I the the on ramp to a lot of these experiences for me is as important as the so-called performance segment right it's like the I have always arrived so early I mean this is this where we're sitting right now is a is a case in point right I mean I'm I'm here for a 45 or 60 minute panel tomorrow I could have arrived a few hours beforehand but I want to know the venue I want to feel comfortable in the time zone I want to know what I'm going to be having for breakfast so that I don't have any snafus I want to know if the minibar has like snacks I want to know all of those details even though I will probably not need any of those contingency plans it just gives me a level of calm and feeling as though I've checked the boxes so that the only thing occupying my mind is what I am going to do once I get on stage yeah otherwise and I have friends I envy them who like they they almost make it a game to see how close they can cut it at the airport with their flights I that is so much is just so anathema to my programming I think it makes a whole lot of sense to arrive really really really early so for those people who are making stress sport with things like transportation I encourage you like consider the alternative which is not arriving just like an hour beforehand but like with an excess of time yeah stress sport is a good word yeah yeah who needs it who needs it yeah there's enough unavoidable unpredictable stress I feel no compulsion to add optional stress of my own volition what's what would you say are any behave new behaviors or beliefs that have
Beliefs That Have Had a Positive Impact (58:55)
really positively impacted your life in the last year two or three so anything that you really changed for yourself added or removed that has had a significant impact on your well-being would you say well I know a lot of people say this but learning to meditate which I'm not a good great amazing model meditator I use it when I need it and that's kind of helped me in a lot in a lot of ways what type of meditation or how you meditate and you know I feel like when I you know it was always intimidating to me I think I dropped into like a Buddhist meditation center once and I was like oh my god a city or for an hour wouldn't know the thoughts and it scared me away and then someone introduced me to transcendental meditation I learned with this amazing lady and she you know she had all these great stories about teaching Elizabeth Taylor to meditate and Michael Jackson and all these people and she had great stories so it made it fun for me to see her for all the training yeah every day I was like oh it's story you're gonna tell me now so and then she also just took the pressure off and and when I would say like I don't think I can sit there for 20 minutes twice a day she said why don't you try 10 and I was like okay so having that pressure off and even now just realizing five minutes is good that that seemed to help a lot and I'm trying to be better at it and it's something that gives me a goal to to achieve to like to try to make sure I block out the time what differences have you seen since starting to experiment with the meditation well I think it's mostly like regaining focus and having I also besides like transcendental meditation clearing my mind I also love to schedule like a massage or something that puts me in a relaxed state but still a thinking state because I don't like it's not like I'm trying to just tune out then I start like actually thinking about what I'm gonna do that's where I come up with my good ideas where I'm like what what's my new tour gonna be called and I love so I love to set outside that time of not doing and racing around and not you know trying to accomplish things and just like I'm gonna lay here for an hour and think about this thing that I need to figure out I can do that at the dentist who sometimes actually yeah I kind of don't mind really going to the dentist and it kind of makes me close my eyes and like think about things yeah so so it's it's more like taking a time out because I have always these to do lists and I feel realize I'm you know trying to chip away at it and doing too many things and I think I just need to it makes my life better when I stop and I focus you know clear my mind close my eyes meditate yeah yeah the transitional meditation is is a fantastic option for people who have developed a very well earned I think a well deserved on the part of meditation allergy to meditation because the way that meditation is often sold is very all or nothing and extremely intimidating right like all right you're gonna sit on this hard floor for an hour with a perfectly straight back and do X whereas TM especially with a good teacher can keep lowering the bar until it's easy to step over it's not something you have to do you know Olympic high jump over they they make it less and less intimidating until you can get started right and once you're sitting there for 10 minutes you're like okay I'm off and I'm just like okay I can go 15 okay I can go 20 but it's really just getting your ass to sit down and do it and the first like for me the first five minutes is brutal and then suddenly I go into like the zone I'm like oh yeah this is what I came here for yeah and it really does as a mantra based concentration practice train you at least it is in my experience be said helping with focus to return to something over and over again and like you'll end up drifting off and thinking about your to-do list or porn or whatever and then you're like oh wait I'm supposed to be meditating and then you go back to your mantra and when you sit down from a computer you sit down with a notebook that's also what you're going to be doing right so it's like the reeling back is the repetition of lifting the weight in the gym and it's a very it's a very beneficial gateway drug into meditation yeah I think I also love taking a time out during the day actually by myself and sipping a little magic mushroom tea and going oh okay this is what you know kind of gets to the essence of things like a simplistic appreciation for the beauty of the world I just yeah you know I can look in the garden and I'm like oh yeah okay yeah do this once in a while definitely do it yeah what no there's there's advice I referred to earlier to younger self and the the
Advice to her younger self. (01:04:26)
advice that you gave in tribe mentors was actually no it wasn't a tremendous I take it back this was in an interview wasn't effective to be a little bit more vigilant right to to look over your books to pay attention yeah so that you wouldn't be taken advantage of because the world we live in it's full contact you know for better for worse if you're going to be on the playing field like there are going to be people who want to separate you from your money and many other things is there is there any other advice that you would give to your actually yes to younger self and and you can pick the age so that's the thing so it could be yourself of five years ago could be yourself at age six could be any age how old would you be and what advice would you give that version of yourself I think in my mid 20s I would have told myself to try to maybe buy a house like even if it was something small I would have done that and I would have also warned myself about signing model releases because although there are lots of people that really like are kind and like did you know I didn't know I was going to be famous but there are some people that took advantage of that you know like suddenly I was in ad campaigns with without you know with a watch photoshopped on my hand because someone took a portrait of me when I was like 25 and then they used it 10 years later so there were things like that which you know I just I didn't really you know I didn't have any anticipation that that kind of thing would happen to me I was just like oh yeah that's fine I'm sign whatever was in front of me but you know I guess people could have taken advantage of me no matter what if they wanted what what advice do you think yourself 10 years from now would give you your current self no one's over us that gosh it's hard to take advice from your younger self yeah well if you were giving if you're older self we're giving your current self advice meaning you right now we're getting advice from your older self what do you think your older self would say oh god I'm worried that my I'm worried that my older self might say that I
Advice that she'll get from herself. (01:06:30)
should have had a child I'm concerned about that you know I'm not concerned about right now yeah but sometimes I go oh god I really hope that doesn't happen and then I think well there's always remedies for that too though you know there's you could adopt anytime you know because it's really one of those things where I know sometimes I wish when it comes to children and people that have children I don't really envy any my friends with children except for adult children like oh that's so cool you have this great adult child that's doing amazing things that is probably fun to hang out with but it doesn't always work out like that you know it doesn't always work out like that so you know I just it's hard when you're in the line of work that I'm in you know I can't think of a time where I ever could have stopped and said oh I think I'll just have a baby and then I think about who I would have had a baby with back then like probably not the best idea yeah so you know it's a real it's a what can you do you know I should I feel like I chose my path I
don't necessarily feel like it's the right time for everyone to bring children in the world and anyway but I think I think that you know I have friends who have kids who are very happy I have friends who have kids who are totally miserable and I have friends without kids who are both very happy and some who are very miserable right I think it's kind of another variable are you having children interested you know I appreciate you asking I don't have kids I'm aware of currently I did not plan there's a long period of time where I did not plan on having kids in part because I was afraid of fucking them up in some way and that I felt like the risk that the decision to bring a child into the world was inherently a selfish one in a way right like you're not doing it for your kids in a sense you're doing it because you want kids yeah number one and that if there were potential risk of or almost a guarantee that you're going to damage your kids in some way and certainly I don't know anyone who's made it out of childhood unscathed like shit goes sideways that I didn't feel like that was a risk I wanted to take if that makes any sense I've started to feel differently about it is it because you're newly in love though because that's the thing you had to pass that like new love thing and yeah yeah because it's like a science of like I should have a baby and yeah you get kind of slap at me yeah I am with a wonderful woman my girlfriend that's a piece of it for sure I think that also I've done just a lot of work in the last handful of years and have come to a place where I feel confident that I could be a at the very least like a B plus parent I don't know if I'd be an A plus parent but I think I could be at least a B plus parent and also I think that there may just be a like biological imperative and sort of existential itch that is hard to scratch without having kids right so that you know a friend of mine said to me recently he said you can find meaning by finding God or having kids having kids easier and so there may be an element of sort of inevitability in in a sense but I think I've also just come to accept that part of the human experience is making mistakes and if the every parent makes mistakes and is going to condition their kids in ways they don't want to consciously or subconsciously and that if you're going to sign up for having kids you should just accept on the front end that you're going to do damage and hopefully you can help them undo it later and you'll have a level of self-awareness to do that so I would lean but like the have kids o meter is kind of leaning more towards having kids yeah it moves a lot for me yeah but ultimately I just think mostly about like adoption or you know yeah I love animals me too yeah me too it's not I know it's not the same thing but it is like you know I know it's not the same thing but it's not the same thing but there are a lot of parallels this is going to upset a lot of folks because like little children are not animals or whatever I'm like actually they technically are exactly animals being mammals and all and there's a there's a great book called don't shoot the dog which is terribly titled but a fantastic book on in effect training of mammals and it talks a lot about I'm going to get so much shit for this that's okay training of dolphins because you can only really effectively use positive reinforcement with say dolphins or aquatic mammals because you're not going to hit them with a rolled up newspaper like it doesn't work they're just going to swim away from you so you have to get very good at using cues like a whistle or something like that to indicate the behavior as a marker and then rewarding and it turns out you can use that for training just about anything and one of the quotes I believe it was in that book that I loved so much was you know if you can't train a chicken you shouldn't be allowed to have a child and I tend to believe that it's like if you're not if you can't be aware of your impact on another animal and how it shapes that animals behavior I don't think in on some level and of course legally this has no hole to no water whatsoever but ethically perhaps you shouldn't be allowed to have kids like you should be able to pass that test and I have a dog now adopted her a few years ago about three three and a half years ago and so I've satisfied for myself that I can at least keep a medium sized mammal alive and healthy for that period of time and so we'll see anyway I'm talking too much but I think that's in part because it's it's been on the brain and like you it flips and flops when I go to the airport and I see like kids having a complete meltdown and their parents like pulling their hair out and just having a hellish time of going through the process I'm like I'm not sure I just think like also I have been asked about it my whole adult life and I think wow what a you know in interviews and I just always thought like what if you were asking someone that could not have children you know and why do we have to put so much emphasis on if you don't have children you're not your life isn't full and you haven't done the most important job there is in the world because there are lots of people that can't have children for different reasons does that make them less of a person so that's one of the problems I have with people always putting so much emphasis on the importance of being a mother it's like it's kind of when you think about it you know it's kind of not very cool to ask people about that or to make that statement that that it's the most important job in the world yeah I don't I don't think it should be the number one priority for everyone I don't think any one thing should be that I can think of should be the number one priority for everyone right it just doesn't make any sense and like you said there are many cases in which for physical medical or other reasons it's it makes a whole lot of sense not to not to take these sort of biological birthing route or necessarily adopt like I know people who I made friends of my parents and others who went their entire lives without kids and had very very deep rich fulfilling lives and did a lot of good in the world so yeah in my case TBD still TBD one thing I love in life is knowing women much older than me and asking for their advice like the thing that you asked me about earlier about watching my finances that advice came from 1950s movie star and pin up model who's still around now maybe Van Doren just like a blonde bombshell she was kind of like a Marilyn Monroe but anyway she was she was a big star back then but anyway I know her and I love to sit down with her and have her give me advice and that was one of her things it's like watch your money I know it's not fun it's not fun to look at numbers
Notable Experiences And Final Remarks
An amazing 100-year-old artist's advice that stuck with Dita. (01:16:02)
and challenge people but watch it all and she also had said to me she has one son and she was like I love my son but it wasn't the most important thing I did in life it wasn't it's not something you have to do if you don't feel inclined and she said and if I'm looking at the world today the way I'm looking at the world today as compared to how it was in the 50s and 60s and 70s she's like I wouldn't do it now so I thought that was interesting I like talking to be I have another friend named Elona Roy Smith skin who's a hundred years old and I love getting on the phone with her and hearing she still has amazing advice any advice come to mind that she's given from her well she she just has little pearls of wisdom she has an Instagram that I love to follow and she just puts it out there all the time about mostly she's a hundred and has it she's a hundred yeah she does and she well she's an amazing lady she has she's I learned about her from a book called advanced style by my friend Ari Seth Cohen I don't know if you've heard about this book but it's about he was obsessed with finding older ladies that dress in eccentric ways and wear eccentric makeup and that are you know fashion icons in their own right eccentric people and I learned about her because she had she's like four feet tall she has this flaming orange hair and she makes her own eyelashes like long red eyelashes blue eyeshadow and she's an artist and she's you know she has a show I think to like she's a singer like in in province town anyway she's like she's with her name again her name's Elona Roy Smith skin oh boy how do you spell Elona I I L O and a yeah all right and we'll put it in the show notes as well okay for her Instagram and so on yeah but she's an amazing but his book in general is amazing because it spotlights all these like you know elderly people and you know there's a lot of talk about you shouldn't wear that because you're of a certain age you know and these are ladies that are colorful and amazing and fashion icons and living their lives and I think it's important to like you know have people like this spotlight it you know I was just actually reading this horrific article yesterday that my friend Liz Goldwyn pointed out to me this writer she was actually an editor of Vogue and I was so I was shocked that she wrote something like this she was saying that Helena Christensen who's 50 went to a party and she was wearing jeans and a strapless bustier and she said it was completely inappropriate for her to be flaunting that much skin at her age and mind you she looks fantastic when I'm hearing about this article I googled it you know and I read it it's a daily mail article which is obviously click bait so I chose not to share it because I was like oh yes I'm offended and outraged but that's exactly what they want from us yeah they want me to have everyone read it and be outraged but I did find it disturbing because they were basically saying she was saying that once you're past childbearing age you're you know you shouldn't be wearing clothes like that or you should you know open you know the you know pay the let the
The so-called styleologist who triggered Dita's rage. (01:19:24)
other the young people have their chance and I mean if you can see this picture of Helena Christensen you'd be like she looks so hot and she's perfect and she says things in this article like no matter how invisible your bingo wings are I don't even know what that means well you know like when you know this what is that oh you're tricep yeah you're trying what is that I was like what are you talking about and they she said that it's okay for men because they can procreate at any age essentially but once you are you know beyond childbearing years you shouldn't dress like that I just found it amazing that she used to be the editor of in it British Vogue wow it's a very like in the 90s it was a really shocking and you know anyway I just it's a real interesting conversation though about like ageism and and how how you know we treat women of a certain age and it's one of those things that I feel like it's important to stand up for I almost retired a few years ago thinking like oh I should I'm 40 I should stop doing strip tees what if I don't look as good as I used to and then I thought like wait you have to I have female followers and I have to stand for something and I think it's important to have examples of eroticism and sensuality in all different phases of life and to set examples for that because I look to people that are older than me like Jennifer Lopez and you know Gwen Stefani and all these people that I'm like oh she's sexy you know like I can be like that too so I think it's important as much as it's and you know it's not always easy and you open yourself up to criticism it's important to some people to see examples of this so here here well Dita this has been so fun I really appreciate you taking the time and we're going to link to everything that you mentioned in the show notes so people can find all of that very easily and for people listening that's just a Tim.blog/podcast and if you search Dita the ITA it'll pop right up now I mentioned the social accounts where people can learn what you're up to see what you're up to also more accurately in terms of @ditavontice on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are you more active on one than the others?
Where you can check out more of Ditas work (01:21:25)
I'm mostly active on Instagram I have to say but I definitely use Facebook and a little bit of Twitter I can't help it it was the first one still good. And do you have any current projects or upcoming projects that you would like people to check out or keep an eye out for? Yeah well I have my lingerie line which is it like Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom and a lot of online retailers I'm working on another book called Fashioning the Farm Total which will come out it's a follow up to my beauty book that I wrote and that one will come out I think in September 2020 and this year I'm touring with a new show kicking off in Australia in November and then doing like eight weeks in Europe March 2020 through April and then I think I'll do the US sometime in 2020 as well. Well you have a very exciting year two years and many years ahead of you.
Parting thoughts (01:22:59)
Thank you so much for taking the time. Thanks for talking to me. This is really fun. Do you have any closing comments requests anything at all that you'd like to say before we wrap up? I can't think of anything. Which is the most common response. That's what I really do. I think we covered plenty and I really hope people stay tuned and I will provide everything that we spoke about in the show notes as I mentioned so thanks to you for being here and thanks to everyone for tuning in and until next time craft your own path. Do not try to be the best of someone else. Try to discover and also piece together the unique path that only you can forge. So on that note until next time. Bye bye. Hey guys this is Tim again just a few more things before you take off. Number one this is 5 bullet Friday. Do you want to get a short email from me? Would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little more soul of fun for the weekend and 5 bullet Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week. That could include favorite new albums that I've discovered. It could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up in the world of the esoteric as I do. It could include favorite articles that I've read and that I've shared with my close friends for instance and it's very short. It's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend. So if you want to receive that check it out just go to 4hourworkweek.com that's 4hourworkweek.com all spelled out and just drop in your email and you will get the very next one. And if you sign up I hope you enjoy it. This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Hiring can be hard, really hard and it can also be super, super expensive and painful if you get it wrong. I certainly have had that experience first hand multiple times and I am not eager to repeat it so I try to do as much vetting as possible on the front end. And today with more qualified candidates than ever you need a solution. You need a platform that helps you to find the right people for your business. LinkedIn Jobs does exactly that. More than 600 million users visit LinkedIn to learn, make connections, grow professionals and more than ever discover new job opportunities. In fact overall LinkedIn members add 15 new skills to their profiles and apply to 35 job posts every 2 seconds. That's a great new step. LinkedIn does the legwork to match you to your most qualified candidates so that you can focus on the hiring process, getting the person into your company who will transform your business. They make sure your job posts get in front of the people with the right hard skills and soft skills to meet your requirements. They've made it as easy as possible. So check it out. To get $50 off of your first job post go to LinkedIn.com/timp.
Hello to Kirsty and Ted (01:26:12)
And again that's LinkedIn.com/timp to get $50 off of your first job post. Terms and conditions apply. Check it out. LinkedIn.com/timp. This episode of The Tim Ferris Show brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get us all the time. If I could only take one supplement what would it be? The answer is inevitably Athletic Greens. I view it as, and a lot of you now view it as all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it way back in 2010 in the 4-hour body and I did not get paid to do so. I've been using it since before that. And I use it in a lot of different ways. I travel with it to avoid getting sick or to help mitigate the likelihood of getting sick. I take it in the morning to ensure optimal performance and overall it covers my bases if I can't get what I need from whole food meals throughout the rest of the day. And if you want to give Athletic Greens a try they're offering a free 20-count travel pack for first time users. I nearly always travel with at least three or four of these one-dose bags. In other words, if you buy Athletic Greens as a first time buyer you now get for a limited time and extra $79 in free product. So check out the details at athleticgreens.com/timp. Again that's athleticgreens.com/timp for your free travel pack with any purchase.