Burlesque is a form of art, which provides charming versions of the past through erotic parodies. However, throughout time the face of burlesque has changed due to economical, political and social factors. Today, we observe this art form in a modern context regarded as neoburlesque. Neoburlesque blends “comic eroticism with a diverse range of performance styles, from pantomime and clowning to ballet and performance art” (Mansbridge, 98) to create nostalgic engagement with the past. Many neo burlesque performers consider their work an art form that encourages self-confidence and self–awareness, where as the traditional performers viewed their work as a way to make ends meet. Through the research conducted and my personal experience at The …show more content…
In this way, femininity and masculinity are viewed as mutually exclusive, which allows society to categorize individuals and predict how they behave, given their biological sex. This notion of gender expectations is challenged at The Wiggle Room, when Lady Josephine performed a skit called Only. During the beginning of the skit, Lady Josephine walked down the aisle wearing stilettos, dramatic makeup and a feminine wig with a glamorous overcoat. The manner in which Lady Josephine was presented prompted me to assume that this performer was a woman. However, when Lady Josephine began to striptease, I noticed that the performer’s breasts were flat, similar to that of a male. Because Lady Josephine exemplified a combination of both feminine and masculine features, I found myself trying to determine the drag artist’s sex and gender. Accordingly, being apart of a society that is influenced by heternormative culture, we have a tendency to “incorporate the practitioner unquestioningly into fairly typical binary notions of male and female” (Nally, 15). Thus, our inability to distinctly categorize Lady Josephine as one or the other is a sign of a “shift” in gender norms, which is exactly what performers like Lady Josephine aim to do. In Claire Nally’s article on neoburlesque, there is a quote from Lady Josephine where the drag artist claims to “purposely eschew breasts/tuck away the “bulge” …to create a
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The “striptease” is still very much relevant and alive today as it was when it was first introduced to the world nearly 80 years ago. This timeless and provocative dance was the product of Gypsy Rose Lee, but by no means should one refer to her as a “stripper”. Doing so would be a great injustice to this iconic figure; it would be sacrilegious. Gypsy, born Rose Louise Hovick, brought more than sensual allure to the stage; Gypsy was intelligent, funny, and witty. An example of her immense wit and improve skills can be seen in how the striptease came into being. When the strap to Gypsy’s costume came undone during a performance, rather than run off stage in embarrassment, Gypsy noticed the positive audience reaction, causing her to implement the act into the focus of her performance.
Butler herself wrote about the film in her response to critics of her work. In her essay “Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion” she tells those who question her ideas about the utility of drag to subvert gender that “there is no necessary relation between drag and subversion and that drag may well be used in the service of both the denaturalization and the reidealization of hyperbolic heterosexual gender norms” (Butler 384). Gay men (or anyone) who dresses in drag might, by aggressively portraying stereotypical over-the-top depictions of gender performance, serve to reify the conception of gender they seek to subvert both by reaffirming those stereotypical beliefs and also by allowing their performance to make clear that drag is an imitation, without indicating that gender itself is an imitation. In Gender Trouble Butler writes that all gender is performance. As drag is a form of gender performance it could be said that all gender is drag.
Levy challenges the media and states “And how is imitating a stripper or a porn star, a woman whose job is to intimate arousal in the first place- going to render us sexually liberated?” (145) Women should be modest and only be exotic when in the comfort of their household. During the 1920’s women acted out similarly to the raunch culture era. Those women were labeled Flappers. Women that were flappers smoked and drank liquor in public, cut their hair into bobs and wore short skirts. Smoking in public was considered to be un-ladylike and a women’s long hair was something that identified them. Women who participated in being a flapper were questioned if they were expressing themselves or acting like men. In the 1920’s women’s sexual expression was not as vulgar as it is today. It would be considered sexual liberation rather than sexual exploitation. Women who sexually expressed themselves during that time are viewed to be positive. Certainly, history repeats itself, from the flapper smoking in public to the fifty year old lady celebrating low cut jeans in raunch culture. Today raunch culture has become very explicit and leads one to view women who participate in raunch culture negatively. Levy implies in her essay, “It is worth asking ourselves if this bawdy world of boobs and gams we have resurrected reflects how far we’ve come or how far we have left to go”
Raunchy behavior in women has and continues to play a very crucial role in society. “Raunch culture” is said to be exploitative of a woman’s sex in order to attain certain social standings. Although this behavior is mostly reflected in the way women present themselves, men play an important role in this culture as well. Men have always been viewed as the primary leaders in: music, entertainment television, media, businesses, politics, and relatively any other position of power, while women have always had little to no say at all in any of these industries. More and more women are encouraged to dress provocatively, use their physical appearance, and behave in risqué behavior in order to achieve a less than equal position to men working in the same fields. In order for
Leland Bobbé half-drag photography body of work reflects the gender fluidity in American culture. The term originated within the LGBT community that explains how a person may identify as either male or a female. They don’t identify themselves as he or she, but want to be referred to as they. Many believe that is fake and people use it for attention, however others believe it is real and something that a lot of teenagers and young adults can relate to.I came across some interesting photos by Leland Bobbé that expresses the idea of gender fluidity. I view his work as him taking a stand against critics who believe that a person cannot identify with two gender roles. This paper will argue that gender fluidity is real and Leland Bobbé photographic
The term Burlesque is usually thought of as slightly naughty theatre produced and performed between the 1890s and World War II. Webster defines it as a literary or dramatic work that seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation, mockery usually by caricature or theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous often earthy character consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts. Today Burlesque has no meaning as a contemporary phenomenon to most Americans. Burlesque is far from the commonplace twentieth century definition. The background, rise and fall of American Burlesque takes place in less then forty years. The entertainment known as
In this essay, Ariel levy talks about the raunch culture of today’s world where it is mainly focused on the sex appeal of women and how many women take off their clothes, as well as how many women today want to be like men (think like men). Levy theorizes “many women internalize the objectifying male gaze that permeates a raunch culture, leading them to participate in self-objectification quite willingly, falsely believing that it is a form of female empowerment and sexual liberation”. And an example of that would be where she is talking to a girl named anyssa and anyssa says “I could never be a stripper myself, but I think it would be so sexually liberating”. In my opinion how does a female feel sexually liberated by pole dancing in front of many men and women who throw dollar bills at them? Many examples of the raunch culture would be, playboy the magazine that features many naked women, the man show where the women were seen as sexual objects, stripping which is idealized as empowering and liberating by many women, and girls gone wild where many young
Drag performances have a long world history and have seen much contemporary popularity through pop culture avenues such as the television program RuPaul’s Drag Race and movies such as To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. On the other hand, gender scholars have spent many years debating the origins of modern drag. While some say that modern drag emerged in the late 1900s, others claim that modern drag actually emerged following the Stonewall Riots. (Taylor and Rupp 2003). There is ample literature on drag queens and/or their performances. Many authors write about how drag reinforces stereotypes about gay men, how it can be misogynistic, and how it reifies the masculine/feminine, male/female, hetero/homosexual dichotomies. In contrast, some scholars assert that drag performances can break down dichotomies associated with gender, sex, and sexuality. Drag research has gone through many stages beginning with a fundamentalist approach taken by Ester Newton in the 1970s to a performativity approach taken by Judith Butler in the 1990s; often these foundational pieces gave a perspective of dragging as deviant (drag queens) within a deviant status (LGBTQIA+). Though, as mentioned previously, drag research is missing discussion of drag minority communities and of whether these individuals feel they are connected with their community. The one exception, although not solely on the topic, is Taylor and Rupp’s work with the
In 1896, the New Women, whom were to depict the twentieth-century female, came to P.T. Barnum’s circus (Davis 83). Women performers proudly displayed rippling bodies while demonstrating impressive feats of strength and handling dangerous animals. Most importantly, the circus was a comfortable space for women who felt alienated by social norms. In an era when a majority of women’s roles were still circumscribed by Victorian ideals of domesticity and feminine propriety, circum women’s performances celebrated female power, thereby representing a startling alternative to social norms. “In their elaborate advertising campaigns, proprietors used gender, race, class, and representations of empire to create an irresistible sexual striptease under the guise of ‘clean’ family entertainment” Since American women generally wore full skirts and long-sleeved shirtwaists at this time, virtually anything short of that coverage should be constructed as “nude,” including the wearing of leotards, tights, or dresses above the knee.
The purpose of this research was to discover the role of make-up as a primary tool of consumption and as a result, it shed light on the act of doing drag to create an illusion of gender performance. From watching the transformation that takes place in the dressing room, and listening to the accounts of their character creation, it is easy to see in concrete terms how unstable the categories of “masculine” and “feminine”, and, “heterosexual” and “homosexual” really are. In fact, it can be argued that drag is a specific type of performance akin to method acting that has enabled drag impersonators to unintentionally remove the dichotomous relationship of gender and sexuality through the authenticity or parodic quality of their performance. They achieve this destabilisation of gender and sexuality through their use of cosmetics and artistic techniques such as, studying existing characters and using lights and shadows to build upon themselves so to create a character. This research demonstrates that a person’s desire to impersonate the opposite gender is not always evidence of a motivation related to gender
This heavily supports a patriarchal dichotomous gender structure as it is based on the principle of either looking ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’, and that both at once is unacceptable (Jenkins 2013). However it can be argued that dressing in drag does not solely reinforce patriarchal normalities as it still attempts to question and challenge gender norms. By dressing in drag men are challenging the dichotomy of gender categories, instead of just ‘male’ and ‘female’ drag queens are introducing new categories, such as ‘male that dresses female’, even if these categories are still shaped by patriarchal expectations. The success of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the widespread media suggests that more diverse gender identities are becoming more widely accepted and this realisation of the need to stand up to patriarchal ideas is directly related to the drag
In the excerpt from Judith Butler Gender is burning, Butler emphasizes how it is possible to ‘displace’ the rules of a normative society through the exaggeration of one’s Identity. As it applies to Drag culture, the ability to hyperbolize the standard value of normative gender roles allows for a unique evolution of one's original gender identity in a way that is more than just the traditional ‘male’ or ‘female categorization. Through parody, and exaggeration of normative genders, one is able to add a unique and transformative identity. On an individual level the ability to parody the stereotypical nature of male/female genders, allows for a creative interpretation on the characteristics of each gender. This hyperbolization also speaks to the
The performance of gender roles has played a large part in society since as far back as humans have developed civilization itself. Both men and women were expected to act in a distinct manner. These definitions may have varied from place to place, but there was always a specified framework for people to develop their roles in. For the purpose of this essay, I will be looking at a much more contemporary expression of gender—that of drag queens. I will be explaining a brief history of the drag culture, and will pose some of my own ideas on how our ideas of gender expression have started changing within the past few decades, and how I feel gender is perceived in our community today.
It’s almost like the spoonful of sugar and I’m the medicine” (Lady Gaga, 2010) in which her “sugar-coated pop songs” (Horn, 2012) disguises her subversive messages: the medicine. This medicine includes exposing the unequal hegemonic power relations in society and opposing heternormativity. These messages are seen in her lyrics and also performance, where her “constant change of costume adds to the female-female drag effect that “[…] undermine[s] the heterosexual normativity through enacting outrageous inversions of aesthetic and gender codes” (Medhurst, 1997). Gaga is a strong example of an empowered woman who consistently deconstructs gender normativity and patriarchal dominance through artistic expression in the Pop music genre by “trying to change the world one sequin at a time” (Lady Gaga, Official
The history of art dates back to ancient times. Artwork can be, and was, found around the world. What makes art interesting is that it can be created in any way, shape or form with any materials. It seems that the artwork can also tell us a lot about the artist. Art seems to be simply, a direct, visual reflection of the artist’s life. Therefore, one can assume that an artist’s life experiences and beliefs directly influence their art. If we look at examples from different periods of art we will be able to see the connection between the artist and the art.