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History of Burlesque a Lingerie Retrospective Part 3
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 09, 2011 9:33:14 AM(UTC)

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Originally posted at http://thelingeriejournal.com

Luna Lugo is the owner of mylunakiss.com, an online lingerie website serving women of all shapes & sizes focusing on plus size, BBW & petite sizes. Lugo, a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology, has over 15 years of fashion merchandising & marketing experience. She is obsessed with lingerie history & is in the process of creating a multi-media production on Burlesque & French Maids from origin to present day.

Jennie Lee: The Burlesque Matriarch and Leader of 50’s and Beyond
A new crop of burlesque dancers became famous and had a voice in the late 1940’s and 1950’s thanks to Jennie Lee aka “the Bazoom Girl,” aka “Miss 44 & Plenty More,” aka “The Biggest Bust in Burlesque” born Virginia Lee Hicks began dancing in a chorus line during her junior year in high school of burlesque shows.

After Lee graduated from high school she ventured into headlining territory by taking a striptease gig that required her to perform twice…tease first and the strip down to nothing second. Jennie Lee got a case of stage fright for baring her body but quickly overcame it and developed into a true strip tease tassel twirler. Jennie Lee’s real claim to fame was not her hourglass figure (5′ 9″ with measurements of 42-28-40) or her athletic performances – it was her relentless passion for preserving the tradition of burlesque.

Dancers in 1955 to protect the burlesque community against unfair wages, mistreatment and create job security. Back the many dancers were paid only $85 per week in Las Vegas which was the lowest of all the cities since burlesque dancers were paid $125 per week in other cities (equivalent of $1,000 a week today). Jennie Lee truly believed that burlesque dancers should be treated fairly and fought on behalf of all dancers for better working conditions and to maintain high standards in the burlesque clubs. Years later as members aged the EDL transformed into “a social club” for the retiring striptease dancers from burlesque.

Jennie Lee also preserved the art form and history of burlesque and she amassed a huge collection of burlesque memorabilia over the decades. To house her burlesque collection and to pay tribute to the talented dancers of the past Lee formed the Burlesque Hall of Fame aka Exotic World Burlesque Museum managed by Dixie Evans “the Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” until she passed away and Striptease Hall of Fame. Jennie Lee toured the world for 30 years performing burlesque and she was also a costume designer, writer, actress, politician, businesswoman, producer and matriarch of the burlesque community. Lee’s list of accomplishments and her contribution to burlesque is endless and will never be forgotten.

Burlesque was thriving in Las Vegas thanks to Harold Minsky of the Minsky brothers (formerly banned in NY in the 1940’s) took over one of the shows and made it a success. Irving Klaw, a famous filmmaker, photographer and mail order king made two famous films Teaserama and Varieteses, starring the famous pin up girl, Bettie Page and Tempest Storm. These films contributed to the growing popularity of strip tease and borderline fetishism.

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