Happy 41st Birthday, Dita Von Teese! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

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Dita Von Teese

Some of us were around when Dita Von Teese made her New York City debut as the hottest young name in burlesque. The spacious nightclub was packed as Dita went from bathing in a giant martini glass to putting on a stunning show of retro dance moves that put the tattooed gals of NYC to shame. We thought Dita was all set to be a big deal for another five years. Yeah, that was about 15 years ago.

Since then, Dita Von Teese has become the biggest name in a burlesque scene that has faded in and out–and mostly seems replaced today by roller-derby teams. She deserves the same fame, too. Dita was born in Michigan with the fairly serviceable burlesque name of Heather Sweet, and seems to have grown up with retro tastes. We’ve also always been impressed with Dita’s retro attitude. Her short-lived marriage to Marilyn Manson ended over the rock star’s infidelity, and it takes some courage for an eligible Hollywood bachelorette to declare that she isn’t interested in the usual showbiz open marriage.

We can take Dita for creating a world where we can look at Miami Heat Dancers doing burlesque. Dita’s a model of the future, too, with her awesome curves recently fitted in a 3D printout gown from the visionaries at Shapeways…

Dita also lives her retro preferences, with an amazing home furnished in retro appliances. The dame’s never needed a stylist, either. Check out this footage of Joan Rivers raiding Dita’s bedroom. It’s not a panty raid, but still pretty fascinating…

Unlike Joan, Dita hasn’t been indulging in any obvious plastic surgery. We’re expecting for Dita to be a real role model for aging sex symbols who want to keep things natural. Dita continues to truly love her work, too. She’s openly expressed a lack of interest in acting, and is the rare model who actually has an understanding of fashion history. Dita’s own fashion lines definitely have the imprint of the lady’s own style.

It’s hard to find a cultish gal who’s become so mainstream without doing something stupid, but Dita hasn’t let us down yet. Here’s a reminder of the old-fashioned fabulousness that launched her fame–and we’re looking forward to Dita’s fabulous fifties, too….

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