Dita Von Teese slams the Kardashians’ corsets: ‘It’s like the blind leading the blind’

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Dita Von Teese is honestly one of my favorite celebrities to cover. I appreciate what she does and who she is, because I feel like she really works at being a self-taught scholar of burlesque, beauty, femininity and fashion. She really works at putting her own image together, and it really works. Dita has been making the rounds for a few weeks to promote her new book, Your Beauty Mark. This week, she ended up sitting down with HuffPo to chat about the book, and she ended up making news because of what she said about the Kardashians. Her diss – if you want to call it that – was about the Kardashians’ paid-endorsements of those absolutely stupid “waist-trainers.” Kim and Khloe Kardashian are the ones constantly posting “waist-training” selfies and encouraging women to basically buy fancy girdles and corsets. Dita – a student/scholar of the history of corsetry – thinks the Kardashian waist-training phenomenon is stupid. This is what she told HuffPo:

“I think it’s funny because I’m watching [the trend] and it’s like the blind leading the blind… People that actually know a lot about corsetry are not the ones that are publicly speaking about it. And I’m seeing some of these corsets that they’re saying are waist shapers and I’m like, ‘That doesn’t work.’ They’re like stretchy fabric. If you really want to get into it, you should probably look into the real corset makers that have been doing it for decades and decades. There are lots of experts on it, but I don’t know that you should be jumping on the bandwagon to sing the praises of corsets….It seems to be a fast fix, and it is. If you put on a corset and you pull the strings tight, you instantly have this silhouette and it’s great — but it’s not going to modify your body if you’re not engaged in the serious regimen of it.”

[From HuffPo]

She’s absolutely right. And this is what gets me about the Kardashians-as-snake-oil-salesmen: the sh-t that they shill is usually the worst of the worst. They’re basically wearing really tight, undersized corsets and claiming that wearing the corsets while working out will radically change your body. And Dita’s right… all they’re doing is temporarily wearing a corset for a short time and calling it a “waist-trainer.” Anyway… Dita slammed the Kardashians. Go get ‘em, Dita!

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A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Photos courtesy of Instagram, Fame/Flynet.

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77 Responses to “Dita Von Teese slams the Kardashians’ corsets: ‘It’s like the blind leading the blind’”

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  1. JFresh says:

    I like the way you describe her, Kaiser. I feel similarly about Dita. Hope I get the chance to see her perform one day. DEFINITELY buying that book when it comes out. Plus, kudos to her for making a statement like this, it needs to be said.

    • t.fanty says:

      You see, I honestly don’t get it with her. I admire her commitment and quite frankly envy her glamor, but I don’t see how what she does isn’t a fetishization of objectification under the guise of art. Talk about the blind leading the blind. She’s just being snotty about it because she wants to classify what she does as art. I don’t actively dislike her, I just don’t think there is much to admire.

      • Kitten says:

        This is exactly how I feel about her.

      • jc126 says:

        I agree. I like her, but I don’t admire her or think other people should do what she’s doing. Plus, the way she makes herself look so radically different from her original self (she’s naturally a blonde) and the amount of artifice – what’s the point? Yes it’s glamourous, but to live like that constantly, I don’t get it.

      • Pandy says:

        Basically, she’s a sex trade worker who worked her relationship with Marilyn Manson to further her career. And now that the burlesque bandwagon has too many bodies on it, she’s trying her vintage glamour tack. Girl’s gotta hustle.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Same.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Actually her career was very strong at the time she met Marilyn Manson– she was as well known as he was, and very successful. I think he was the one who married “up.”

        Also she has *always* been into vintage glamour– there’s nothing new there at all. That has been her thing from the beginning, and she has defined that style. She is one of the divas of the burlesque scene, which she helped make, and brought her unique style into the world of high fashion on her own and on her own terms. I doubt very much that she is feeling any pinches of competition.

      • Ankhel says:

        Dita has what the Kardashian family lacks, a degree of personal accomplishment beyond self-marketing. She can perform. But is Dita, who strips and bathes in a glass of champagne, totally different from Kim, who strips and bathes herself with champagne? Both of them for a living, while being photographed? Sure, Dita appears less crass and plastic, but still?

        And making confrontational statements about big celebrities when you have a new product to sell is the oldest fame-whoring trick in the book. It is.

      • ISO says:

        I agree her game has more class, but it’s just a different brand of the same product.

      • Jwoolman says:

        The biggest difference between Dita and Kim seems to be Dita’s ability to actually think in detail about what she is doing and why and to see it in historical context. Kim is a much simpler soul and doesn’t seem to think too deeply about anything. That’s why Kim is boring but Dita is quite interesting.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Oh my, someone dropped the “whore” word. Sorry, I can’t take this or any black and white argument against the complexity of human experience and sensual expression seriously. People are not all the same. There is nothing wrong with dancing in a martini glass or dressing up and taking it all off as performance art. This is such a canned and repressive argument. What next? Shall we March again wearing glitter in the armpits?

      • Crumpet says:

        I agree.

      • FLORC says:

        I’m a Dita fan.

        And what she does is a lost art. I’m not speaking to the dancing or portions of dressing. I’m speaking to the simplicity of attraction. To basic and healthy care of your body. And to throwback items like corsets and stockings and how to do them correctly. That you can do more flashing a bit of shoulder and making a slight adjustment of a bracelet that gets more attention than poured into outfits. The Allure. That’s hardly fetish or sex trade. I’ve read some of her books and embrace some simple teachings that I didn’t learn from her. Just basic stuff.
        Pandy, there’s just everything wrong in what you think is correct as it’s all wrong and misguided. Opinions are opinions, but facts are facts. And sex trade? It’s not even cclose and belittling the true travesty to what that actually is.

    • Catherine Anne says:

      I just love her too, so glamorous and beautiful. I completely agree with you, she dresses so well. I have the book and it was well worth it, and don’t forget about Aleister her cat!

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      I adore Dita Von Teese. She has always been true to her own passion for femme, glamour, and burlesque, and has become over the years a true scholar and artist. I got to see her martini glass show years ago, and she was just amazing. I envy her wardrobe– I have heard it is a museum quality collection of vintage slithery things and is to die for.

      I also get what she is saying about corsets– I own two from my days as a club girl and I know that there are real high quality custom makers out there, as well as acres of really crappy products.

      The corsets the Karadashians are using hardly qualify to be called that. Looking at the photo, it looks like some stretchy fabric with maybe some plastic bones. No busk at all, which means it would have no structure or stability, and without a busk it would probably not even lace up since there would be no point. All the real corset craftspeople I have ever met would say exactly what Dita is saying.

      Vogue has anice interview with her. Worth looking up:

      “The foundation of the book is really “eccentric glamour,” and that’s a term that I learned from Simon Doonan, who wrote a book that he mentioned me in, and I thought: “That’s exactly what it is—it’s people who believe in the power that glamour has to transform…I’ve always felt that creating glamour is an art form and it’s different from God-given beauty. It’s a little bit like someone putting on their drag. We all have this opportunity to style ourselves the way we want to be seen, and sometimes it’s vastly different from what we’re born with. “

    • tealily says:

      Love her and love that dress!

  2. mia girl says:

    “It’s like the behind leading the behind”
    There, fixed that for you Dita.

  3. Loopy says:

    Well did she actually mention them? Because all these waist training instagram boutiques are every where.

    • Kaiser says:

      She was asked specifically about the Kardashians’ waist-trainers and that was her answer.

    • Sasha says:

      Honestly, the question in and of itself is annoying and makes it seem like the Kardashians popularized the item first. The recent waist trainers (dumb as they may be) have been on urban instagram shops and pages way before the Kardashians began using them. I think Blac Chyna got Kim into them when Blac Chyna was still with Tyga. The Kardashians are one many many people using them and are by no means the only ones advertising them.

      • claire says:

        Nothing they claim to invent, create or discover is as it seems. Like Kylie’s new lip kit. It’s just Colour Pop lippies she smacked a new label on and jacked up the price.

  4. Belle Epoch says:

    That IG photo looks like a fetish picture of some sort.

  5. vauvert says:

    Kaiser, can we get the make of her stunning necklace above? It is just gorgeous.

    I love her too, she is a perfect example of how you can be sexy yet classy, how you can be dressed to kill in fashions appropriate for your body shape, and as far as I know she promotes her projects without wh*ring out her personal life. (I don’t do Instagram so no idea what she posts, so this is an opinion based only on what I read on celeb news.)

    If that was shade, it was so well done. No doubt some foul mouthed reply will come from the K kamp.

    • Bunny ears says:

      She kills it on Instagram. Her commitment to glamour really inspires me, even as a stay at home mom sitting here in my target sweatpants. Posts of her super cute cat are a bonus!!!

    • jugstorecowboy says:

      That necklace is perfect.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yas! That necklace is everything. I obviously can’t afford the original but I’m gonna trawl the internets see if I can find something similar in my price range.

    • Laura says:

      I came here to say the same thing – that necklace is amazing! If anyone finds it, or something similar, please please please share :) Dita has the best style, hands down. Love her!

    • FLORC says:

      Her styling is very rarely a miss. Head to toe she nails it.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think waist training is scary because it feels like we’re going backwards to an age where women would actually harm themselves to fit society’s idea of beauty. I hate it. Why don’t we just bind our feet again?

    • AlmondJoy says:

      GNAT, I’m totally with you. I don’t like this waist training obsession. I don’t Dita’s version not the Kardashians.

      • kri says:

        GNAT &AlmondJoy-with you guys. The only thing is, women are still harming themselves today for beauty. I long for the day when pain and beauty are no longer used togther in that loathsome adage :it hurst to be beautiful”. As for Dita, I find her much more interesting than the Koven, but I find cat turds more interesting than the K’s so that bar is lowwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    • Sam says:

      Well, except this trend likely won’t hurt anybody. The waist trainers being sold now are not real corsets. They’re made of a stretchy fabric with give, so the idea that they could meaningfully alter your body is pretty far-fetched. The idea behind them is that they compress the fat in the abdominal area and help you lose more weight – but since we know that fat spot reduction is a myth, this is just more baloney.

      Dita is referring to something entirely different, which is a subsection of the body modification community (I know about it, but my mods don’t go beyond piercings and tattoos). Firstly, even when talking about real corsetry and not these flimsy things, the vast majority of users don’t change their bodies in any meaningful way. People (yes, people – there are corsets sold for men as well) wear them because they enjoy a feeling of snugness, they like the posture they get, they perhaps want some abdominal support, etc. That’s it. When you see somebody who has had their actual waist seriously reduced, there is only one way to attain that, and that is a process called “tight lacing.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. You basically gradually tighten the corset over a very long period of time to gradually reduce the waist. Most people who tight lace do it not for the body-changing effects but for the physical sensations of constriction (yes, some people enjoy this). They don’t wear it long-term. The very small subsection of people who do want the physical changes do it over a very, very long period of time and generally don’t suffer major physical issues from it (the caveat is to not do it to a developing body – tight lacing should be restricted to fully grown women).

      So overall, don’t worry. This fad will die out as quick as it came. Waist trainers are flimsy things that have little ability to cause long-term damages. Yes, there will be dumb people who will lace them too tight and that hurts, and then they take it off and learn their lesson. But don’t confuse it with the corsetry and/or body mod people. That’s a whole different thing.

    • SNAP says:

      A simple waist cincher (i’m sure spanx has those in the market) to get the look of a more defined figure on special occasions is usually enough. I bought one from Wallyworld, had to remove the plastic bones bcs they did hurt after wearing it. Surprisingly it kept it’s form, was super comfy and made me look pretty good in a dress. But i can’t wear it every day…my “joey pouch” needs to be free…lol…i love Dita’s style!!!

    • Kitten says:

      I have a waist trainer and I LOVE it as a support garment. I tried spanx once and I found that it was just uncomfortable and didn’t make a difference in my appearance at all.
      I like my waist trainer for wearing under tight tank tops that I tuck into my jeans to create a tighter silhouette–nothing dramatic like it does for curvier girls–just tidies things up, so to speak. I also love taking that sucker off at the end of the day and throwing it at the wall in relief.

      Additionally, I would NEVER wear my waist trainer for working out (that seems so dangerous to me) and it’s not something I would wear every day with this false and misguided notion that it’s actually changing my body shape because um, SCIENCE. So yeah, I think it’s fine if you use it as a support garment but the idea that you can permanently re-shape your body by packing it into a tight latex thing is total bullsh*t.

    • Pinetree13 says:

      I agree GNAT. I don’t want this to come ‘en vogue’ again to the point where women are seen as frumpy if they don’t participate. I want to be presentable but in a way that is comfortable. I don’t want to wear a tight sweaty, body shaping device to work or out and about. No thank you. I sincerely hope the younger generation will reject this fad.

    • FLORC says:

      GNAT
      This waist training trend isn’t what Corsets were/are. It’s not worn 23 hours a day only removed for baths. And the structure and material is not strong enough to damage your figure and rearrange your organs. If heavily abused it can, but that takes a lot of effort.

      Like Kitten I have 1 and wear it as a support garment. It’s got a better outline and effect imo than spanx. Maybe once or twice a month normally out with friends to a nice bar or restaurant. Holiday time bumps that up, but hardly a norm.

  7. Size Does Matter says:

    Question – someone told me I need to be wearing compression garments to recover from my c section. I could see it helping with swelling, but wouldn’t it also keep my muscles from getting stronger?

    • Brunswickstoval says:

      I was recommended them after caesarians. It was a few years ago now so I don’t remember the details but I didn’t wear one after my first and did wear one after the next 3 and my stomach recovery was vastly better for wearing one. But I wore a proper post natal girdle not some crappy Instagram one. It helps support the stomach muscles and assists with reducing back ache (which can happen when your stomach muscles are weak). Worth looking in to.

    • INeedANap says:

      My family is Cuban, and a lot of Cuban women swear by “fajas” (girdles, not full on corsets) after birth. It supposedly helps your muscles get stronger because they’re getting support, rather than stretching and hanging loosely.

      Myself, I can’t answer — no bebbehs for this commenter.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I wore one for six weeks after my hysterectomy, but my doctor told me to. I think it helped with the pain. But I would ask your doctor before I wore one.

    • swack says:

      Didn’t Jessica Alba say she wore a girdle after giving birth and it helped? I could be wrong. I think the support (support only not for looking good) needed after a c-section is real as you can’t work those muscles for about 6 weeks and they can be weak. And I can tell you from have back problems, the best way to help solve them is having strong core.

    • Gabrielle says:

      I wore one for six weeks after my C-section. I used the bamboo one. My nurse in the hospital helped me with putting it on at first and it helped with the pain a lot. After the first few weeks, I don’t think it does much.

    • Chaucer says:

      So far, i’ve been recommended to wear them regardless of the type of birth I give (have?) in a few months. My doctor said they’re helpful with vaginal births as well.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      If you are recovery from surgery of any kind, it can help with the healing and pain. Your muscles are traumatized and need some help! But once your muscles are healed, Dita is right– corsets and other support garments will not change your body except maybe temporarily (tightlacing can move the floating ribs). The only way to get a toned body is to work out.

    • Betsy says:

      I wish I had. My abdomen just seems weaker since my section, which was my first and largest baby. I think it might be diastasis recti, and I wonder if post surgical support may have helped. If you are still ahead of your section, ask your doc. Hospitals do not always mention them or have them on hand.

    • FLORC says:

      Women still wear them post Csections and other similar to recover procedures. It’s helpful imo.

  8. Reine_Didon says:

    I have never “crushed” on a man as much as I did when I saw her boyfriend , De Castelbajac. Together they are the epitomy of elegance. I love her. She’s authentic and professional.

  9. Felice. says:

    Yeah I know waist training. You have to wear those babies for 8-10 hours every day. It has to have boning too.

  10. Eleonor says:

    ” They’re like stretchy fabric. “.
    Just like the Kardashian

  11. Loulou says:

    Dita is my girl crush forever!

  12. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    I don’t understand waist trainers at all–or corsets. Unless you’re using them for help with your post pregnancy body, I just don’t see the point in them. Part of what we have to do is be happy with our bodies. Our natural shape. That doesn’t help, when society is looking at non-curvy girls and telling them that their bodies are womanly enough.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, neither V.C. It has to be one of the dumbest trends I’ve ever seen, including light blue eyeshadow.

    • that time i didn't care says:

      I thought corsets, the real kind with boning, caused serious health problems? Like they squeezed your internal organs together or something. It just doesn’t seem right or natural? Or comfortable. I used one briefly after my daughter was born, but I found it uncomfortable and cumbersome, so stopped.

      • Sam says:

        That is largely a myth. Most of the scare tactics around corsets are based upon old medical documents from the Victorian age, when they didn’t know as much about female anatomy. Firstly, most people do not “tight lace” their corsets to the point where they actually squeeze you. Only a small number of people actually do that. Secondly, serious tight lacers who actually want to modify their shapes do it over a long period of time. And by and large, they don’t suffer adverse impacts from it. Your body is actually very adaptable. The horror stories come from people who do it in a dumb way – they super-tight lace the thing the first time out and hurt themselves. But why should a whole community get judged based on a few dumb people?

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        You are thinking of tightlacing, and yes at one time that was quite the fad. It was never how most women wore corsets though. Some of the anti-corset propaganda in the early twentieth century over-emphasized the perils of tight lacing and made it sounds more common than it actually was.

        Corsets are very popular btw in the bodacious curvy girl body-positive burlesque crowd– partly because everyone looks good in them.

    • swack says:

      So I’m old enough to remember having to wear girdles to be able to wear stockins (before belts were made for that purpose and before panty hose). I couldn’t stand those, can’t imagine wearing a waist trainer.

    • Erinn says:

      See- I’m in the gray area with them. I don’t like the extreme corset stuff – it’s not good to shove your organs all together like that for the sake of looking hour-glassy.

      But I love my spanx, and I would consider getting a proper corset to create some nice support/shape under a dress, or whatever. I wouldn’t ever be doing it for the purpose of permanently altering my body.

    • minime says:

      I don’t get it either and neither the love for Dita von Teese…I guess she’s OK but is there really so much to admire? Someone who’s fame is all about her image and what kind of torture “regimen” she does to herself to achieve that image? Talk about “blind leading the blind”! It feels like Twilight zone when her strange comment is praised just by comparison with all the strange comments and ideals from the Kardashians…

    • Pinetree13 says:

      Exactly it’s a step backwards. Just one more impossible body standard to live up to. Not everyone has a well defined waist and that should be okay…I feel now girls without small waists are being shamed into these body shapers and that is sad.

  13. Insomniac says:

    I love Dita. I don’t usually bother with celebrity beauty books, but I bought that one. The pictures alone are swoonworthy.

  14. Nicolette says:

    Dita always looks fabulous, and I want that bow necklace. The picture of Khloe looks painful. Doesn’t wearing something so ridiculously tight and constructing have an effect on internal organs? Can’t imagine it would be a good thing. She looks distorted.

  15. Sochan says:

    I’m not into burlesque but Dita always lives with such grace and integrity. I typically like her even if I don’t give a whit about her craft.

  16. lower-case deb says:

    i have really bad menstrual pain, that could floor me at times, and i find that wearing a corset helps to reduce some of it, and sometimes alot. it helps when i wear it in day time, so i can go about my activities without passing out due to pain and/or drugging myself up to function.

    i’m not sure about the science behind it, but i’m so grateful for it.

  17. word says:

    The Kardashians/Jenners will promote anything as long as they are getting paid. I personally don’t think they ever used those diet pills and I personally think they only put on those “waist trainers” for selfies. Look at Kylie, in the SAME interview she said she hates wearing make-up and how it’s “bad for your skin”. Then in the next paragraph she says how she wants her own make-up line !!!

  18. magnolia says:

    celebitchy has a 2012 article about how Dita has worn a corset since she was 18 (yikes!). And about how her waist is only 22 inches but can be narrowed down to only 16.5 inches! If that doesn’t make her the pot calling the kettle black, then I am speechless.

    Both waist trainer and corset are female torture devices. Why can’t we own up to our curves? What are we ashamed of?

    • TrixC says:

      I think that’s her point though – she really trained to achieve that shape through tight lacing, what the kardashians do is merely dabbling and won’t actually have an effect once you take the waist trainer off.

  19. DethHammer says:

    I just ordered her book! :) It shows how to do her hairstyles, makeup, workout, her nutrition plan, and so much more! It will be a good beauty book, but remember, it’s primarily artifice, people!

  20. iheartgossip says:

    I wish all stars would come out against the Trashassian’s. They offer nothing but scams and std’s to our world.

  21. Punkypuss says:

    I agree with Dita I own 6 genuine corsets and my sister in law owns a bunch of cheap ones she gets one wear falls apart and she looks like an over stuffed sausage. Mine are all over 10 years plus worn regularly and look Brand new

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      I got mine from Dark Garden more than a decade ago. Glad i can say they still fit, because they show no signs of wearing out.

      • AbominableSnowPickle says:

        You have a Dark Garden corset! I’m terribly jealous, their designs are so lovely. I’ll never be able to afford one of theirs, but they are so beautiful^.^

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        It was a gift from my current partner after we went on a trip to SF. Very romantic! I would love to get another one in pink or white satin, but these days the dinero is just not there, so this is on hold.

        The angel on my shoulder says “put that in your retirement account,” and the other angel on the other shoulder is saying “screw it and go get that corset.”

        One thing people wouldn’t know unless they are into these things: a really well made corset is not in any way painful or pinchy. They feel splendid! I totally get the fetish.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      The more I am reading about this new book, the more I like it. And the more impressed I am with Dita the entrepreneur:

      http://wwd.com/eye/parties/dita-von-teese-new-book-lingerie-10290038/

      This lady is not shy about business. I admire that ability in anyone.