NauenThen

Blaze Starr

June 24, 2015

Yet another fabulous 1950s dame has died. Blaze Starr, 83, "the Queen of Burlesque"—originally Fannie Belle Fleming from Wilsondale, West Virginia—was best known for her affair with Louisiana governor Earl K. Long in the late '50s.

“Society thought that to be a stripper was to be a prostitute,” she told The New York Times in 1989. “But I always felt that I was an artist, entertaining. I was at ease being a stripper. I kept my head held high, and if there is such a thing as getting nude with class, then I did it.”

She was also asked if she would change anything about her life if she could. “Not a thing,” she responded. “I would just do a lot more of it and try a lot harder, and seduce a lot more men than I did.”

Maybe it was easier to be bold when you had to be something of a pariah than when you were expected to sleep with everyone in sight. That is, if you were one of the few people doing something outré, you would hold your head high. Or maybe it's exactly the opposite, it's easier to do the same thing as your culture.