Or, maybe there's something wrong with me.
I've been watching Dita Von Teese for a while. That sounds creepy, as if I'm a peeping Tom. But don't her photos make us peeping Toms? We catch her in intimate moments, getting undressed or splashing around in a glass of champagne or tied up for unseemly purposes.
It is easy to get caught up in someone like Dita, being as beautiful and naturally erotic as she is. Her come-hither eyes and red lips that have a taunting twist are provocative. I felt provoked. I felt like she was teasing me, telling me to follow her through the internet, through Twitter and Tumblr and find as many images of her as I could. To what end? Well, where I have ended up isn't where I thought I was going: I think there's something wrong with Dita Von Teese.
I first encountered her years ago at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. I found her book for sale at the theater. I was there to see Across the Universe with a male friend who was like Dita: gorgeous and ethereal and a provoker of covetousness. A person one wants to collect and sit on a shelf like a priceless work of art. Like a fetish object. Someone to be worshiped.
The book was Fetish Goddess Dita, and it was an outrageous, extraordinary romp through fetishes. It reflects an imagination, passion and genius for sexuality that made me nearly cry. I have yet to see any artist, male or female, who has the courage and openness of Dita.
I've become a hoarder of images in the past few years. In six months I've managed to collect more than five thousand on my Ipod. Not many are of Dita, though. I don't collect her as often as you'd expect. Especially since lately I've discovered something wrong with her.
Here are a few that show what I'm talking about.
It may be difficult to see. After all, Dita is so ridiculously sexy. No matter how her body is posed, she's fantastic.
I suppose I started to see it when I'd seen enough poses that they became commonplace. I'm talking about the standard poses: in a corset, in lingerie, tied up, naked, in a sumptuous gown in public, in a champagne glass, etc.
I started looking in her eyes. That sounds like an incredibly humanizing change for me and simultaneously something completely improper. After all, this isn't about Dita as a person, is it? This is about Dita as fetish and retro sex goddess.
I started noticing her eyes. What leaped forward was loneliness. Then emptiness. It's easy to miss the emptiness when Dita is covered in gorgeous clothes---an especially when she's naked. But the loneliness is there. There's also disgust. Whenever she is to show emotions, it reads false. But she doesn't need to be an actor.
Photos of her in public are particularly uncomfortable. Her eyes are full of resentment, fatigue, annoyance. Which is, of course, understandable. She seems to have a camera in her face whenever she goes anywhere. When she's out she's fully costumed, her hair perfectly coiffed, her outfit perfectly retro.
Dita does not have a resting bitch face. It would be easier if she did. A resting bitch face would work well with someone who has dressed as a dominatrix.
Dita very rarely shows vulnerability, and if she does it's by accident. Most of the time, she's numb, with practiced closed lipped straight lined smiles.
But there is hope. There is the photo below. Dita with a real smile. Dita with less make up and a real smile in her eyes. Her dress is simple, comfortable, real. Her hair is slightly askew. She's holding a red drink in what looks like a plastic cup and at a private party. The camera taking the photo is probably someone's cell phone and the lighting is bad.
And Dita looks happy. Really happy. And she's happy with who she's with. This has become the only picture of her I like.
It is possible something is wrong with me. Perhaps this reflects an inability to see happiness in women. Perhaps sexuality is something that has become tired, irritable, annoyed, and numb to me. It is very possible I'm projecting all over Dita. I hope so. I wouldn't want anyone to experience what I feel I'm seeing Dita experience now.
I'm Lady Ristretto, writing under a pseudonym. My pseudonym has a pseudonym.