Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Loose Women In Tights!

In the 1890s women who were burlesque performers were seen as little more than prostitutes - selling their bodies for sex - in "proper" society. On the other hand there were stories going around about men who were willing to kill themselves in fits of lustful passion after seeing these performances...

A professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Charles H. McCaghy, has collected photos of these "scandalous" women for a long time. All the photos in this post comes from his collection.

As you can see curvaceous women were preferred before skinny ones. And even if these women hardly showed any skin at all, in their covering tights and long sleeves, it was just the fact that they actually showed off they feminine shapes that was so outrageous. 

During the Victorian era women were expected to be modest, conservative, and take care of their homes. The women of burlesque broke completely with these norms, some even donning male outfits on stage. But by exaggerated humor these performers addressed political issues of the day, defying the place society had dictated for women. From the stage they could speak freely and challenge the men in the audience.

When the moving pictures arrived, together with vaudevillian theatre and Broadway revues in the 1920s, burlesque became less popular. With the new competition from all these new forms of entertainment the burlesque dancers had to start taking off more clothes to keep as much of their audience as they could. By the 1930s they were down to pasties and a G-string - which is where we still are in the burlesque of today!


  1. When it comes to amazingly sexy thighs this morning I have definitely seen the light Miss Meadows. Models were actually better back then!

    1. Ha, ha! That was just the best comment! Glad to be able to lead you into the light.... ;) xox

  2. The post title is hilarious!

    I wore a pair of tights under a pair of bathers for a photo shoot recently and I LOVED the look.

  3. Haha..loved the first comment! But, they did have some sexy thighs back then, love the costumes! xx

  4. Love this post and photos Miss Meadows! Suddenly, I don't feel so bad about my curvy figure. ;0

  5. Lovely! I especially like the "horse". :)


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