Whether we’re talking about sparkly panties or mesh stockings, very few professions exist in garment imagination quite like stripping. Provocation and suggestion have always been the goal, a visual aesthetic that aims to create a sexual fantasy but has been heavily stigmatized in the process. But as social norms around sex continue to evolve, strippers have become mainstream, with dancers paying attention to a particular trend now sparking a direct debate. great line of appropriation versus empowerment.
As a former stripper named Jaylen explained, “a stripper’s dance attire is almost like a uniform.” That said, “strippers’ heels” are perhaps “the most defining part of a stripper’s aesthetic,” as the Chicago-based newspaper puts it. exotic dance wear designer added, especially those with clear acrylic heels.
Shoe style is so important that it’s actually required at most clubs in the country, according to another Los Angeles dancer named Hero, who recalls the times when they “showed up at work and got out, ‘Oh damn, I forgot my shoes. I can not work.'”
Much of this depends on the expectations of club owners and patrons, but part of the importance of a stripper also stems from the demands of the job. Like any other form of dance, stripping is a physically demanding activity that requires specialized footwear—specifically, a type of high heel shoe, also known as the Post-Dance Heel company became the industry standard in the 90s.
Despite the sky-high heels that most clubs require to be 6 to 10 inches, strippers are actually easier on dancers’ feet, because the soles are at a low angle. and has an extremely sturdy base. Designed to evenly distribute dancers’ weight and help them perform acrobatic maneuvers, the sturdy one-piece construction helps them keep performing over long shifts, while the rubber bottom, Additional cushioning lining and grooved heel ensure they stay safe on slippery floors.
“It is dangerous to wear ordinary heels when dancing. I mean, it can even be dangerous to dance in your underwear,” Hero — who uses the pronoun surname/surname — told The Daily Beast. “But they’ve been in the game for a very long time for some reason, and they’ve done all the exercises and tests to make sure their shoes are as safe as possible. “
Meanwhile, Austin-based dancer Renee said potential injuries directly affect a dancer’s livelihood, to the point where the absence of Pleasers becomes an issue that keeps people from paying their bills.
However, this design also means that it is quite dangerous to wear stripper heels on any uneven surface, so it is safe to say that “common people”—a.k.a. labor non-prostitution—don’t buy them out of practicality or necessity. Instead, their recent popularity is a direct result of the shoe making its way from strip clubs to runway show for designer brands like Valentino, Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin.
Soon, they started appearing on the feet of stars like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, who teamed up Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” gown. with some fun people at Met Gala 2022. Even Dame Helen Mirren talked about her love of shoes in one Bigger interview, where she credits the stripper’s heels for giving her confidence to stand “in a room full of women who are unbelievably beautiful and at least a foot taller”. And after the internet took hold of shoes, the fast fashion machine took over from there, though that doesn’t appear to have affected demand for Pleasers.
Like Mirren, high-heeled strippers talk about how “empowered” they feel wearing these “glamorous” shoes. And while there is some legitimacy to this argument, the reality is that they are special pieces that strippers really need to replace every few months due to wear and tear and skyrocketing popularity. of shoes is making them harder to find and more expensive.
Designer Yung Reaper, who creates clothes inspired by prostitutes and collaborates with Dolls Kill—a fast fashion brand at the heart of much controversy in connection with appropriation, offensive goods and stealing design-used to be widely criticized recently for encouraging her followers to catch up on trends and dismiss the concerns of some prostitutes. In a deleted Instagram post, Reaper wrote “if anyone is angry because I’m wearing Pleasers even though I’m not SW then leave now.”
Dancer Renee says that comments like Reaper’s overlook the fact that strippers are now forced to wait months to get the club’s requested outfits in their sizes.
“You have a lot of OnlyFans and you have a bunch of civilians at home with extra money trying to find out online,” as Renee explains, before confirming that the trend has made “things suddenly go wrong.” re-order or sold out.”
“If someone is wearing strippers, and then all of their followers see them in strippers, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is the new trend.’ And what will happen? Every civilian girl in the world is like, ‘I want stripper shoes,'” Renee said. “They buy them in all major sizes, making it harder for sex workers to get shoes. And then they wear them once for a photo shoot and then they don’t wear them anymore.”
While there are other brands that offer similar styles, longtime strippers and exotic dance teachers, black onyx, explaining that Pleasers tend to be more comfortable and, therefore, still the preferred shoe of full-time dancers. However, Pleaser himself took advantage of fashion trends and Extreme exercise fever by marketing their shoes to “everyone”, especially to hobbyists, influencers and their followers who “now love to be free”.
Onyx notes that alongside the shortage, there is also a lack of awareness around the issues that actual strippers continue to address on a daily basis, including discrimination, exploitation, and risks to their emotional, mental and physical safety. But what makes it worse is when “the pole-building whores have 90 brand new shoes in a variety of colors” clearly show their “fear”, whether it’s the movements. more erotic or argue that the column is just for fitness. and art, complete with judgment #notatripper hashtag.
In these cases, this attitude is not only a rejection of the origin of the pole, but an obvious double standard for sex workers who are doing exactly the same thing in a slightly different context. . Unlike the #notastripper mob, sex workers are regularly threatened with criminal punishment. Hero said during their stay in Houston, city police will arrest you for solicitation if you wear strippers outside the club.
So while some strippers don’t mind the trend, there are quite a few that are completely against any commoner taking advantage of their aesthetic, including Jaylen, who started Reddit thread about the appropriation of a stripper’s costume a few months ago. While she understands that most commoners are trying to show their sexy side and agrees that “all women can confidently wear whatever they want”, there are still some boundaries. should not be overtaken, especially when it comes to civilian companies. “blatantly exploiting our aesthetic for profit.”
“The reality is that strippers have always been a sight to the outside world. There is always an opinion,” Jaylen said. “No one has ever come across a stripper in public and thought, ‘Oh that’s great’ and carried on with their day.’ It’s, ‘Oh she’s a stripper, that poor girl,’ ‘Oh, she’s a stripper, she must be a slut’, or ‘Oh, she’s a stripper. y, I could never do that!’”
In Hero’s case, they’re fine with civilians owning stripper shoes, especially any pair that isn’t specifically designed for strippers or pole dancers. Their only requirement is that the wearer “respects its origin”.
Renee said that civilian women who agree to wear strippers should at least be aware of what costumes represent for prostitutes.
“Owning a pair of clear Pleasers, and knowing and respecting their origins, is very different from someone wanting to dress up as a prostitute,” she said. “It’s people who dress up as strippers and have all the influence to look like them, without facing any of the consequences or life-destructive consequences that come with the actual job.”
“If everyone and their mother were wearing Pleasers shoes but didn’t do anything to promote stigma and eliminate crime against those who invented the shoe style or needed them to live,” Renee said. , that pushes strippers out of the conversation,” Renee said.