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Challenging ageism through burlesque performance [video]

Five years ago, Kaitlyn Regehr and Matilda Temperley, documentarian and photographer respectively, set off for Las Vegas to interview members of the League of Exotic Dancers. At the Burlesque Hall of Fame, these legends—thriving sixty years past the supposed prime of burlesque—have created a community in “Old Vegas” where they continue to perform half-century-old routines.

Our perception of women’s bodies changes with age—because the social construction of femininity is so dependent on sexual attractiveness, women are often viewed as becoming less valuable as they age. But through their performances, burlesque legends have challenged preconceived ideas of women should present themselves.

We sat down with Regehr and Temperley to discuss the history of American burlesque. In the video below, Temperley reflects on her experience photographing women of the League of Exotic Dancers.

Featured image credit: Photo provided by Matilda Temperley. Please do not re-use without permission.

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