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Dita Von Teese on body image and buying lingerie

June 3, 2015
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We've always been fans of Dita Von Teese – the burlesque beauty challenges the beauty norms and embraces her enviable curves. But the star has gone up even higher in our estimations after giving us some invaluable advice on body image. "Forget that beach body ready stuff; find role models that you can actually aspire to look like and appreciate different types of beauty," the star, who recently launched her lingerie line into Harrods, told us, referring to the controversial Protein World advertisements that were unveiled earlier this year.

Dita looked stunning as she launched her lingerie line into Harrods

"I'm somebody who has never had the typical beach bod," she said. "I could never relate to the Victoria's Secret supermodels or the Sports Illustrated models – I could never be like that. "Instead, I looked at other idols – Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr... I looked at these totally beautiful women and thought, 'I can aspire to that'."She also revealed her top beauty tips for finding the best-fitting underwear, tips for men looking to buy the women in their lives lingerie and why she's not against plastic surgery...

Modelling the seductive collection

My love of lingerie sparked my career as a burlesque dancer...I've been around lingerie for so long. My first real job was in a lingerie store. I've been a stockgirl, a bra fitter and then a sales girl in both boutiques and big department stores, from age 15-23, so I know what I'm talking about!It's amazing to have my own collection and launching my line into Harrods is one of the most exciting points of my career so far. Harrods is the best department store in the world – everyone knows that.Lingerie makes me feel good...I like wearing stockings and garters and being able to hide areas I don't feel so comfortable with. With lingerie on, I feel gift-wrapped and more dressed. I feel very uncomfortable in a tiny G-string. I like finding ways to make shapes that give you more coverage.I never wear 'ugly' underwear...I don't own underwear that I would be ashamed for people to see. But that doesn't mean I don't have comfort underwear - I love a big pair of underwear, they just have to be beautiful! There are a lot of 1950s briefs in the collection because I love that look. I've always seen lingerie as a way to honour myself and have a moment of beauty in my everyday life.

Dita told us that lingerie makes her feel good

Men looking to buy their partners some lingerie should...Make sure they have the right size! First and foremost. Go into her lingerie drawer, notice what it is that she wears all the time and take it to the store. Ask the salesperson to find something that has a similar fit and feel, but maybe in a different colour.I hate the 'beach body ready' idea...Forget that stuff; find role models that you can actually aspire to look like instead and appreciate different types of beauty. I'm somebody who has never had the typical beach bod. I could never relate to the Victoria's Secret supermodels or the Sports Illustrated models – I could never be like that.Instead, I looked at other idols – Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr... I looked at these totally beautiful women and thought, 'I can aspire to that'. Look for role models with similar features to yourself – if you have small lips, don't try to be Angelina Jolie.The 'perfect body' images aren't healthy...They're fun to look at, but I look at those girls like they're racehorses – yes, they look great, but they are unusual and I am not like that. Good luck trying to look like those girls – you can try, but for most people, it's not attainable.I'm never going to be 'beach body ready'...I don't want to be, either! I don't want ripped abs – when I work out in my Pilates sessions, which I try to do three to five times a week, I'm always saying that it's too much ab work because I just don't like how that looks.

I don't diet...I have a set of disciplines in place, instead. I'm into making my smoothie every morning which is 70 per cent greens, 30 per cent fruit and I blend it up with water – that's my breakfast. For lunch I'll have a salad or a vegetarian soup and for dinner maybe a quinoa or brown rice kind of dish.I usually eat vegan during the day and if I want some meat, I'll have it at night. At least three days a week, I'm totally vegan. This set of disciplines work for me, they make me feel like I'm doing something right and keep me from having to diet. I just try and stay sensible.I've tried every fancy face cream in the world...But I don't really think it matters what you put on your face. I use Eminence products – they work for me and that's that.I'm not against plastic surgery...I think it's an evolution of beauty and what I hate about it is that people are so vilified for it. I've seen people use botox and fillers in great ways and it's a little bit sad that celebrities can't talk about it because you get killed for it in the press.I love what Madonna said: 'I'm not against plastic surgery, I'm just against talking about it.' In my upcoming book I reveal every beauty secret I have and I talk a lot about the history of beauty and how things have changed. I talk a lot about my experiences and beautiful people that I think are fascinating.Dita's top tips for buying the right lingerie:1. Wear the right size. We get really hung up on what size we are. When I was younger I used to say 'I'm a size small in my underwear' but then I realised: 'No. I'm more comfortable in a medium.'. And who cares? We should cut the tags out of our underwear anyway! I think it's important to wear the right size rather than the size you want to be.2. Realise that you don't have to sacrifice fit and function for glamour and beauty – you can have it all, as long as you know how to shop for lingerie and have a good salesperson.3. Build a wardrobe. When you find a bra that fits you really well, you should buy a few pairs, not just the one. Always buy duplicates!4. Consider lingerie to be something that you can really express yourself with. Whatever your style is on the outside, you can be whoever you want underneath. You can be casual and a tomboy and you could be wearing gorgeous red lace underneath. I like that you can have a secret personality underneath.You can shop Dita Von Teese's gorgeous range at Harrods. Offering a complete range of sizes to compliment all silhouettes, the collection is available from an A to F cup and knickers up to a size 14.

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