Instamodels or stripper celebrities ?
We are all familiar with the term Instamodel . It popped out of nowhere with the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner leading the way for a worldwide trend. So before the social media became part of our daily lives, prospective models would showcase their beauty through the quasi ancient channels. Stripper celebrities were the byproduct of modelling agencies, magazines and the occasional page 3 of the Sun. Another side of the feminine sensuality was present on the stages of strip clubs. Unlike their famous friends, strippers were not present on the public domain. That did not mean that they were less important. Just that the spot light up to the nineties had a censorship switch. Once it fell upon strippers, it would switch off.
The world has changed in the last 20 year period much more than in the previous 50 year period. Beautiful women became aware that beauty is a virtue that can earn them respect and a decent living. Not happy with just waiting for some saviour to come and rescue them, they decided to find their own path to success and fame. Social Media, gave them a platform and android phones gave them a photographer. DIY PR was born in the cafes and strip club changing rooms. First with out of focus photos of boobs then with carefully applied filters that made even your ex look like a stripper.
Stripper : a respectable profession
A long list of celebrities has openly admitted that they were strippers not so long ago. From Lady Gaga to Blac Chyna and Cardi B, these celebrities wear the stripper badge with pride. One thing that definitely made sure that their past high heeled endeavours would come to light was their Social Media profile. Simply with people following each other, the world has become a big peep show. And the stars of the actual peep shows caught up fast with this reality. There was not one single event that created this trend. There was no revelation. People just joined social media platforms and the mere mortals started populating their feeds with the lives of other mortals. So that’s exactly what happened in the cases of strippers. The ladies put up a mix of professional photo shoots and personal no filter moments. As a result, the strip club audience now had a chance to communicate directly with their idols.
Free PR Stripper style
If Blac Chyna has 15.6 million followers, the less famous ladies of the strip scene easily muster anything between 10k and 100k followers. This is a formidable achievement bearing in mind that strippers do not have the PR machine that celebrities have. But for the clubs and the agents this is even better. The ladies have their own following which they fish online. Then the followers queue outside the clubs to come and meet them in person. This model almost wiped out the profession of stripper promoter. When the dancers themselves can build an audience, what can a promoter do that they can’t?
Strippers United: how striptease became an international movement
We can say that without a doubt, that during the last 5 years, strippers started communicating directly among themselves on a global scale. Strippers in Australia are following strippers in New York and strippers in the UK are sharing photos with strippers in Ireland. Even stripper agencies are building Facebook groups and contacting clients through their social media channels. Furthermore the ease of communication allowed for striptease style to merge. Poledancing was elevated to an Olympic sport in 2016 and erotic dance schools started appearing in the hotspots of the Industry. Footage from strip clubs is being shared online at a daily basis, making the industry an accessible artistic space. There are stripper competitions and festivals and even dating apps are sponsoring adult themed events.
Removing the seal of shame
An indirect but obvious consequence of this open networking model is the fact that striptease is not hidden anymore behind closed doors. Strippers are appearing in talent shows and strip clubs are organising charity events in support of major NGOs. In Ireland strippers are not as forward as their US counterparts, but the scene is changing. Stag parties are a big part of the stripper audience in Ireland. Since almost every wedding is preceded by a stag party, strippers are becoming an acceptable norm in the lives of Irish people. Contacting strippers directly on their social media platform is changing the game. You can actually ask the ladies about their show and share photos of the performers with your friends.
Up to the 80s Ireland was the home of surreal realities. With an average of 5 children per couple and censorship laws written by medieval monks, sexuality was only an exercise for reproduction. The Irish though are a sensual nation and always found ways to entertain their naughty side. From the statue of Molly Malone being called “the tart with the cart” to the James Joyce’s endless sensuality, Ireland could not wait to throw off the yoke of the men in black robes. Nowadays ‘booking a stripper in Ireland is easier than ordering pizza’ confirms Simon the manager of strip.ie. ‘People are actually more concerned about getting a discount rather than keeping the stripogram a secret’
Stripper: role model for the poor and downtrodden
Strippers did not expect to become role models. But if Kim Kardashian can do it, any back side can do it. The Kardashians made their money from their image. And it was not a refined image that came out of the catwalks of NY fashion shows. It was a rough and ready look that brought the curvaceous bodies in fashion. Body positivity became a term that was on every journo’s lips. But well before Kim balanced a champagne glass on her tailbone, there were women of all shapes and sizes that called striptease their bread earning profession. Their imperfections were their selling points. In the age of Instagram, those imperfections are daily photo opportunities. Other women cannot help admiring the confidence of the ladies that take their clothes off with their head held high.
Strippers in Ireland have not yet caught up with the Instagram craze, but there are a good few tailblazers. Burlesque performers maintain a strong social media presence. Also stripper agencies make sure that the public knows about their performers and shows. The big window shop of the world has a special place for beauty. Especially the king of beauty that makes men enter the shop in a jiffy.