Download PDF by Robert C. Allen: Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture

Robert Allen's compelling booklet examines burlesque not just as renowned leisure but in addition as a fancy and reworking cultural phenomenon. while Lydia Thompson and her arguable lady troupe of "British Blondes" introduced sleek burlesque to the USA in 1868, the end result was once electrical. Their impertinent humor, streetwise demeanour, and provocative parodies of masculinity introduced them huge, immense renowned success--and the condemnation of critics, cultural commentators, or even women's rights campaigners.
Burlesque used to be a cultural chance, Allen argues, since it inverted the "normal" international of middle-class social family and transgressed norms of "proper" female habit and visual appeal. before everything taking part in to first rate middle-class audiences, burlesque was once fast relegated to the shadow-world of working-class male relaxation. during this procedure the burlesque performer "lost" her voice, as burlesque more and more revolved round the reveal of her body.
Locating burlesque in the context of either the social transformation of yankee theater and its styles of gender illustration, Allen concludes that burlesque represents a desirable instance of the aptitude transgressiveness of renowned leisure kinds, in addition to the thoughts wherein they've been contained and their threats defused.

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