Five 1990s Burlesque Icons

Serena Doherty May 21, 2016 Burlesque History
Burlesque Icons

We’re taking a look at the women and performers who were 90s burlesque icons. These pop culture heroes influence fashion, burlesque and much more to this day.

Five 1990s Burlesque Icons

By the 1990s burlesque dancing had mostly given way to strip clubs but the vintage art form was making a comeback in the form of neo-burlesque. Dancers of the decade were influenced by the mainstream just as they are today.

Traditionally, burlesque is a form of satire and often takes a leaf out of pop culture’s playbook. Burlesque is also imbued with vintage glamour so these women’s influence on the genre can still be felt today.

From Louise Brooks to Cher and Lady Gaga, strong and successful women continue to have significance in burlesque. Luckily for us, there’s even cross-over from Cyd Charisse to Dita Von Teese. Lets be honest, both influence each other. So, lets take a look at the other side of the coin.

Spice Girls

Burlesque Icons

(Image from Think Contra)

There was a lot of teeny-bopper 90s pop music and a lot of cheesy music. It’s true. These five women, however, were pop culture icons as one entity. You can’t think 90s pop without thinking of the biggest girl group of all time, the Spice Girls.

Their girl power, platform shoes and out-there fashion were unavoidable and continue to be a guilty pleasure for many. Reminisce with their first hit track, ‘Wannabe’.

Miss Piggy

Burlesque Icons

(Image from Billy-Ball)

The matriarch of The Muppets, Miss Piggy is one of the best-known divas in the world. Her sass is just one of the many things we love about this feisty lady.

She may not have been in The Muppets burlesque video but she was a strong role model of the decade for young women everywhere. You can even see Muppet burlesque on Topless Robot. Watch this fabulous lady talk about turning 40, marriage and more.

Gwen Stefani

Burlesque Icons

(Image from American Songwriter)

As the lead singer of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani showed off her original style and strong persona. Feminist tracks like ‘Just a Girl’ became anthems of the era and the band are still going today.

Whether you loved her for her abs, her politics or her cameo in 10 Things I Hate About You, we’re in no doubt that she’s a 90s icon. (Yeah, we did.) Enjoy their breakout song about her real-life heartbreak with her fellow band member, ‘Don’t Speak’.

Read: Riot Grrrl Movement Quarter Century.

Britney Spears

Burlesque Icons

(Image from Fanpop)

Bubblegum pop was also embodied by pop culture icon, Britney Spears. The young songstress popularised the sexy schoolgirl for another generation.

She also became one of the first Disney Club alum to go full breakdown in the public eye, giving the tabloids endless fodder. Yay? Lets dance in our pjs to her first hit single.

Courtney Love

Burlesque Icons

(Image from Doll and Drummer)

Singer, songwriter and professional hot mess, Courtney Love charmed many with her grunge baby doll dresses and out-there antics. Whether you love her or hate her, the 90s wouldn’t be the same without her.

As lead singer of the band Hole she added some good ole ass-kicking to our list. And we love it.

Check out Five 1980s Burlesque Icons and watch our answer to: what is burlesque?

(Main image from Hidden Glasgow)