Interview with UK most successful stripper-Gisel
Letty: Welcome to Strip Magazine Gisel. We are honoured to have you with us today.
Gisel: Likewise, Letty!
Letty: You are one of the most glamorous and recognized performers in the UK strip scene. How did you achieve such a massive success?
Gisel: I guess I always liked the idea of becoming something. I was raised in a very ordinary family in Surrey along with my two sisters-a very cute younger sister and a beautiful older one. In my youth I always felt quite plain and invisible to people which I guess has inspired me to create a different form of glamour for myself-one reminiscent of old Hollywood beauties. I love Hollywood movies-women there are such distinguished, strong characters who never needed to apologize for who they are and the life they want to lead.
Letty: So, your success is the result of hard work that has built you a powerful self-image like Old Hollywood icons? Is it possible to do the same by just being yourself?
Gisel: It is absolutely, but I could simply not relate to all the natural beauties that we see in the fashion world like Victoria’s Secret or Sports Illustrated models.
Of course, everyone admires natural beauty but when you watch women on set that are painted and made into who they are, it is so clear to me that it is all created, and they are not born with that. And you realize that you can be the creator of a different form of glamour-whether it is the power of a seductive dance or the art of self-creation. I guess that glamour is something I am more interested rather than beauty. I really love artificial, man-made beauty that to me is а form of art.
Letty: Do you think that in striptease, there is a secret language amongst women that is different from the way that mean read it?
Gisel: Definitely! Some aspects of my work as a strip artist have often made men feel intimidated and insecure while the same body language has been received in a totally different way by a woman. Besides, when you are respected and established into that industry and the majority of your fans are women, it is a different kind of responsibility and you start asking yourself what striptease means to people and what I mean to my audience as striptease is not just about ogling beautiful, naked girls, but it could also be a powerful message of self-creation, of showing people other form of beauty and sensuality and how to channel it in the right way.
Letty: Does good looks matter for the success in this industry?
Gisel: The real beauty of this industry is that it doesn’t really matter how you look or how old you are or what your body shape is as true sexuality and sensuality comes from the mind.
So, you can start late, be different and still make a mark in this industry and create an image that is larger than life. We have all these beautiful women like Dita Von Teese, Gipsy Rosie who are not ashamed to be calling themselves striptease artists and who have really made it despite the odds and the fact that their looks weren’t what was exactly considered as ideal at the time they started their careers.
Letty: And you do not consider that striptease is an industry that objectifies women?
Gisel: I think that the striptease industry brings the best out of women with really strong personalities who do not feel that they should apologize for who they are or what makes them feel sexy and empowered or even how they would like to live their lives.
I think that there is a lot of violence that is in fact the result of sexual frustration and shaming, the effect of putting a stigma on sex and sensuality. As dancers our job is to make people feel interesting and attractive and worthy of female attention.
Letty: What in your opinion can make a woman look and feel sexy?
Well, it is very important for each individual to find out what image makes them feel confident and sexy. You cannot dictate to woman what should make her feel sexy and what choices she should make in life. If she feels sexy wearing stockings and leather and dancing around a pole, then this is what she should be doing.
Letty: Are your visions about stripping and sexuality often considered anti-feminist by people?
Gisel: Yes, in a way. I think though that people who are criticizing and putting a stigma on those women are, in fact, embodying the worst of the anti-feminist behavior and repressing an individuality like it has been done during the medieval ages.
Letty: And what is the key quality that a stripper should possess to make it in this industry?
Gisel: Well, I guess like in any other industry you should try to be as much innovative, different and professional at the same time to be successful and remembered. In the striptease industry you are your own brand and develop and manage yourself into the image that you would like to become. When I started first in this industry the image of success for a stripper was a tall, blonde, sun-tanned bikini babe and I thought that I could really capitalize on my look as I was nothing like it. And I did build a successful career in this industry because I was different.
Letty: If something is about making you an object-a high-class, glamorous but still an object, isn’t that exactly the opposite of the powerful creative force that women in this industry are?
Gisel: Well, kind of, but then what do we say when it comes to my female audience? How does this statement equate them? Like, you are a sexual object for men or whatever and that is considered anti-feminist. Yet, 80% of my audiences who come to watch me perform is consisted of women, then how does that become anti-feminist? It is a really complicated argument when you get into it, you know.
Letty: Do you think that the subject of women’s sexuality that is almost accepted as a taboo nowadays is gradually falling down?
Gisel: It is for sure. First, let’s talk about the last taboo that we are going to be liberated from as women. Like, one of the last things that we are not allowed to do is to just surrender and be like “I just want to be a sex object right now”. One of the last things we have liberated ourselves is to be sexually free too and at the same time have it all.
By openly showing to the world our sexuality and sensuality as women, we are simply leveling up the playfield that has long been dominated by men solely. I don’t think that women’s nature should be repressed simply because it could be intimidating or too provocative for someone. I think its high time that the world starts accepting and respecting full-blooded women who are not ashamed of their bodies or sexuality rather than lessening and oppressing us with stigmas and taboos.
Letty: How do you prevent abuse and abusive behavior in your work?
Gisel: I think that it often depends on how much you tolerate from other people. And what the standards of a specific business are because if you allow abuse and humiliation to be systematically happening in your club and thus attracting a specific type of people that are not usually from the highest strata of society then it is not about striptease and artistry anymore, is it? Generally, the clubs I have worked in would never allow their artists to be abused and if such thing happens then the abuser should face the consequences including a trial in court.
Letty: Do you often get judged by people?
Gisel: When it comes to people judging, well, they will judge you whatever you are or do so you might as well create the life that you want and enjoy yourself.
Letty: If women at home are kind of nervous about expressing their sensuality and sexuality, have you got any tips for them on how to get in touch with themselves?
Gisel: I think that the most important thing is to have a playful sense of adventure when you are expressing yourself, you are doing things because you enjoy it and not because your partner is going to like it. A true expert in the art of seduction and sensuality understands that all of these things become magical only when you are doing it because you are good at something that you really enjoy. When you start thinking about what other people like too much, it’s more likely to become an epic failure and it’s not sensual and it’s not seductive at all.
Letty: Thank you for your time Gisel! I wish you an even greater success in the future!
Gisel: Thank you for having me today Letty! All the best!