Dita Von Teese Reminds Us It’s Sexy to be Safe
Dita Von Teese is known as one of the sexiest women alive and is undoubtedly the most famous burlesque dancer of our time. With looks reminiscent of Bettie Page, Dita takes beauty and sex appeal to a whole other level — from beauty products to lingerie, she’s making it easy for the rest of us to try to be just an ounce as sexy as she is.
But perhaps the sexiest thing of all, is her philanthropic work with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, to which she recently lent her sexy voice covering the 80’s hit made famous by Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” alongside French singer/songwriter, Sebastien Tellier.
The compilation entitled “The Time Is Now”, was released October 7th and was created to benefit the foundation and its’ research. It includes 14 classic hits from the 1980’s, rejuvenated, re-imagined, and updated by contemporary artists like Dita, DNCE, Phantogram and Scarlett Johansson via her band, Sugar For Sugar.
Miss Von Teese has supported AIDS research in a major way starting with becoming a Viva Glam spokesperson for MAC cosmetics, and is now continuing her support with this project with amfAR. It’s probably likely that none of us will be able to follow in the footsteps of Dita in becoming one of the most beautiful performers in the world, however, we CAN follow in her footsteps in remembering to be sexy, safe, and support!
Check out our Q&A with the amazing Miss Dita Von Teese below, then make sure to snag a copy of these cool tracks to support the research!
Get it HERE.
What does supporting amfAR mean to you? And why is this an important cause to you?
Well, I first became involved with amfAR through my role as Viva Glam spokesperson for the MAC AIDS Fund. During my two years of service with them, I learned a lot about the staggering statistics of young people becoming infected with HIV. It’s an important cause to me because I think that there are more and more young people that aren’t concerned about this disease, while the facts show that we should be.
23% of all people living with HIV in the United States are women, and the vast majority of newly diagnosed HIV-positive women contracted the virus through heterosexual sex. I really wanted to help get the word out about getting tested and the importance of insisting on safe sex every single time. I like to support the fundraising efforts of amfAR because I’ve seen firsthand the strides that have been made; in fact, they think that they will find a cure by 2020. I shudder to think what the state of the AIDS crisis would be today if not for the diligence of amfAR…
How did you decide to become involved in the project?
I was in Paris performing at The Crazy Horse. I’d been working with Sebastien Tellier on music for part of the show, and one day I showed up at his studio and he asked me if I would do it, and played me the music he had made to cover the song. I am not a singer by any means, in fact, it puts me WAY out of my comfort zone, which is another reason I like doing it I suppose. I think somewhere along the way someone told me I couldn’t sing, so it’s kind of fun for me to do it when an artist I respect as much as Sebastien believes in me and asks me to do it. And, of course I find it hard to deny amfAR anything they ask of me because I want to be of service however I can.
What made you want to cover “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” for the album?
It was truly Sebastien’s idea. I like the way he made the recording in a style all his own. The only way to cover such an iconic song with a voice as beautiful as Boy George’s is to do something very different. I think it would be ridiculous for just about anyone to try to re-sing that song, so I just talked my way through it! While I was doing it I kept thinking, “oh gosh, please don’t let Boy George ever hear this…!” But he did and gave me a very kind compliment on it.
How do you feel about music from the 80’s?
It baffles me that I can still remember every word of some of these 80’s songs that I haven’t heard in decades. 80’s music wasn’t ALL good, but when it was good, it was REALLY good. I love 80’s Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths…it all still holds up!
Why should everyone go and buy this great album?
Support the great work of amfAR, discover new artists…see if you still remember the words to these 80s songs!
“The Time Is Now” Full Track Listing
“Take Me Home” (Phil Collins), Performer: Phantogram
“Bizarre Love Triangle” (New Order), Performer: Sugar for Sugar
“Under The Milky Way” (The Church), Performer: Metric
“Whip It” (Devo), Performer: Brazilian Girls
“Rio” (Duran Duran), Performer: Bebel Gilberto
“What’s Love Got to Do With It” (Tina Turner), Performer: DNCE
“Billie Jean”(Michael Jackson), Performer: Aloe Blacc
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” (Culture Club), Performer: Dita Von Teese and Sebastien Tellier
“Maneater” (Hall & Oates), Performer: Lower Dens
“Genius of Love” (Tom Tom Club), Performer: Chaos Chaos and Slow Magic
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston), Performer: Marian Hill
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” (U2), Performer: LP
“Lovesong” (The Cure), Performer: Yuna
“Dance Hall Days” (Wang Chung); Performer: Theophilus London
For More on Dita Von Teese:
The artwork for the The Time Is Now album cover was designed exclusively for amfAR by British artist Tracey Emin.
Photo of Dita Von Teese by Ali Mahdavi