Popular culture has always been a slightly distorted mirror of our everyday reality, depicting real life events in exaggerated or over-sized way. However, stripping and the whole industry of exotic dancing is mostly shown as realistically as possible, since audiences wanted to have the actual experience of a lap dance for example or too see their favorite movie star go all commando while working the pole.
Historically, the first appearances of striptease in popular culture, i.e. in Hollywood movies, started in 1940s and 1950s. Movies like “Gypsy” or “Put the Blame on Mame” provided legendary actresses like Natalie Wood and Rita Heyworth respectively with a chance to provoke and seduce. Heyworth’s interrupted scene with long gloves is especially memorable.
Later years brought with them sexual revolutions of 1960s and 70s, and striptease became a lot more explicit since in those years the first topless and bottomless performances were recorded. Strip clubs were growing in popularity but perhaps due to the different movie topics, mostly Vietnam War and similar, there were no smoking hot scenes until the 1980s or late 70s at least.
But, when it happened then it really happened. Movies from those years still captivate audiences worldwide and stripping was performed often in movies and music videos. G-strings and silicone implants became a trademark of 1980s, and most popular movies with stripping motifs were “Flashdance” with all too familiar story of a girl working by day in a steel mill and dancing seductively by night, and “91/2 weeks” with its memorable scene of Kim Besinger undressing to Joe Cocker’s “You can leave your hat on”.
1990s brought even more nudity and explicit sex scenes, and stripping in the movies from those years was not so innocent any more like doing it for smiling Mickey Rourke. Producers of movies and music videos were asking for controversy, and the old idea that sex sells was dominant in those times. However, most of them ended up over-using it and some movies have so much nudity in them that it becomes even boring to the end of the film. Famous example of this type is the legendary Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” with Elizabeth Berkley losing her innocent charm from “Saved by the bell” and revealing it all, repeatedly. Similar idea was present when making “Barb Wire”, where the famous blond bombshell Pamela Anderson puts her assets to best use (both of them). Slightly different in plotline was “Striptease” – a movie about a single mother who tries to save her child, and scenes with her doing it are definitely smoking hot.
Mia Kirshner in “Exotica” gave several memorable scenes as a schoolgirl slash stripper, and another performance that has schoolgirls as theme is Salma Hayek’s dance as Serendipity in “Dogma”. Her other unforgettable striptease scene was not so innocent, since she played a super-hot vampire queen Santanico Pandemonium in “From Dusk Till Down” and this is often voted as the sexiest stripping scene ever.
Other honorable mentions definitely have to include scenes like those from Rebecca Romijn in “Femme Fatale”, Natalie Portman in “Closer”, Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers”, and many more. There were even some famous male performances, and most popular ones came from movies like “Full Monty” or “Magic Mike”.
Striptease is engraved in American culture and therefore ever-present in cinematography. (Keep it going movie makers, no one is complaining here!)Read More