Yes, I agree that strippers have been marginalized by unwarrented stereotype.

I have been a magazine photographer in Vancouver since 1977 until the bottom fell of magazines and newspapers a few years ago. In the 20th century particularly in the late 70s until the mid to late 90s Vancouver had one of the finest scenes of exotic dancers in show lounges (the euphimisms used). For many of my magazine assignments I liked to use my stripper friends. In fact one of the secrets of my success as a magazine photographer in Canada came from the fact that my makeup-up/stylist was a retired exotic dancer. She was able to make my subjects relax before I photographed them. She could “make” dresses on the spot with bolts of satin, safety pins and gaffer tape. She was a gem. She is happily married an living in the outskirts of Vancouver. Another who had as perfect a body as I have ever seen married (years ago) a paraplegic and she is an expert trainer on signing for hearing impaired folks. And I could go on and on. These women are the ones who taught me (with their patience) to take good photographs. Thanks to them I could experiment with lighting techniques. Most now are middle-aged or in their late 50s. I see them now and then and they look, seem and are perfectly adjusted and any other folks I could name.

One in particular went from being an amazing ballet dancer to one of the best pole dancers I ever saw. Then she quit the business and teaches yoga.

There is one difference between British Columbia strippers of yore and the American ones. Here in BC the dancer took all of it off.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Vancouver BC

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

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