Burlesque star Dita Von Teese admits she looks better at 40 than she did in her 20s, and owes her 22in waist to wearing corsets since the age of 18 (and parsley smoothies)
She exercises every day to maintain her 8st 3lbs weightFavourite workouts include Pilates, ballet and dressage
23:11 GMT, 16 October 2012
Dita Von Teese has just celebrated her 40th birthday.
And she has done so not with a silent mope over a mug of gin about getting old, but a whoop and a cheer…and the confession that she is in better shape now than she ever was in her 20s.
The 'Queen of Burlesque', who was married to rock singer Marilyn Manson from 2005 to 2007, said: 'I have better knowledge of my body and how to treat it. Between 18 and 20 I was a few pounds heavier, as I used to drink fizzy drinks and eat fast food.'
Fit at 40: Dita Von Teese, pictured as a fresh-faced young dancer (left) and in New York on Friday (right), says she feels in better shape now than she did in her 20s
Shaken, not stirred: Dita Von Teese performs her famous Martini glass routine during a photo-call for the Erotica show in London in 2006
In an interview with Closer magazine, Von Teese – who is 5ft 3in and weighs 8st 3lbs – also admitted going through a 'party girl' phase in the 90s.
During that time – when she was taking Ecstasy and LSD – her weight dropped to just 6.5st.
The odd couple: Dita Von Teese, aged 29, pictured in Hollywood with beau Marilyn Manson, whom she married in 2005
'I got skinny,' said the Michigan-born dancer whose real name is Heather Sweet.
'I was worried about the way I looked but also about the impact it was having on my health.
'I remember seeing a picture of myself and my ribs were sticking out.
'That was my motivation for not doing drugs anymore.'
Von Teese, who began performing
burlesque in 1992 and whose most famous routine involves her frolicking
inside an enormous Martini glass, also revealed she didn't
expect to find herself where she is now, aged 40, when she was young.
'I thought I'd be married and retired by 28. I didn't think I'd be at the top of my career in striptease.
'I don't worry about having kids and
it affecting my body.
'I'd have to rethink things if that happened, but
it wouldn't make me any less of a woman if it didn't.'
She confesses that she hasn't yet drawn a line through having plastic surgery and will one day 'probably look at lasers'.
The star explains that she maintains
her tiny 22-inch waist (which can be squeezed down to 16.5in) by
eating healthily, rarely drinking, avoiding bread, and drinking a vegetable
smoothie made from ingredients including parsley,
coriander and spinach every morning.
She also exercises daily and has worn a corset since
she was just 18.
feels best about herself around eight stone, the raven-haired beauty
says her strict exercise regime includes Pilates, ballet, exercise
videos, horse-riding and dressage, and she plans to take up fencing
But just like
the rest of us, Von Teese has several 'cheat' foods she can't always
resist. Crisps, crunchy sweets and Indian food feature high on her
Unlike the rest of us, the woman's incredible willpower means these 'naughty' treats are few and far between, which is why she looks as amazing now as she did when she burst on to the burlesque scene over two decades ago.
Happy Birthday Dita Von Teese.
Cosmetic enhancement: Von Teese, who hasn't had any cosmetic surgery yet, confesses that she hasn't ruled it out and will one day 'probably look at lasers'
In love: Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese arrive for the Elle Style Awards 2006, at the Atlantis Gallery at the Old Truman Brewery, east London