100 Women We Love

photo by Paule Saviano
Miss Indigo Blue
According to Miss Indigo Blue, “It gets better—as soon as you realize you can twirl tassels!” Inspired by legendary performance artist Annie Sprinkle, the reigning Miss Exotic World 2011 donned her first pasties 16 years ago and quickly rose to the top of the neo-burlesque scene with her signature mix of the brainy and the bawdy. In homage to her heroines Carmen Miranda and Wonder Woman, Blue dons vintage-inspired costumes and executes gravity-defying twirling that must be seen to be believed. But she’s no fly-by-night floozy—in 2003, Blue founded the Academy of Burlesque (the subject of the acclaimed documentary, A Wink and a Smile) in Seattle and teaches burlesque classes to empower women through erotic performance. Along the way, the solo siren has performed in cities from Shanghai to Stockholm, earned a slew of trophies and founded the five-year-old BurlyCon Burlesque Educational Convention, where she remains Executive Director. “Being an out queer femme has given me a lot of perspective on the political value of performance art as well as the pure joy of entertainment that burlesque offers,” Blue says. “I love seeing the impact that my work has on others!”
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