• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Lillian Bustle {of JC Burlesque}

    Written by:

    Sometimes, being confident can be tough. For many of us, our confidence can falter. But for others, being confident looks easy, as if it comes naturally to him or her. Lillian Bustle is one of those special + lucky people who makes oozing confidence look, well, simple. As a self-proclaimed “body liberationist” and the producer of JC Burlesque, Lillian radiates confidence, positivity, and more. As this week’s Hoboken Girl of the Week, find out what inspires Lillian, what the toughest part of her job is, and more. Keep reading to learn about Hoboken Girl of the Week, Lillian Bustle of JC Burlesque.

    lillian bustle hg week

    Tell us about yourself.

    I produce JC Burlesque and variety shows, as well as teach classes! I also emcee burlesque, drag, and open mic in NJ and NY, I’m an activist and public speaker for body liberation and self-image, and I sing with an a capella group Cabaret Sauvignon. 

    Who is your biggest source of inspiration?  

    Jo Boobs Weldon, the headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque! She’s such a fierce performer and patient teacher. Also, Lizzo gives me FIRE!

    Read More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Kalene Walsh {of Sweat + Flow NYC}

    What are your goals for this year?

    I’d like to produce a show in NYC. I’ve only produced in Jersey City because I feel like I understand how to promote and market here, and New York is a whole different critter. I’d also like to perform more!

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    Oh gosh, my days are rarely typical. Sometimes I’ll have an art modeling job or another freelance gig, but if not, I’ll start the day by cleaning or organizing something, and then work on costumes or rehearse acts or songs. I also check a few social media sites to keep up on burlesque news and body politics issues!

    “I get emails and messages from total strangers, too, who tell me that I’ve inspired them to embrace their individual beauty, or advocate for themselves at the doctor’s office, or even just to wear something daring. It’s thrilling.”

    lillian bustle hg week 7

    What is the hardest part of your job?

    Discipline. Freelancing and gigging is tough, and I have to remind myself to keep hustling!

    What has been the highlight in your career so far?

    Well, this morning my mother-in-law told me that I’ve inspired her to process some major issues she’s had about her body and appearance and to start doing print modeling and commercial acting again. That was about the best thing I could have ever hoped for. I get emails and messages from total strangers, too, who tell me that I’ve inspired them to embrace their individual beauty, or advocate for themselves at the doctor’s office, or even just to wear something daring. It’s thrilling. The other thing I’m tremendously proud of is my TEDx Talk, Stripping Away Negative Body Image. I never dreamed it would be so well received!

    lillian bustle hg week 6

    ^ Lillian with Falana Fox 

    {Photo credit: Shanna Bowman}

    “I truly want folks to reject standard notions of beauty and prettiness, and work towards treating each other with dignity and compassion. We each have inherent beauty and value that we can lose sight of when we’re trying so hard to be someone else’s version of perfect.”

    Tell us about other businesses in the area that you admire.

    Lots of local businesses sponsor my shows. I adore @javiera_magaly, Pure Restoration Massage {Shanna Bowman, licensed massage therapist} @balancesalonjc, @luckyhoneybee, @growinginjerseycity, @breadnspoonjc, and @tahvintagejc.

    See More: Hoboken of Girl the Week: Tina Rivera {of Baking Mama}

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    lillian bustle hg week 5

    {Photo credit: Atticus Media Productions}

    What is your favorite restaurant in Jersey City?

    Shout out to my favorite taco truck! El Chilango is DELICIOUS.

    What is your favorite boutique in Jersey City?

    Tah Vintage has amazing finds! They always have new surprises and beautiful vintage clothes and goods.

    What do you love most about living in Jersey City?

    I love that I can see NYC but I don’t have to smell it 🙂

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    See live music! There’s always something going on. FM always has great live bands, there’s incredible stuff happening at Fox and Crow, the concert series at Grace Van Vorst, you can see something amazing and unique any night of the week.

    lillian bustle hg week 4

    {Photo credit: Jeanne Wright}

    How long have you lived in the area.?

    My husband and I moved to Hoboken in 2005 and then moved to JC Heights around 2008, so I’ve been in the area for about 15 years.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Jersey City?

    Aside from our roof deck, I love the pier down in Hoboken and Riverview/Fiske park up in the Heights.

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    We belong to SkyClub, I like the pool there!

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    We hang out at Pet Shop, Pint, Six26, LITM, FM, and Low Fidelity the most. If I’m meeting folks in Hoboken, I love The Cuban and South Street Fish + Ramen Co.!

    lillian bustle hg week 2

    What is something you think needs to come to Jersey City?

    I’d love a karaoke place where you can rent out rooms!

    Is there anything else you’d like to share?

    I truly want folks to reject standard notions of beauty and prettiness, and work towards treating each other with dignity and compassion. We each have inherent beauty and value that we can lose sight of when we’re trying so hard to be someone else’s version of perfect.

    Keep up with Lillian via Twitter at @lillianbustle, Instagram at @lillian_bustle, Facebook at @lillianbustle, and on her website www.lillianbustle.com.

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Girl or Guy of the Week?

    Fill out our application here


    Written by:

    Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.


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