I’m going to explain my opinion that I presented when I was debating if strippers could be feminists. The debate was instigated of the back of JLO’s new film “Hustlers” which Lopez herself has declared as “empowering”…. (you can watch the debate here)
First of all, I haven’t seen the film. Although I personally can’t wait to. I mean its got Jennifer Lopez. On a pole. AT AGED 50. FIFTY!!!! Looking like some form of queen that’s been grown organically in a sun-kissed meadow and never been within a 20-foot radius of gluten or sugar. Has she made a deal with the devil to look like that? JLO in that film is fucking empowering and liberating. No two ways about it. And from what I can gather, the film is about the girls (the lap dancers) forming a comradery. That sounds pretty empowering to me… But that was never my argument.
I spent over 10 years topless and up a pole in some of the best and most exclusive clubs in the world. Aged 17 – 23 it was my full-time job… And then I performed weekend appearances as recently as 9 years ago. In this picture, I was in Spain having been flown over for the sole purpose of entertaining “gentleman” while topless and on a pole. I have objectified myself in ways that I still can’t bring myself to write about. But be it time spent as a formula one girl, a ring girl, a glamour model or a lap-dancer, believe me when I say that my lap-dancing career was where I felt the most exploited.
Your job as a ring girl, formula one girl etc is to turn up and look pretty. If you find it liberating to parade around wearing next to nothing, then hats off to you. I actually had a blast doing those gigs back in the day.
However, your aim as a lapdancer is to do 2 things… Seduce the client and get him to spend as much cash as possible behind the bar. In other words, get him under the influence of a dangerous substance and turn him on to the point that he’s nothing more than a drooling sack of hormones. I defy any topless young woman to be in that environment and feel liberated.
There is a deep-rooted trauma within you that isn’t being addressed if you are happy to be putting yourself in a situation where your primary objective is to get men drunk and horny. I was sexually assaulted at ages 14 and 15. I then spent ages 17 – 30 in some form of exploitative situation of what I thought was my own independent doing. It wasn’t until I began doing deep work on myself that I began to realise the extent of how my childhood trauma has impacted my every adult “choice”.
If women want to show their body off… Then show it off!!!! It can be empowering and liberating!! But please let’s not mistake liberating self-expression with oppressive exploitation.
In this first picture, I’m in a private villa in Spain. I had been flown over to “perform” over there at a villa with a private nightclub. I was flown over by private plane and I was paid…..quite a lot of money. In this picture, I was being exploited. In my opinion, I also think that I look dead behind the eyes here. Being passed around like an hors d’oeuvre at an event isn’t empowering. I don’t care how many private fucking planes you flew on to get to it.
In the second picture, I’m in my bathroom, post explant, post baby body, (skint!) and happy as a pig in shit. I’m showing my body off because I want to… And it’s liberating as fuck.
That’s the difference.