Hot Girls Wanted
There is a new documentary on Netflix called Hot Girls Wanted, produced by actress, Rashida Jones, and it has caused a bit of an uproar in the porn community. Some people in the adult industry feel that it’s not an accurate representation of their industry and is just another means to reinforce stereotypes and make the adult industry look bad. I recently watched it. Here are my thoughts…
This movie follows a small group of girls in Florida who are just starting out in the porn business. Most of them are 18 or just around that age. They are excited about their new life and the new opportunities ahead of them consisting of independence and money. Predictably so, some of the girls eventually come to realize that monetizing their sexuality does not empower them. They then quit the porn industry and continue on with their lives. I enjoy documentaries that leave me with something new to think about. So, what did this documentary leave me with? Absolutely nothing that I, nor a good portion of the american population, didn’t already know. We already are very aware that young girls are being exploited in the sex industry every day. What people are uneducated about or misinformed of is why or what we can do about this problem. This documentary answers neither of those questions.
I really wanted to like this documentary, and I was ready to defend it, but after watching it, I couldn’t do that. The reason girls are exploited in the sex industry has MANY layers to it, and therefore, a documentary on this subject has so much potential to have depth and insight into our hyper-sexual, yet sexually-uneducated culture in America. Instead, I found Hot Girls Wanted to be superficial and an ineffective means to help a group of victims. I also found it to be extremely tactless to watch the documentary take multiple stabs at random clips of Belle Knox, the Duke University student who was outed as a pornstar last year, and try and discredit many statements she made in the media. Overall, the documentary went like this: Here are these girls. They are being exploited. It is really sad. Then, after multiple scenes of tears and shame, the documentary ends with a vague message, leaving the viewer with a demonized view of the adult film industry.
I understand why Rashida Jones would want to make this documentary; she saw a group of young victims, and she wanted to raise awareness around the issue of female exploitation. Unfortunately, the documentary doesn’t have a view point about this subject beyond “this is bad” except that it alludes to pornography as being the problem. Because of this vague message, it gives no insight into why this is happening or how we can work towards reducing female exploitation.
It is disheartening to see the girls in this documentary have the experiences they had and to think there are so many more out there just like them. I admit that there is a lack of support and resources for girls who are new to the industry or interested in getting into the industry, but there are organizations that are working towards changing this. I hope to one day see a place where girls can go so they can be better prepared and better able to make a more informed decision about their potential future in the adult industry. Instead of demonizing a legitimate industry, we need to give these girls the tools they need to make educated decisions for themselves.