I have struggled for years to figure out how to formally talk about this subject.
I used to be an “adult model“.
I have discussed it with those close to me but outside of that I haven’t talked too openly about it. I sat down with my husband before I posted this article because I wasn’t sure how to narrate it.
Honestly, it’s not something I think about very often; from time to time hubby calls me by my moniker from that period of my life jokingly; and I’m reminded of a moment in my life that I wasn’t at my best.
Before I delve in, let me say this: I don’t mean to offend or judge. I am only speaking from my point of view. I’m not here to tell any woman what’s right or wrong for her.
With that being said, it was wrong for me.
I was raised in a devout Christian home. I believed what my parents taught me; I just wasn’t ready to receive nor listen; so I left my faith around 16. Life was pretty tumultuous after that. A LOT happened and if you follow my blog or me on any social media then you know sexual assault occurred when I turned 17, a teen pregnancy shortly after and so on and so forth. My life could totally be a Lifetime movie right? lol
Fast forward to being 21, living in Philly, fresh off a break up with my now husband (yea sometimes the happy endings do happen!) Myspace was poppin’, I was getting my feet wet with the blogging thing, I had met a new guy and life had some semblance of normalcy. I had my own apartment, I was going back to school for my Medical Assistant Cert and I had survived the first 3 years of parenting.
But I was dead broke
Welfare, food stamps, dead-end jobs that were going nowhere and I didn’t even have enough pocket change to get a loose $.50 Newport let alone anything else that was considered a luxury at the time. That’s why when a young black woman sought me out on Myspace, told me I was beautiful, that there was a modeling opportunity I could take advantage of and be paid- I jumped at the chance. It wasn’t long before she and I had a conversation and the reality of what the modeling job really was finally reared its taboo head.
A BBW fetish site.
A lot of thoughts went through my head; I made up as many reasons to justify the choice I was making. I called it confidence. Said I was empowering women. I was liberating myself. I was being bold. I was being young and free. The truth though? I was being opportunistic. I was willing to exchange the privacy of my body, to willfully be considered a piece of meat, to be viewed as something to be toyed with…all in the name of money. Because I knew the fundamental truth- SEX SELLS. And if it sells that means there’s money to be made.
For a little while it was exciting. The Tyra Banks’ Show reached out to me. They wanted to know my story. I had grown pretty popular pretty fast. Other companies were reaching out. Opportunities were GROWING.But I wasn’t happy. I hated the names I was called. Men said all sorts of foul and disgusting things…and people didn’t even know my name; they knew the character I had created. And could I really be mad? I could. It was my right. But would my anger be realistic considering I literally put myself in this position to be exposed?
I started thinking, and I thought about my daughter first; knowing this was not the legacy I wanted to leave behind for her. And underneath the exterior of wanting a Godless, faithless lifestyle, devoid of a moral compass; I was troubled. As quickly as I signed on, was as quickly as I exited.
Life moved on and I quietly packed that part away. My closest friends and family knew what I had done, and while no one shamed me for it; I carried a sense of guilt for the disappointment I knew I caused. It was a lesson though, because in that brief time that this was my occupation; it taught me a lot about myself.
I grew up and went on to make many, many more mistakes, because that is life. However, every so often I receive a DM on my social media from someone who stumbles across an old photo of me and feels compelled to ask: “Is this you?” The first time it happened I was taken aback. I froze, and never responded. When it happened again I simply said yes. They asked if I had more and I politely told them I was no longer in the business.
I suspect that it will happen a few more times in my life. I’ve prepared for that. It’s the internet- it’s an unforgiving void.
This experience definitely shaped how I view the so-called BBW communities. I think that’s why I’m so bothered by unsolicited, sexually charged comments. I think it’s why I cringe when I see pages set up allegedly to celebrate fat bodies when in reality it’s meant to reduce fat bodies down to a sexual fetish.
Every woman has to make a choice about how she is viewed; that’s why I don’t go preaching on anyone’s page about what they should or shouldn’t do because I’ve been there. But…if you’re there and want out… that’s a conversation we can have and I’ll be glad to help.
*Exhales and ends the chapter*