Ladies, meet your new role model
|All that and brains too- or so we're supposed to believe|
When it comes to picking role models for young women, where do you start? It arguably needs to be someone charismatic, someone who’s likeable. Someone who’s independent and has a career. Someone inspirational. Someone who’s earned enough money to support themselves. Someone with integrity.
Perhaps a politician? Maybe an activist?
What about a porn star?
The women of Lebanon have waited years for a high profile woman from their country to take the world stage. And now it’s happened: in the form of 21-year-old Mia Khalifa, a porn star.
Khalifa is in fact the world’s most popular porn star, having just become PornHub.com’s most frequently searched adult performer after three months in the industry.
Not only has she that, but she’s also got a BA in History from the University of Texas [Didact: And that makes her supposedly smart?], her own car, her own apartment and two dogs. She’s moved out of home and is supporting herself financially, which makes her the millennial dream. [Didact: No. Her titanic tits make her the millennial dream.]
Khalifa’s Amazon wish-list is full of books, from the Complete Works of Shakespeare to Speaking like a CEO. Regardless of whether the books and her trademark black rimmed glasses are real or feigned, they’re a masterstroke in personal branding.
She has 107,000 followers on Twitter and 143,000 on Instagram.
Khalifa’s not just a porn star. She’s an influencer.
But she’s not the influencer people want. Juliana Yazbeck wrote for Now Lebanon: “Really? Of the very few Lebanese women who are making global headlines, it has to be a porn star?”
But why not? Why is being a porn star any less valid, important or inspiring than any other career? And the answer is that high profile women aren’t supposed to have sex at all, let alone on camera. High profile women are supposed to be “above” that. They’re supposed to be concerned with loftier things than sexuality. And they’re certainly not supposed to have breast enlargements to further themselves.
Khalifa’s unapologetic choice to use her body to succeed makes people incredibly angry. Her social media account is a testament to just how much hatred she gets on a daily basis. Her Twitter feed is almost identical to that of any other young woman her age (lots of Vines and selfies) apart from casual references to the constant death threats she and her family receive.
One user wrote this week: "Ur head will be cut soon inshallah".
Khalifa responded: "Doesn't the Middle East have more important things to worry about besides me?
"How about finding a president? Or containing Isis?" [Didact: Well, at least the porn actress in question sort of has her head screwed on right. Sort of.]
She recently posted a picture of an Agent Provocateur underwear set, captioned: “After a long day of death threats coming home to my Xmas present to myself turns the entire day around.”
The way that Khalifa takes this abuse in her stride - and doesn’t let it affect the way that she lives her life - is inspirational in itself. Why wouldn’t women be motivated by it?
Despite a paucity of female role models, many people in Lebanon are rejecting Khalifa - a self made business woman who’s so proud of her Lebanese heritage that she has the first line of the national anthem tattooed on her body: that same body on which she bases her whole career.
Of course, if Lebanon were to design a dream role model for young women, they wouldn’t have made her occupation ‘porn star’. Parents understandably don’t want their children to grow up to have sex on camera. And young women should never think that the only option to better themselves is through their sexuality. But, on the other hand, young women should be confident that their bodies are their own; that they can make their own choices and use the talents they have to succeed. And Khalifa represents that.
When it comes to female role models, we can all agree that Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, is as good as it gets. A porn star is never going to have the same mass appeal.
But are Malala and Mia really so different in their attitudes? After all, they are bright, intelligent and brave young women who refuse to be stopped from doing what they love, even in the face of death threats.
If people of Lebanon really do care about having a high profile female role model, they should embrace Khalifa. It seems hypocritical to sneer at a person because they don't work in the industry you'd have chosen.
|The author of that article should be arrested for animal cruelty|
And it's certainly well past time we stopped pretending that a porn star's lifestyle is about "integrity", as the (apparently blitzed) author of that article claims.
(Interesting thought experiment: just how many vodka martinis would a woman have to consume before becoming so s**t-faced as to write such puerile trash? I'm guessing, probably enough to induce severe alcohol poisoning in any normal person.)
|Puts a whole new perspective on those movies, doesn't it?|
(I've known a few women with BAs in History. I'm not impressed. It's safe to say that I know more about history than most of them do, and I merely have a strong interest in the subject.)
|Hey, just because she's slutty doesn't mean she's ugly|
I see someone's daughter.
|Paging Ms. Reid, your village is calling...|