WRITTEN BY ANONYMOUS
I want to start off by saying that I’m sorry on behalf of students at this institution. I’m sorry for the undeserved shaming, and for the way that the Chronicle has indecently depicted your story. I have been inspired by your open expressions of identity, and I sincerely hope that our society can learn to respect your individual lifestyle choices.
But please understand why I will not support your contributions to the pornography industry.
You will never see someone like me in your porn studios. My ebony skin, curly hair, and thunder thighs are a stark antithesis to the typical porn star body. Media sends the message that highest-levels of beauty and sexual prowess are reserved for people who fit the mold of societal standards. As long as the current industry persists, people like me will only appear in porn videos to represent a 20% minority of others… aka the ones who satiate ebony and “fat girl” fetishes.
You represent the 80% of white, thin, straight-haired girls who dominate porn production. You also say that your father is a medical doctor. You have financial resources that a majority of people in this world can only dream of. You have racial privilege because you exhibit and propagate the archetypical traits that society deems as “sexy”.
I am in no way disregarding the pain that you have experienced, which is very much an unfortunate circumstance of our culture. But the consequences of your porn career extend far beyond the shaming and disrespect that you have experienced at Duke. It extends to the experience of every single human being who is subject to the unrealistic standard of beauty and sexual prowess set by pornography actors and actresses. And when you choose to express your sexuality by supporting this industry, you promote a culture that hurts many more people than yourself. You are not to blame: it is the fault of the porn industry which you promote.
Pornography is setting an unattainable standard for sex. This fantasy world does not depict explicit consent, and women don’t say no. They are obedient objects for male domination. They are subservient to the desires of the male porn star, the male porn director, and the predominantly male viewers. Fictitious pornography scenes create expectations of what people want from sex in the real world, which is an expectation that most individuals could never live up to.
His dick is too small.
Her thighs are too fat.
Porn destroys body image. Porn ruins lives as people are sucked into addictions that are difficult to break. It ruins relationships and breaks emotional connections in support of instant gratification. The porn industry propagates rape culture. It normalizes violent sexual domination, while fetishizing rape and victimhood as erotic.
What’s more, the average age for first exposure to pornography is eleven. Fictitious pornography scenes are distorting the realities of sex for pre-pubescent children, and sending a message to an entire generation about what ideal sex is supposed to be.
The consequences of your acting career extend way beyond yourself. Your decision to support the current porn industry will affect countless individuals in this country. Porn is destroying body image and promoting rampant female objectification. Many viewers (male, female, or otherwise) compare themselves, and now must live up to the unrealistic sexual expectations that porn stars are spreading throughout our society.
Porn stars create societal expectations about ideal race and body image.
Porn stars create societal expectations about what is sexy.
Porn stars create societal expectations of the qualities and actions that men and women must have to be sexually desirable.
Porn stars propagate ideas of male dominance and female subservience.
As you yourself state: “I want to pay my tuition and get through college in peace.” As long as the current porn industry continues, peace and acceptance and self-appreciation cannot fully exist for anybody. Why else would people at this school deem success on their ability to “fuck a porn star”?
You have the right to choose what to do with your body, and you deserve more respect for your lifestyle than what you have been receiving from Duke students.
At the same time, you are able to utilize the porn industry for your own financial gain because you live up to the standard of beauty that mass pornography has propagated in our society. As a result, others will suffer because of the culture that your industry promotes.
I am not condemning your decision to advance sexual liberty and pursue an open lifestyle. In fact, I adamantly support your vision of change in Duke’s culture, and I hope that you can find outlets on-campus to express your unique identity. Just know that I cannot support you as a porn star, because your job advances cultural norms that negatively affect other members of our society. As long as you contribute to porn, this oppressive industry will grow. People will continue to be victimized by the superficial, ethnocentric cultural standards that your industry imposes. Issues of body image, propagated by mass media, will continue to plague individuals across all ethnic and sexual identities. I cannot support that.
Please know that I still accept you as you are, and I sincerely believe that you will find people in this world who show you the respect and decency that you deserve as a human being. All I ask in return is that you act in a way that promotes the same culture of respect and acceptance that you desire for yourself.