Hot Girls Wanted: an outraging spotlight on the amateur porn industry

Haleigh McGill

Hot Girls Wanted, a Netflix documentary produced by Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones, provides a glimpse into the lives of a group of barely-legal teenage girls breaking into the amateur porn industry. It is a very well-done film that brings up a lot of issues and questions about the inner-workings of the industry and invokes a lot of emotions.

It follows a group of girls living in the same house, where Riley, their 23-year-old talent agent – or glorified pimp – grooms them to become hopefully prominent identities within the industry. His business, Hussie Models, is located in Miami, Florida, where filming porn has become increasingly popular because there are no laws that require condoms to be worn like in California

Ad

“I used to be bullied and made fun of in school, and now I’m the sh*t technically,” Riley said during an interview in the documentary. “I drive my girls to and from shoots, they pay rent and I make good money.” 

Instead of finding a way to turn that frustration and anger from getting bullied into a college degree or getting creative as an entrepenuer, he turned it into living in a house with young women who he helps to sexually exploit through amateur porn and alter their identities forever. That makes him “the sh*t?” I don’t think so. That makes him a sleazy boy who never quite grew into a respectable man. 

I am aware that these girls choose to be there after responding to Riley’s ads on Craig’s List and willingly accepting a flight to Miami, but that doesn’t justify his job in any way. These girls have access to an arsenal of internet porn, like the majority of the United States, and they see what porn consumers want. They see what’s trending. The see what’s getting the most attention. And for whatever reason – to fill a void that exists within their family life, to boost their self-esteem and confidence, to be famous – they want to be what’s trending, they want that attention even if they have to strip their clothes and their dignity.

For many of the young women featured in Hot Girls Wanted, the money is just a bonus – it’s not necessarily the main reason they joined the amateur porn industry which I think is often the first reason that those outside of the industry consider. So many women who enter this industry are looking for freedom and empowerment – a way to express themselves. But when you’re 18 years old, it’s not always easy to see how the choices you make will affect, and even hurt you in the future. 

Tressa, 19, featured in Hot Girls Wanted and known in the amateur porn industry as Stella May, had plans to become a cheerleader for Texas State after she graduated high school, but instead she “chose a different path.”

“Without the internet, I probably would have just looked for an out-of-state job or gone to school … I needed some way to escape somehow,” Tressa said. 

Even in the cases where it is primarily for the money, is any amount really worth more than a woman’s dignity and self-respect? Personally, as a young woman, I want to earn money that I can be proud of instead of feeling ashamed and used up in the back of my mind. Earning a living is hard, but based on how some of those featured in the documentary spoke of their jobs  and being able to see their emotions, I would imagine that degrading yourself on camera and doing things you don’t want to do for the whole world to see is even harder, regardless of the consolation prize in the form of a stack of cash.

Some of these girls do have a pretty wide locus of control, as demonstrated in the documentary by Tressa, who after talking with her mother and recent boyfriend texted Riley and said she was done and leaving the house and the industry, and she was able to go with little-to-no push back. I recognize that there may be girls who find themselves in more desperate and controlling situations, and it might not be that easy for them to find a way out. But at the end of the day, it’s an individual’s decision to get involved with the porn industry and there is always another way, another path, even if it doesn’t seem as easy as filming a porno seems on the outside. 

Where there is a demand there will be a supply, and I believe there has to be a way to eradicate this demand. A lot of people have a sick desire to see “the girl next door” engaging in sexual relations with her uncle, or dad, or a young girl who appears to be taken advantage of, or whatever it may be. The fact that this kind of porn is becoming more popular and accepted is shocking and disgusting. For a lot of these young girls, the opportunities to live their lives and do other things outside of the porn industry exist and are readily available yet they are choosing porn. To me, that is the most heartbreaking scenario. They have the world at their fingertips but that’s not enough for them, because our society has become so overly-sexualized in the media and that carries into the home. In this day and age, sex sells, sex makes you desirable, sex makes you famous. And the girls who are looking up to their “role models” in the media are seeing this message and therefore trying to embody it. 

I don’t care how sexy they may look in the photo shoots or the videos, amateur porn is not empowering, and neither is Miley Cyrus shoving dollar bills into that sacred space between her legs during a live performance as shown in the documentary – yet she’s one of the most prominent and popular females in the entertainment industry right now. It’s degrading. If amateur porn is a path that thousands of girls ages 18-20 are looking to for freedom and empowerment every year, we have a serious problem. They should be looking for a way to become empowered and find freedom through education, work experience, surrounding themselves with positive people and finding a respectable way to make a living.

Ad

This country doesn’t need young girls leaving home to get all done up to strip down for a porn video that portrays incest, misogynistic domination and general sexploitation. We need young girls leaving home to go to a college or find a job where there’s room to grow and move up, and “orgies” and “forced blowjobs” are not in the job description.

https://youtu.be/o2dQojRHX9Q

Collegian Opinion Editor Haleigh McGill can be reached at letters@collegian.com, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.