Mirror Mirror: Sex Work & Body Image

It’s an infallible truth — we live in a world guided by aesthetics.

Now, add that to a profession where all is bare and you are literally naked for a living. Scary, right? By being a public figure that is associated with fantasy and pleasure for the general public — people are going to have opinions. 

How can one have confidence when they are constantly being judged for their looks? How can you tune out the negative comments? How can your self-esteem survive being barraged by others’ notions of beauty? I want to share my experience navigating this during my 10 years in the porn industry.

Once upon a time...

When I began shooting, I was 23, fresh eyed and bushy tailed. I wasn’t necessarily sure what I was in for with regards to body expectations in the industry. I quickly got a crash course via a bevy of opinions about my body. Boobs too saggy, pancake butt, hair wrong color, too heavy, and any other comments you can conjure up. 

It hit me. HARD.

I took the critiques to heart and began crash dieting and working out like a maniac. My body drastically changed and I was booked more while making a name for myself. 

Still, the negative comments kept coming…

My body image spiraled.

I then became self-conscious about my boobs (natural and large) and decided to get my first boob job. The surgery was extremely painful and the recovery was a bitch. Once I was healed and able to work again — I worked A LOT.

Now the comments changed.

“Why did you get implants?” “You look fake.” “Nipples are still too big.” “Why didn’t you make them even bigger?”

As confident and happy as I was with my new breasts, it still stung. I continued losing weight and began down the road of botox and lip injections. My bookings increased —and so did the less desirable comments….

Sadly, I developed a complication with my first boob job (scar tissue wrapping around my right implant) and was in constant pain. I decided to switch plastic surgeons and have it corrected. I went even LARGER with the implant size, had my nipple size reduced and was extremely ecstatic with the result. Bookings ramped up even more, planting the idea that I had to keep changing to ensure I kept making money. Then it hit me.

A lightbulb moment.

By learning, aging, and maturing in the industry I came to the (seemingly obvious) and stark realization:

YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE!

Embracing this notion and mantra, my mindset and self- esteem became invigorated. I ignored the negative comments, tweets, and body image change requests. I was finally happy and comfortable in my own skin.

It took almost my entire decade-long career to arrive at the destination of “the only opinion that matters about yourself is your own!”

My words of advice.

If you’re reading this and are struggling with a similar issue, I have some words of advice:

  • Porn is such a vast spectrum of sizes, colors, styles, and niches. There is room for EVERYONE to flourish and find their own space and lane. Find what works for you and give it 100%.
  • Only change your appearance (whether it be hair color, plastic surgery, aesthetic) if it’s something YOU want. Porn may only be a small portion of your life — make sure your decisions are ones you would be happy with even after you leave the industry.
  • Surround yourself with supportive, like- minded individuals that care about your happiness, self-esteem and success.
  • Use the block button on social media! If a particular account is constantly tearing you down — remove their ability to do so!
  • Protect your mental health. If critiques and opinions are getting to you and affecting your emotions, health, and sanity — take time to relax, unwind, unplug, and heal. You can’t perform at your peak (professionally or personally) if you’re not in the proper mindset to do so.
  • Embrace that you are PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE! If fans don’t agree — then they aren’t really your fans

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.

If you’re reading this: you are beautiful, strong, talented and amazing. I beg you: never, ever forget that!

Now go out into this world, create beautiful art and next time you walk by a mirror, stop and appreciate that there is only ONE of you…and NO ONE can take that away.

Follow Missy on Twitter.

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