At 16, I didn’t have the type of friends I saw on Sex and the City. That didn’t stop me from wanting it all – the gorgeous apartment in Manhattan, the hip job of being the female Anderson Cooper, the type of friends that would drop by unannounced with Chinese food and champagne while I look like a model in my pajamas… This was the life I knew I was born to have because this is what I constantly saw. These were my heroes whether I realized it or not.
Fast forward to 4 years later, I developed severe depression and anxiety while living in a basement of someone else’s house in New Jersey with a broke, dirty, bearded, chubby boyfriend who definitely didn’t look like Carrie’s Aiden and treated me like Big but without the money. And I was no Carrie myself. I had weird hair, a job that didn’t pay me shit while requiring me to commute in and out of the city by train at $20+/day, and people whom I called my friends who would only hang out if I practically begged them to. It was no surprise that I hated myself and cried every day.
The treatment of the women from SATC as groundbreaking feminists screwed with me. Trying to work out whether random sex was liberating or soul-destroying when I wasn't a rich, slightly sociopathic PR exec was confusing. Then the movies came out and confirmed - SATC is bullshit and has nothing to teach young women. Serial cheating, commitment phobic boyfriend? It's all good for A FUCKING SHOE WARDROBE. Fuck off, Darren Starr.
Only after I became a sex object on the internet, did I realize just how much internalized misogyny I have, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of it is due to female stereotypes that are perpetuated through the media. I mean, can you really blame me for not wanting to be female when lots of female characters in movies and TV shows are ditzy, bitchy, and/or drama queens who mostly just like to talk about things such as fashion and boys?
So thinking of myself as a woman (like the ones I saw on TV and in Cosmo) didn’t work. Neither did thinking of myself as a feminist, because it’s become somewhat of a "bad word." Otherwise intelligent men and women associated the term with "radical man-haters.” I tried thinking of myself as an enlightened online sex object using my feminine wiles to further myself, but even though it brought me money and modest fame (in the world of free porn, selling sex makes more money than one might think), it made me miserable. Non-sexual (sometimes political or feminist) tweets to my 15K followers were responded to with hatred and demands to “shut [my] mouth and open [my] asshole.”
I’d like to think I’m a constantly-evolving human being - never stagnant, never comfortable with my own situation - but maybe that’s just my excuse for not having my own identity. It’s sort of hard to nurture a healthy one when your father tells you that women are naturally inferior to men, your mother agrees, your sister has the looks of Mila Kunis and the misogyny of your father, and the internet tells you you’re wrong no matter what you do or how you act or how you look.
Shit’s tough, buttercup.