According to hooker visionary and figurative artist Natalia Fabia, the word “hooker” could be loosely defined as (excuse the pun) “someone who sells one’s talents and abilities, talent, or name for money, (but it also means) a rad, strong, talented, tough, colorful, independent, stylish, and beautiful woman.” This pageant is Fabia’s platform for highlighting real women in Hollywood’s music and art scene with a part burlesque performance and part improvised event that applauds beauty, brains and brawn. (via Susan Michals: A Hooker Beauty Pageant With Judge Dave Navarro)
Is she now or has she EVER been a sex worker?
Are the contestants ACTUAL sex workers?
It’s not clear and seems to be deliberately oblique.
Cos… appropriating a slur used against sex workers to glorify a detached experience of ‘femaleness’ (???) that does not include the very specific stigma of being a sex worker is NOT OKAY.
And using sex work jargon such as ‘whoring’, ‘prostituting’ and ‘hooking’ to stand as a metaphor for, oh what was it again: “someone who sells one’s talents and abilities, talent, or name for money”… is such fucking bullshit it cannot be borne. NO. NO. Equating the idea of profiting from your art to actually trading sex for money is not the same thing and will never be the same thing because it IS NOT TREATED THE SAME IN SOCIETY. The only people who have the right to call themselves hookers ARE hookers because the actual discrimination and hate directed at hookers impacts on their lives and rights.
Seriously, this is coming off as just a way for non-sex workers to play with raunch culture whilst not actually have to deal with the shit-tonne of stigma and oppression faced by sex workers.
Her website says: “Fabia is fascinated with “hookers”, which fuels her paintings of sultry women.”
Sounds like a fetishist to me.
Her website also says that…
“Everyone is a hooker”…
Being a hooker does not mean what you think it means. It does not mean being a powerful, sexy woman. It means trading sex for money. You CAN BE a powerful, sexy woman while doing this. But it is a descriptor of a profession and a DEROGATORY descriptor of a profession that is associated with discrimination that actually AFFECTS REAL HOOKERS. It is not a play word you get to just throw about because at the end of the day you still live your life free of whorephobia and real hookers don’t.
Seriously, a hooker pageant should be competed in ONLY by sex workers, demonstrating sex worker skills, judged ONLY by sex workers and organised ONLY by sex workers. None of this is okay. AT ALL.
Exactly. Imagine “every man is a mechanic” - that’s not even a thing.
Or actually, a better analog would be the drive of male-identified people to co-opt military imagery, languaging, culture and to refer to themselves as warriors, soldiers, etc. It’s another youth-skewed, gender-majority dynamics in play, alternately glorified and vilified profession, but one generally honored in society (and federally funded, hey!). In both cases unless you’ve experienced the risk, the sacrifice and the stigma: not appropriate.