IN SUPPORT OF MAGGIE'S TORONTO - SEX WORK IS WORK
“SEX SELLS” is a saying that is used to aid any situation that may include the speculation of sexuality, leading to a business's financial gain. The use of sexual figures and the extortion of the human body has been consistent ideation throughout history. Typically shown using women to sell products or even an idea of desire and value. It is estimated that yearly, the average American will see anywhere upwards of 37,000 advertisements. Which has shown a trend of both sexualizing and victimizing women (Stankiewicz & Rosselli 2008). The portrayal of the female character is something that is pressing and morally contradictory. Many people do not see the problem with sex in the media. Most don’t even realize it; it has become such a norm. The average person thinks about sex eight times a day, approximately 210,240 times in their lifetime. The media industry has extorted the human body in various ways, enforcing this sexist female standard. Creating this normality where models feel as though it is normal to be used. Though we can all agree, the body is art and is very beautiful. Using it for financial gain is something that people tend to overlook. We often see prostitution, sex workers and the porn industry being shamed for sharing this idea."
Everything is sex.
So the saying goes, the world around us is consumed by sex. Often the most taboo and shameful of topics, taught to only be discussed behind closed doors, is also the most widely presented to us in the media. It is everywhere you look, from your phone screen lit up in the dark of your room, the television you watched growing up, to billboards dressing big cities for the masses to view. Women’s bodies on display like shiny toys for all to ogle at. It grabs attention, and therefore grabs consumers. Big businesses led by old men, exploiting young girls' bodies to fill their pockets.
Women's bodies are used like props to sell products. Our sexuality becomes simply a marketing tool. Our sensuality diluted into nothing but skin and sex appeal. Sex appeal that we no longer own and exists only if for an audience. Pretty girls stuffing their faces with greasy burgers, letting the oil drip down their bare skin. Pretty girls shaving their already hairless bodies to fit society’s narrowing beauty standards. Women in pink bikinis chasing down average men over their delicious scent. Buy our products! These sexy women love our products and so they will love you too.
As women, we are used as a spectacle to see and nothing more. We are seen as beautiful shells with empty chests and hollow skulls. The media takes us and turns us into a product to be sold. We are used and abused and tossed away once the cheque clears.
Our collection, “Sex Sells”, is an exploration in expanding our view on female sexuality. We aim to show women embracing their sexuality, despite its suffocation and abuse, and reclaiming it as their own. Women who are taking back their bodies and conveying themselves how they see fit, for their own freedom and expression. Taking the business of selling sex and using it for their own benefit, on their own terms.
Women in sex work are often the most shamed for using their bodies as they desire. They are often degraded for baring their skin. Though it seems that “slut”, “whore” and other terms used to shame women, are only used when a woman chooses to take her clothes off, and not when they are taken off for her. Men love a slut, but only under their control. With this collection, we strive to support these women who have taken their sexuality into their own hands and choose to treat their sexuality as they please without shame.
Women are many things. Powerful, capable, intellectual and sexy. We are sexual and timid. We are beautiful and morbid. We are all these things for ourselves and on our own. We exist without an audience. We are beautiful when no one is around to see it.
15% off the profits from this collection will be donated to Maggie's Sex Worker Leadership and Development Fund. Educating and supporting members of the industry to lead and shift the industry and what people perceive it to be.