3.3
May 10, 2022

How TikTok—and maitri—enabled a former Porn Star to Save Herself.

How the #1 Porn Star in the World went from being exploited to controlling her own Narrative (and profiting off of it).

Image: Patreon is only one of the ways Mia is now controlling her own income, and capitalizing (finally) on her fame (and infamy). 

 

“I’m at peace.” ~ Mia Khalifa

“The production company she worked for, Bang Bros, had fewer qualms about leveraging her proximity to the Middle East when it proposed she wear a hijab for one of her scenes. Presented with the idea, Khalifa — who was raised Catholic — told them, “You motherfuckers are going to get me killed.” 

Now, she’s in control. And she’s connecting with women, no longer dependent on the whims of trolls and single men, and single male trolls.

But for a long while, her attempts to transition from fame-without-controlling-her-own-would-be-profits to an independent career were stymied. Now, thanks to social media, she’s influencing, making money, and finding out who she is and how to be of some benefit: “Her new Instagram account has almost 28 million followers, and is outpaced by her following on TikTok which, at more than 32 million, puts her in the top 50 of the app’s most popular creators.” Not to mention OnlyFans, Playboy, apparel and jewelry companies.

“I am growing as a woman,” she says of her burgeoning female following, “and I want to grow with other women.” The list of porn performers who have crossed over into mainstream fame is short, and the female porn performers who’ve pivoted to girl’s girl influencers can be counted on one hand…Khalifa posts now about everything from disordered eating to dissociative trauma, and she’s found millions who empathize when she does. Authenticity is the main currency of social media, and Khalifa is more candid than some IRL friends will be.”

It’s inspiring stuff: “…she resolved to give up on “hiding and trying to kill Mia Khalifa,” moved to Austin to live with a friend, and went all in on capitalizing on her notoriety. She opened a new Instagram account, became active on sites like YouTube and Twitch, and began remaking her public persona…By 2017, she was co-hosting the Complex sports show Out of Bounds. “I remember making $10,000 a month and thinking, Never, ever, ever will I top this…”

Read the rest, here, about her experiencing toxic male energy, shame, getting hassled (quite forcibly) in public:“I was like, this shame — I need to come face to face with it. I need to get over this.”

OnlyFans gives her the power to control her images and videos, and to do so without the presence of creeps behind the camera (or in front of it).

“In fact, it was women on TikTok who inspired Khalifa to start an OnlyFans account in September of 2020. “I had written it off for so long because I was insecure,” she says, about its affiliation with X-rated content. But once there, she found that the platform helped her understand the “difference between ethical and unethical ways to consume porn,” as she put it to Fast Company.”

Her story is incredibly inspiring, far harder and far more successful, both, than many of us ever experience. And that she’s been able to right her internal and external paths while in the vortex of so much exploitative fame and pain and lust…man, just read the article I’ve linked to a dozen times in this here article.

“My anxiety was very bad. My depression and anxiety together were…,” her eyes drop down as she remembers, “a very bad combination. That’s why I’m thankful for TikTok. It gave me a bridge to that female audience I never had a connection to…I didn’t like myself. So I was making choices and doing things that didn’t reflect who I was.”

Good for her.

 

PS: what’s Maitri? It’s making friends with ourselves—the good, the bad, the shame, the ups and downs. It’s a Buddhist practice. 

Leave a Thoughtful Comment
X

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,018,315