How was you rate your self esteem?
It totally depends on the day but I'm going to say a seven.
Why are you doing this project?
I used to be very comfortable with my body and then I had a kid and my weight fluctuated. After my kid, I became a webcam model. I ended up getting super heavy right when I started that. You can see the fluctuation in getting very heavy in the webcam industry versus being smaller. It was less to do with the guys, but more to do with my fellow girls in the webcam community.
When I first started, I would go to the conventions and meet all the girls and we would cam together. It was much easier to meet girls and have a good chemistry. When I got heavier, I went to a different convention and these same girls wouldn't cam with me anymore. They said,"I didn't fit the aesthetic of their room anymore."
I went to a cam girl mansion, and that was when I found that out. It was insane. So that killed my self-esteem. I ended up then losing all of that weight. Went to another convention just recently, and everyone was trying to rip me apart to get me to cam with them in their rooms.
You could just see it in my community. That's probably the first time I ever felt bad about my self-esteem in terms of my weight.
Are you nervous?
I would say yes, more about the interview process. This is the first time being myself instead of a stage name naked on cam.
Whats your self-confidence like now?
I feel like you have a really great way of making people feel comfortable but also doing the interview and all this feels really good to get myself out there. Also, the other women in the project.
What was middle school like for you?
My home life was not the best in middle school. We moved to tennessee. That was the longest I was ever really in one place, we were there for about four years. I was always out with friends, those were my family. Because I was bullied in elementary school, I was never mean to anybody. I had friends in every group. I did everything I could to rebel against my mother. So wearing all black, marilyn manson shirt, skater pants, ect. I started getting into death metal and smoking weed and having sex, all in middle school. It was the first time when I started getting boyfriends so I felt I had good self-esteem at that time, just not at home. Which got me into trouble, so I was always grounded. That's when I met my best friends from today.
We just had our third middle school reuinion. We were all the bad kids, we got expelled back in eighth for adderall. There was like twenty of us.
You mentioned elementary school wasn't the best, tell me more about that.
There was groups in elementary school, where there was popular kids. There was a group of cheerleaders and everytime i would come around them or anything there was one girl who would spit at me and say, "Ew. Why is she anywhere near us? She shouldn't be here." They told me it was because I didn't wear jeans.
So, this was purely appearance based?
Yes. I went to thrift stores and was wearing sweatpants. So that one girl who didn't want me there asked, "Why is she here?" and the girl who brought me said, "Because she's my friend." And we're still friends to this day. It was that time where I really started missing school and spending time in the nurse office.
Did you ever face any sexual abuse as a child?
Yes. When I was nine, I was molested by my babysitter. He played the friend route, he would come over and bring my family dinner and really try to get up close to show he wasn't a threat. So my family really trusted him. It didn't start in the beginning, he did a lot of grooming to make sure I was comfortable. Taking me out, all that good stuff...nonetheless I didn't find out it was an issue really until he was going to move to Kansas and he kept saying, "You're not going to tell anybody about this right?" And I had so many friends that would come to his house. The pool guy noticed that every time kids came into his house, he would close his blinds. So he was the person who alerted the authorities that something was going in.
So, this was a serial molester?
Yeah. He would watch a lot of child porn so when the police would try to get his laptop he would tell them it was out for maintenance. At first, I trusted him and lied to my Mother when she asked about it. He ended up moving away after that and it had to have been two weeks after when my Mom first asked me. I had started grinding me teeth really badly. Then one day, we were in the living room, I just blurted out, "YEAH. It happened!" and we had a big cry session.
You're doing so well, so calm and comfortable talking about this.
Immediately, I never blamed myself because my Mother was such a support system for me. She told me he was sick and that it wasn't my fault and I believed it. When I grow up, and when I meet people I would tell people that right off the bad. It was like, there were no secrets about me so it was very freeing.
I think often times, victims/survivors of molestation are pressured to erase it from their past through not talking about it.
This guy, he is currently one of Colorado's most wanted. He ended up being in the system for a while and complying but then he just fled. He did it to another girl in 2001, he's now one of Colorado's most wanted.
How has this affected the way you look at your body, past and present?
In the past, I was a lot more shy. And felt a lot of guilt in the beginning. These days, I just kind of say "Fuck Him." I'm not going to let him rule my life, he has nothing to do with me. I'm my own person. He has no rule over me, would be a better way to say it. My main concern now is to make sure it never happens to my daughter.
How has that changed the way you raise your daughter?
I am extremely selective over who gets to be around my daughter alone. I almost have an issue. Now that I stay at home, we don't do daycare, when we meet someone who gives off vibes I don't want them to even be in my own life. There are only two men she is allowed to be alone with, my husband and my step-dad.
Let's lighten the conversation, let's talk about feminism?
It's had to really put it into a category. I grew up in the nineties but in a really cool time. Our sexuality was more accepted, our friends were all different races. I'm glad to live in a time where women are gaining rights and becoming more equal. You see these hard core feminism, where we're almost going opposite and a man can't say. We call all men misogynistic when they say anything, even agreeing with feminism. That initially turned me off. That was the first time I ever saw this.
You only see the most radical people in each movement making the headlines.
Yes. I used to believe that feminists must not like me when I'm so open about my body or I enjoy my role at home cooking.
But now I found my place in it with other like minded women, especially with this project being about body positivity. That's such a big thing to each individual woman.
I recently learned about intersectional feminism. It's essentially the belief that while we take our own sociological factors into consideration, we must also consider how others social foundations such as race, sexuality, disability, class, gender, ect effect their treatment in society and struggle for social justice. We have to think about how it all fluidly connects when we advocate for feminism.
Initially, that's what threw me off from feminism. I can't tell someone how to live their life because I have been in their experiences. Gender roles are very hard when we have different cultures.
Exactly, while one type of feminist would fight for no gender roles, it might be a vital part of someones culture that they enjoy.
What is your favorite body part?
My lips. They're the same as my mother, now that I see my daughter has them I love their shape. They never change. It's the one body part I don't have to worry about getting bigger, or smaller, or stretch marks.
Currently now, my stretch marks. I'm learning to love them every day. It's still so fresh and new, I've only had them for five years. I used to hate having them on my ass in middle school. Now that I have a daughter, I dont wanna watch her go through the same body issues i watched my own family go through constanty asking if I looked okay, not wanting our picture taken because they aren't wearing makeup even though it would be creating a memory for us.Anytime someone walks into a bathroom, looking in the mirror and saying how gross they look. I have to learn to love my body completely. That's why this project is so important. Because I need to see myself without my shield up.
Any last message for the readers?
This has been a really fun experience. It's always good, when you're comfortable, to push yourself. Find that thing you don't like about yourself and turn it into something you love. Because its uniquely yours.