Why Mia Khalifa is embracing her former XXX lifestyle

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A lot of celebrities have reached fame through a sex tape, still, behind the popularity and wealth that comes with it, there’s usually a story of abuse. In 2014, Mia Khalifa became the most-watched xxx actress in PornHub with only six recordings, none of which belong to her. Regrettably, what was supposed to be a naughty secret to empower the 21-year-old Khalifa, became images of the international public domain. 

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The ex-porn actress is currently a model, influencer, actress, and activist against the xxx industry. Things have gotten better for Khalifa, she’s the current girlfriend of rapper Jhay Cortez and shows remarkable confidence and a healthy lifestyle on social media. Even though she rejects the porn industry, Khalifa is now selling content in OnlyFans, however, she’s donated $100,000 to charity.  

Mia Khalifa built a name in the porn industry in only three months, even though she’s no longer part of it, and has claimed regret, some decisions are irreversible. However, we shouldn’t be hunted by our history, and if a hard past brings benefits with it, there’s no shame in embracing them, especially when dear things were lost.

A dirty little secret 

Mia Khalifa gave an interview to BBC in 2019, where she explained how she ended up doing porn. Khalifa was born in Beirut in a Christian-oriented family and moved to the U.S. in 2001 escaping from the conflict in the south of Lebanon. She graduated from History at the University of Texas and moved to Miami, where she found the guy who would convince her to do porn. 

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At the interview, she confessed to being at a profoundly vulnerable moment at that time, back in 2014. Nobody is safe from low self-esteem, and she did, at the time. She would do anything to receive masculine validation. So when this guy began complimenting her, she was convinced and thought of doing porn as her “dirty little secret”, she never thought of being recognized.    

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What made her more viral and controversial, was the fact that she was wearing a hijab in one of the videos, which is an Islamic symbol to show modesty. That fact made her receive threats from the Islamic State and broke her relationship with her family, this made her time in the porn industry a regrettable one. Khalifa was conscious of how contended that was, but it takes more than words to say no. 

Porn isn’t bad, the porn industry is 

Sex work is always haunted by stigma. Women shouldn’t be shamed over their sexuality and must have the quality to decide over their bodies, even if those decisions are on track to get masculine validation. The debate shouldn’t run over sex work, not even over porn, but to the xxx industry. 

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Porn, like any business under capitalism, would end up exploiting its workers. Even though her videos have more than 800 million views, Mia Khalifa received only  $12,000 for all the recordings, and she doesn’t own any of the videos she’s in. She claimed to be perceived as a “money machine” by the people she worked with, and she’s been offered millions to return, but money isn’t worth the dehumanization.

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Sex work is work and, as any profession, should be consciously decided. Nobody should be pushed to participate in a job don’t they want to, especially something as intimate as sex work. Additionally, nobody should be blamed for consciously deciding it. Many feminists’ arguments run through the fact that a lot of women enter into the porn industry because they’re pushed by economic conditions. 

However, this isn’t something exclusive to sex work. Instead of canceling pornographic content, fairer practices should be created. OnlyFans has become a platform where many women can do sex work independently and in a safer way than in the traditional porn industry. No matter what kind of content Khalifa is now selling on OnlyFans, the important thing is that she’s deciding to do it. 

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It’s not easy to say “no”

Consent is more complex than saying “yes” or “no”. If we accept something as a result of fear, we’re not really accepting. Khalifa expressed through a tweet:  “Women are haunted by the decisions they made years ago. But, they weren’t their decisions… Don’t support another vulnerable woman getting exploited just because they need money for rent.”

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A 21-year-old insecure girl can be easily controlled. Khalifa confessed that every time she said she didn’t want to do something, men she worked with would laugh at her. It sounds silly, but not everyone understands what they really want, and claim their limits. At that age, Khalifa simply couldn’t say no. 

Even though there are contracts signed at xxx movies, by watching mainstream porn we might be looking at a scene of exploitation. We’ll never know if the actresses were somehow coerced to be where they are. Khalifa is only a viral example of what happens to many girls in the industry, however, all she has left is to embrace what happened and use what she learned in favor. 

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The past cannot be undone, but we shouldn’t regret it either. What do you think of Mia Khalifa doing content for OnlyFans? Tell us in the comments below!

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