The Reality of Pretty Woman

Written by on March 24th, 2015

Today marks 25 years since the film Pretty Woman was released, and the cast has reunited for the first time to reminisce about the making of a film that has become one of the most popular love stories for a generation of moviegoers.

I have to admit that as a teenager, I too loved the story of Pretty Woman. However, as I journeyed down the path that led to my life’s work and my passion for advocating for women trapped in the prostitution industry, I have often looked back on my approval of that film with a sense of regret. I have learned from research and my first-hand contact with women in the sex industry that the reality of prostitution is not a romantic fantasy but a tragic horror story. Sadly, in my work with Exodus Cry, my colleagues and I have encountered young women who have told us that Pretty Women lured them into the sex industry by leading them to believe that prostitution was glamorous and romantic. We interviewed one such girl for our documentary about sex trafficking. Stephanie was sexually abused as a child and entered into prostitution underage. She was dominated by an abusive, controlling pimp and trafficked for sex. Her experience was extremely brutal. She told us, “I watched the movie, Pretty Woman, and I was like, well gosh, look at her, she’s beautiful, she’s making money, she’s meeting guys, and she fell in love with this guy, and she’s living in this nice hotel suite, and has everything she wants, and she’s fallen in love, man I need to become a ho. That’s what I thought, so, that’s what I did. I experienced nothing like Pretty Woman, it’s totally, totally different. I’ve been held hostage at gunpoint, raped, robbed, strangled, beaten up, everything, by customers.”

How many young, naive, and unsuspecting women over the last 25 years were deceived by the fairy tale of Pretty Woman and led into a life of abuse, trauma, and slavery? We can only estimate the role—however big or small—that this film played in adding to the vulnerability of young women at risk for being coerced into the industry. As such, the cast today should be issuing an apology to those women and raising awareness about the plight of girls trafficked in the commercial sex industry, as well as the inherent and serious harms of prostitution. You see, Julia Roberts’ teethy smile is not the true face of prostitution. The real face of prostitution is the battered and bruised face of Maria, an actual prostituted woman in Eastern Europe who is depicted in this award-winning photograph. Maria, like 75 percent of women in prostitution, has been raped.1 Maria, like 95 percent of women in prostitution has been seriously physically abused and battered.2 Maria, like 68 percent of women in prostitution suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to her “job”.3 Maria most likely entered into prostitution as a child after a history of sexual abuse, as most women in prostitution do. And Maria is probably under the brutally abusive control of a pimp, as most women in prostitution are. Maria is a victim of sex trafficking. Julia’s role was indeed a fantasy. The reality isn’t pretty. Don’t believe the myth.

prettywoman

Footnotes

  • 1. Farley, Melissa et al. “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.” Journal of Trauma Practice, Vol. 2, No. 3/4: 33-74. 2003.; and Farley, Melissa. ed. Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress. Haworth Press, New York. 2003.
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Photo Credit: Brent Stirton’s award-winning photo of Maria.
  • 5. Photo Credit: Julia Roberts in a scene from Pretty Woman.
  • Lindsay Anne

    Maria: I think you are pretty woman. I am sorry that individuals will use your story and likeness for funding and fame and insist to portray you of anything other than that – beautiful, resilient and brave.

    Unspeakable acts of violence happen everyday in an unequal world. We should be lifting up survivors and recognizing their strength, not using them as a monolith cautionary tale. What can be gained from that?

    Of course hollywood is fantasy. Environmentalists don’t write about Sharknado, do they?

  • Amanda Thompson

    Pretty woman is a movie. A story. How in the world is it up to us to judge and shame actors telling a story because of how people might interpret it? That’s hideously unfair. There are MUCH deeper societal issues at play when young woman watches a movie and decides to pattern her life on it. Maybe we should stop judging people and start loving them where they are at. Judgement changes nothing. Chasing the symptoms of a problem changes nothing. We will never change the world until we step out of our comfort zones and create relationships with the broken and isolated. Those are the women at risk. And throwing money or programs at them fixes nothing. Who is willing to cross cultural, socioeconomic, and language barrier to reach the broken before they make these decisions? If you have passion and extra love to give, go find a young girl who needs a mentor and give away your love and passion. But, for the love of God, don’t blame a movie.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    Maybe we should stop making this crap and peddling it to our children. God doesn’t like this movie I can guarantee you. The movie industry is largely at fault for promoting this filth to out vulnerable children. Obviously, you haven’t a clue. Yes, get out there and do some ‘ loving’ to help these girls…..

  • Amanda Thompson

    Judgement doesn’t help. I never said God loved these movies. I was making a point about the problem going deeper than movies. You can’t blame the movie industry for making bad movies any more than you can’t blame McDonald’s for making us fat. We choose what we consume. We can choose what we teach our youth and young people with a good self confidence and who know their identity in Christ and have working relationships with people who reinforce those things are not going to believe Hollywood fairy tales. Blaming the movie is an easy out. We are all to blame.

  • Marli

    I agree that the deeper social issues must be addressed, but many young girls became prostitutes BECAUSE of the movie (and not because they misinterpreted it) and endured years of violent sexual abuse. Celebrities, who are very influential, should be advocating against sex-trafficking, not encouraging it and definitely not glamorizing it. With more than 27 million sex-trafficking victims in the world today, movies like these are disrespectful to victims of sex trafficking and are grossly misleading. Saying that is not shaming or judging, it’s standing up for the truth and standing up for the victims and any other young, naive women who might fall prey.

    @disqus_f6S1q7TkWL:disqus Fantasy is a genre on its own. Hollywood movies are made more realistic than ever (think Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, The Theory of everything, Whiplash). We walk in the shoes of fellow human beings through actors. We see what they see and often feel how they feel. It’s more than just story telling (and far from fantasy), it’s almost re-living a moment with them. Movies enrage, frustrate, frighten, encourage and give us joy and hope; and they often open our eyes to the realities of others and change our perceptions. Prostitution and sex-trafficking are far from fantasy and Pretty Woman is a false portrayal of a very terrible reality.
    *And this article is hardly a tool for funding and fame. It’s social commentary about a movie and is making people aware of the reality and truth of prostitution.

  • Amanda Thompson

    If you say that young girls decide to become prostitutes after watching Pretty Woman, I’ll believe you. I’ve not studied that. My question is, “why?” Why do they make that decision? Is it really because they saw the movie? I’d be willing to bet that in every case, there are deeper issues at play. Having celebrities speak out against human trafficking really won’t stop it. It just makes us feel better to point fingers. I know that these movies are wrong. I was never denying that. But who are we to decide what celebrities should or should not promote? It is up to them to choose what they will or will not support. And the consequences of those decisions will be real on their lives. Even if you got every celebrity in this nation to speak against it, girls will still choose prostitution. Why? What factors are leading them to make that decision? Men will still choose to visit prostitutes. Why? There are a million reasons and they all come down to brokenness. And brokenness is healed through relationship with Jesus. Celebrities have influence, alright. But it ultimately pales in comparison to a person who loves them and chooses to get involved in their lives. You are correct in that Pretty Woman does not accurately portray prostitution. But neither does Taken accurately portray human trafficking, or any other Hollywood movie accurately portray much of anything. I’m well aware of the problem of prostitution and human trafficking, having worked in a red-light district in another country for 2 years. The problems that create the situation run so much deeper than surface level. Once you start peeling back the layers, you begin to see how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

  • Wayne Gemmell

    Teach kids healthy skepticism and this thing becomes less of an issue. The younger they are taught to believe in nothing intangible and that TV, books and verbal accounts should all be digested with a healthy dose of skepticism the less likely they are to follow this sort of fantasy.

    Another thing that is important is to talk to children about this sort of thing casually to find out if they have any strange ideas about sex, drugs etc that they may have digested from media so that you can add a dose of reason to those strange ideas. The key word is ‘casually’, sex isn’t a taboo topic, it should be be dealt with casually or kids build up a wall.

    You can’t blame a movie for peoples mistakes. Life is more complicated than that.

  • The “glamorous” Pretty Woman illusion that everything will all pan out, and someone, some day will rescue you, is easy to believe, because it is just a hairline away from the Truth. We do need a Redeemer – Jesus! Thanks for sharing this post. We hear the same from women all the time. Women who haven’t been raised to discern culture’s lies, but rather, have been sexually abused and left vulnerable enough to buy right into them. Our prayers belong on all sides — for those in front of and behind the screens — affecting and being affected by the stories we tell.

  • Kim Sowder Boore

    After reading the responses of those who read this article, I am even more convinced that society has been on the decline for decades. People have blamed increased violence and profanity in the the movies to increased violence and profanity in reality. Glamourizing villians like Bonnie and Cyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Billy the kid as portraid by Emilio Estavan, Scarface (Al Capone et al) with beloved actors like Robert D’Nero, Robert Redford and Paul Newman…an…d yes Julia Roberts….AL Pacino, a brilliant actor, playing the parts he has played, and then still after all of these years (1983) You still hear young men laughing and quoting “Say Hello to my leetle freind”…. Movies do indeed have a tremendous impact on the lives of not just our youth, but those who are unable to discern right from wrong in the first place and these movies only glamorize the ‘bad guys’ or bad behaviour…. unfortunately not everyone comes from a fully functional loving and responsible family that can teach their children well, that are not abused or victimized in such a way that they look to this behaviour as a way OUT of one bad situation, not realizing they are entering one that is or could have the potential to be much worse. Yes, Actors COULD come out and put a disclaimer, some sort of PSA before and after each of these movies to let our ‘at risk’ individuals realize, this is NOT the real story…to be fair and balanced, I have seen specials on television do just that, have actors come on and tell the viewers of the horrors of sex trafficking especially as it has to do with very young children, kidnapped and forced into a slave trade that is just unspeakable. But these ‘made for TV movies’ are not glamorizing the abuse, they are fighting it. THAT is the difference. Aknowledging it, such as the movie Taken with Liam Neeson…however, contrary to the outcome in this movie, most of these kids go unfound….they have no super dad or advocate that will hunt to the ends of the earth and kill the bad guys. We seem to think that movies are just fantasy and are not to be condemed nor the actors that play the characters that glamorize situations such as “Pretty Woman”….but as a Christian, I am of the firm belief that Lucifer being one of the most beautiful of all of the Angels in heaven, has been using ‘beauty and charisma’ to us and our children into a false sense of ….complacency, because; Afterall, it’s JUST a movie for crying out loud”” You decide. See More

  • Domina Elle

    This article is so wrong I don’t even know where to start. The word ‘MOST’ is used throughout and is pushing a narrative that says MOST sex workers fit the description of ‘Maria’ as described above.

    We COULD say that MOST opponents of prostitution believe the story written above and that would be more accurate than anything written in this article.

    Never mind that the article doesn’t venture into discussing how MOST sex workers have been damaged by ARREST, damaged by POLICE, damaged by the prostituton record that the narratives and people behind such narratives never seem to be aware of.

    I personally know many sex workers- I’m affiliated with various sex worker groups organized all around the planet and not most- ALL of them say that they are being damaged through narratives such as that being propagated in the above article- despite the author’s claim of caring about these women! By and large sex workers state that they were damaged through criminalization, arrest, and the subsequent circumstances that that arrest created. Any stability they had prior to arrest is destroyed and their lives completely destabilized.

    Despite all the talk, all the rhetoric, there are no services to help people. Unless of course you count Bible studies as help and we do not. This article mentions nothing of this. The article only wants you to believe that sex work itself is the damaging factor. To say that most sex workers have a horrible experience doing sex work is absolutely error- gross error.

    Where is the evidence-based research to substantiate anything this author has claimed? It’s simply does not exist. These are narratives, narratives driven by ideologies. Narratives which are damaging to the very people the author claims to want to help. They are even exploiting victims of sex trafficking to forward these agendas and that in and of itself is contemptible!

    People who don’t know what is REALLY happening in the lives of sex trafficking victims OR consensual sex workers when they come into contact with the courts after arrest (yes sex trafficking victims are arrested MOST of the time) and how their lives are made even worse- are living in a dream world! but that’s just it- anti prostitutionists – abolitionists – WANT TO PUNISH. They are A-ok with criminalization for this very reason. In their dream world everyone arrested for prostitution has been RESCUED. This is so far from the truth it is sickening.

    I can only assume by their ACTIONS that these abolitionists don’t really care about these people as they have one thing on their minds only- abolishing prostitution and by any means necessary- they don’t care who gets hurt in the process not even sex trafficking victims! We aren’t buying it and we are in the trenches seeing the damage these narratives are perpetrating!

    This is about FUNDING for Orgs pushing ideologically driven narratives Resulting in further criminalization- funding for more arrests of SEX WORKERS- more damage! it’s not about establishing the services that people REALLY NEED AND WANT.

  • Bella Robinson

    The NGOs are getting 686 million a year and none of them even provide services to our at risk youth or trafficking victims, and I challenge all of you t call them, and tell them you have a sex trafficking victim in their city ad ask where would you send this person for services, and hey will direct you to 211. The go to http://www.guidestar.org and look up the tax returns of these NGOs and see what huge salaries they pay their board members. Now the rest of the money goes to “creating awareness about trafficking and I think even the Indians in the rain forest have heard about sex trafficking by now. The rescue pimps are getting rich promoting stigma and violence towards sex workers and it is the biggest criminal enterprise, ever stamped with the governments approval.

    Special Report: Money and Lies in Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28763-special-report-money-and-lies-in-anti-human-trafficking-ngos

    Meanwhile we have 2.5 million homeless kids in the US.

    Youth studies

    http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/2000119-Surviving-the-Streets-of-New-York.pdf

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/lgbt-homeless-youth-survival-sex_n_6754248.html

    “….When you say that you “rescued” someone, that statement is about empowering and aggrandizing yourself while disempowering the person you think you rescued. This is because “rescuing” creates an uneven power dynamic where the “rescuer” (read: hero) has all of the power in the relationship and the “rescuee” (read: helpless victim) has no agency or role in the exit of his or her abusive.”

  • Domina Elle

    YES! This is the TRUTH. Go look up the ‘rescue’ organizations such as POLARIS, covenant house, any of them! It’s a RACKET. It’s bad enough that these groups spread disinformation about the actual scope of sex trafficking but they are also profiting from the situation.

    according to the state department’s annual trafficking in persons report The majority (68%) of trafficking falls outside of sex trafficking however there is zero to no relief for those victims and the majority of effort, discussion and resources are being invested in sex trafficking (32%). This becomes even more tragic when you do your homework and look into how the money that IS being given has been spent!

    Here in Denver we see the administration of such an org driving BMW’s and getting nice salaries while their clients are homeless and destabilized thanks to their arrest. Try getting a job that isn’t scrubbing toilets with a prostitution record! Or applying for a place to live! Criminalization and Anti prostitution narratives drive homelessness amongst sex workers! Where is the rescue? Where is the RESCUE????

    The TALK makes promises but FAILS in the delivery of what is promised. People jump on board because NO ONE Including sex workers want to see anyone, least of all children being forced into sex work! But that’s where these narratives fail- it’s just a narrative to pull your heart strings and an effective one at that considering the millions these orgs get!

    Orgs that really want to help sex workers rather than shaming them- do not get the funding! Orgs that want to meet sex workers where they are and treat them with dignity don’t get funding. Orgs that don’t operate from a faith based platform don’t get the funding. The groups that do get funding use the money to push narratives and line the pockets of board members. This IS the reality!!!

  • I have been a prostitute all my life and I may have started it for survival, I did not have to CHOOSE to stay in it, but I did. I love the Pretty Woman movie and abolitionist are using this movie to make a point and ruin its reputation.. I am now almost 50 and was actively working until 3 years ago. The main abuse I suffered from my “career” was at the hands of my husbands, whom each worked at well paying jobs and WAS NOT MY PIMP. I have never had a pimp. I did not make as much per hour a Julia Roberts, but I made more than most Lawyers, per hour. The only abuse I, and I admit, luckily, was the abuse I put on myself due to the stigma of people about us. I am fighting for rights for sex workers now, as this law remains intact in America, we, the American sex workers are not safe. People like you need to realize that times have changed and WOMEN DO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE to go into this profession. Look around you, sex sells everywhere, lets not regress, America. By the way, the woman depicted here IS NOT THE FACE/STORY of all or even most sex workers. Why don’t you people learn to talk to us about what we want instead of wrongly assuming you know what is best for us

  • Domina Elle

    I really doubt Maria gave permission for her photo to be used here. She likely doesn’t even know her photo is being used this way. I would bet the author didn’t bother to ASK MARIA how she felt about it, after all it’s an award winning photo! It would NOT be the first time an org such as ‘exodus cry’ used the faces of real sex workers and or sex trafficking victims WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION. It likely didn’t even occur to anyone involved to ASK.

  • Johanna Ward

    What you fail to realize is that the types of young girls who would choose to be prostitutes because of a movie are not girls who are being taught good lessons by their parents. Yes, we can choose what we teach our own kids. But who is going to teach the kids who are not being raised with love and good guidance? When they have no one to look up to in their lives they do look to the media for guidance. They are young and living in a dysfunctional world. They don’t know any better. The media should be held to a higher standard to send better messages to the children who don’t know any better.

  • Amanda Thompson

    I don’t fail to realize that at all. This is why I talked about creating relationships with them. What good does it do to point fingers at the media? Prostitution existed before television. Even if we succeeded in our witch hunt of the media, it would still exist. People who have nowhere else to turn are supposed to find community and guidance from the church.

  • dirtbikegirl

    I HATED that movie.

  • Coffee With Ri$$

    I have to admit, it was touch and go for me reading your response, but once I got to Lucifer puppeterring his demons for vanity and glamour, you hit the nail! I’m glad to see someone finally throw even a piece of God’s truth and warnings to us. Everything we need to know is written in the Bible and whether one believes or not, something is definitely not right and when people fail to look at it from a real and honest point of view, it’s just going nowhere. Breaks my heart. Those of us who understand what’s going on here, it’s hard to witness. It’s hard to bare it.

  • DGC

    You’re making some pretty big assumptions right here. Besides, the picture that was taken of her was of fairly high quality, suggesting that the photographer asked her to pose. I doubt that he asked for this photoshoot as an addition to his personal collection. Nothing about your thought process makes any sense, and the use of all caps to punctuate your capricious sanctimoniousness wouldn’t be necessary if you had valid points.

  • Deirdre Marina

    You, ma’am, are a complete lunatic. And I have seen some pretty crazy people on the Internet. Congratulations, you take the cake.

  • Holly Brzycki

    How does anyone get that prostitution is glamorous from watching Pretty Woman!?? Her life turned glamorous when she met Edward and got OUT of prostitution. That was the whole point. The movie showed how a person hiding under a trashy appearance in a nasty life could be turned into a beautiful upstanding person. That’s why at the end of the movie they showed her leaving the life even before Edward came to her with flowers blazing.

  • obama_sucks2

    I feel so sorry for you. Why? Because you think sex is nothing more then an act. Sex is supposed to be an act of love between two people. Not something you have to pay for. I hope and pray we NEVER have a sex industry like that.

  • kim

    Miss, I can personally tell you that the people at Exodus Cry love these women and would never exploit them for any reason. If a picture of someone is used, they definitely had permission.

  • Domina Elle

    Sex is many things and while it is an EXCHANGE, a wonderful form of physical COMMUNICATION between people who love each other- sex need not always be just for married people or people who are in a committed relationship. You saying it ‘Is supposed to be’ this or that is YOUR choice for YOU and you alone. You don’t get to choose for anyone else you see? There are many circumstances where sex workers are providing much needed intimacy such as what you’d learn about watching the documentary ‘scarlet road a sex workers journey’ or would you deny intimacy to people who would otherwise have none due to their physical conditions? Some people don’t want to be married or in relationships. There are a myriad of healthy reasons people go to sex workers. The sex workers I personally know are some of the most amazing, wonderful as well as empowered people I’ve ever known. People pay for massage therapy, psychological therapy, A variety of very personal intimate services. you may not be able to imagine beyond your perspective and that’s ok- provided you can respect other people’s right to choose for themselves what they want to do with their own bodies, minds and lives.

  • Domina Elle

    if God is in control here- then there is NOTHING outside of God’s will happening. To say there is, is the same as saying there is a power outside of God’s will doing things that God has no control over.

    I just see a lot of shaming and moralizing and agendas which are hurting a lot of people while claiming to be ‘helping’.

  • Domina Elle

    These people would be better off aiming at mega corporations like DISNEY which target children in a very direct manner with questionable input. I’m going to wager most people here who are freaking out over an R rated adult movie (which wasn’t targeted at children) are happy to sit their kids down in front of Disney. Remember the huge dildo on the cover of the little mermaid DVD? The topless woman snuck into the ‘rescuers’ how every disney movie has the parents or the mother DEAD….oh well.

  • Domina Elle

    There is a ‘rescue’ org in my city which is the same type of org as exodus cry- that was so entitled and arrogant they were posting the photos of the young women (clients) who had been rescued (ARRESTED for prostitution) on its Facebook account. This revealed how much they thought of the women in their care. There’s this little thing called HIPAA and how about basic RESPECT? I don’t doubt the photographer had permission but I’m still going to wager that Maria didn’t give exodus cry or whomever put Maria’s photo with Julia Robert’s photo permission to do so. Make sense to you now? If not I’ll type slower next time. LOL.

  • I don’t know how you got that out of any of that but okay. I’m not going to go any further as I’ve triggered an angry nerve. I’ve deleted my comment so theres’ no further confusion. Have a good evening.

  • obama_sucks2

    Let it put it this way. Sex should remain between tweet people. Call me a religious nut, I don’t care. When God created man and woman He created sex to be something they shared with each other and no one else. Sex workers aka prostitutes, have sold their bodies for people who are lust filled and only think about themselves. I can say that because these people aren’t searching prostitutes out to please them, but to please themselves. To make them feel good. Also why does an unmarried man or woman need sex? I’m an unmarried woman and I’ve never needed sex to feel like a whole person. Besides once a man or woman starts having sex where it doesn’t belong, when does it stop? Impure, and it isn’t pure, just creates more of a desire then less of one. Like a drug incorrectly used, a man or woman who falls into the trap of sex outside of marriage will only find destruction. You might not see it now, but you will one day. And it saddens me that you think sex should be an exchanged. Sex is something intimate. And it’s intimate for a reason. But not because someone, with disabilities or not, can get laid. Not only that but the prostitute can get all sorts of STDs! Not to mention abuse. It’s a dangerous and vile field that any repeatable woman would stay far away from. Any respectable man for that matter too.

    And don’t think I look down at the woman. I look down at the “industry.” I feel sorry for the men and women who have to sell their bodies to get rich. To sell their most intimate parts for cold hard cash. But they also risk diseases and death. It’s just wrong and no woman should stoop that low to disrespect their bodies that way. No matter how much protection they have or screening of their “clients” they can still get STDs and they can still be abused. And prostitution should NEVER be glamorized! NEVER!

  • No need to feel sorry for me, baby, I’ve been married to a wonderful man, who works hard, for over 20 years, I do know what sex feels like when true love is involved, I also know how to seperate that from my profession. You are the one that needs pity and sympathy, you and others like you, who seem to think you’ready above us sex workers and try to speak for us, telling us sex is supposed to be wrapped in a little live blanket, look around you, watch the news, TV, or a movie, and tell me they aren’t using sex to sell their products, just like us sex workers use sex to Sell our products, which, believe it or not, is not our bodies, but our time and companionship, just like other people who sell their time or are paid companions, we have a basic human rights, too, and what we do with our time, our bodies, and our vaginas is no one else’so business..

  • Thank you, very well said

  • obama_sucks2

    I do feel sorry for you. You have lied to yourself and you’ve done it for so long you can’t even see it. I’m going to drop this conversation because I’m not going to convince you of the truth and you can’t pass the lie to me. But I can pray for you. I can’t change hearts but God can. Hopefully through prayer you’ll be able to see the truth of the danger and damage of prostitution. Of selling your body to other men.

  • How true, my life was fine until I was arrested for prostitution, I drove a can AND worked in a massage parlor, but after my MISDEMEANOR arrest, I was fired from the cab company, lost friends and family, all because people like this author ASSUME they know our needs. We NEED to be represented properly, we NEED the stigma gone, we NEED DECRIMINALISATION, WE NEED OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD. We don’t need these holy rolling, prude, hypocrites “saving” US when they know nothing about us.

  • Life is not a move, I live in the real world, as you should try to do. In the real world, prostitution has been around as long as man has kept written records, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ companion aka wife, was also a prostitute, sex is primal, and if man needs that primal need met, in real life, I’m talking, we are here to provide that for him, get off your high horse, stop watching TV and movies, find more sex workers and learn about the majority of “real faces” you people want “save”

  • The Bible teaches fear, wrath, hate, prejudice, and punishment, it is just another history book. Again someone else who preaches yet knows US not

  • We do that need your help, we need your votes to decriminalize this job of ours, then we be vindicated. Believe it or not, some sex workers were raised in decent, Christian, educated homes and STILL CHOSE to be a sex worker…..

  • You sound so brainwashed, no wonder you’re single.

  • I am not broken quit trying to save and fix us. Most of all quit calling us broken….

  • God again, get real

  • Yep that’s it, this is just like a witch hunt, burn the sex workers on the stake, in town square, use God to justify your whorephobia, rid the earth of us demonic creatures…. While I may not be a religious nut job, I am spiritual… Look around your churches people, there might be a hooker or two in that pews

  • LMAO, I was already a high priced hooker and married when this movie came out, so I loved it….after all what girl doesn’t Dream of a rich white prince to carry her off to fairytale land

  • I’m sorry, u misunderstood, I still have my body, I do not sell my body, I sell my time, my conversation, and my companionship, just like lawyers, psychologists, etc do. Learn the facts….

  • Jason Lee Fraser

    Guess we need to label films as fiction and then explain what fiction is? To blame the film is just unrealistic. Every single movie or media out there would need to apologize. If there’s a very strange noise in a dark alley, should you investigate because every idiot in a movie does? There’d be no movie if they did the intelligent thing. Bad enough we have to label coffee as hot and label poison as poison… parents need to teach their kids, not the media or public services- it can’t be trusted to be unbiased, especially if linked to marketing. Laying the responsibility of life education of children to others so that one can deflect blame when things go to sh#t doesn’t change the fact of who really is to blame. World needs to take responsibilty and grow up…

  • dirtbikegirl

    Somehow, I don’t think the woman in the photo was “high priced” as u were and as the article states, she was raped, beaten, ect, unlike your experience. That is good for you, but not every ” hooker, faires as well as you, obviously. My prince arrived after tumultuous decades of abuse and not until I Was Healed, physically, emotionally and physically at the age of 57. I am glad u didn’t t go through what I did and what the woman in the photo did. Thank God. Also, I am NOT LMAO , I have too many scars.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    First of all HIPAA doesn’t apply in this case. I think you need to get yourself educated before you speak. Exodus Cry is an ORG with integrity….go bash elsewhere.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    “Covenant House” I reading your bullcrap until I got to this Org. This Organization houses, feeds, educated homeless teens in all 50 states. I know this to be fact. Please get your facts straight

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    First of all, The Bible teaches truth and you will find that out when your time comes. On the other hand you think you are the only one who has been in the sex industry? I was a child porn star for four yeas and I was in the industry for 8 years as an adult. It is not all rainbows and sunshine. I know the truth behind the whole thing and know thousands of strippers, porn stars, and hookers…. NO MOST OF THEM ARE NOT HAPPY!

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    You have no manners.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    and you are an uneducated fool

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    Been there done that and you are a fool…just like I was when I was still doing it. What kind of man wants a prostitute for a wife?…A desperate one. Obviously, you were all he could get. Your attitude sucks.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    You get real. Your not the only one who has been there, I have been there as well. This type of movie children shouldn’t be watching period but this crap is just that …. crap! I will judge what I know. The sex industry is crap too. The girls and guys in it are fools, brainwashed, broken OR all three…either way. I will judge where I have been. Thank God I am saved now. Our children deserve way better.

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    1 out 3 girls are molested and 1 out of 5 boys…that may have a lot more to do with it….you yourself said, you started out in “survival sex”

  • Dawn E. Worswick

    You are nothing but rude and obnoxious…if you want to be a whore be a whore but she’s absolutely right.

  • Amanda Thompson

    Brokenness is not bad. And we are all broken. Only Jesus makes us whole. My brokenness allows me to have compassion and realize my own weaknesses. We relate to one another in our brokenness. I’m not trying to save or fix anybody. It is an impossible task.

  • DGC

    HIPAA is the new healthcare act and has nothing to do with photography. The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. Not to photographers, bloggers, journalists, and the like. Google it, it’s only five letters.

  • Bris Vegas

    “When God created man and woman He
    created sex to be something they shared with each other and no one
    else.”

    Sex, in some form other or another has has been around for for around 1.2 Billion years.

    Very few, if any, species except humans even associate sex and love.

    According to the Ethnographic Atlas only 183 out of 1.231 societies were considered monogamous.

  • Kim Sowder Boore

    It was never my intention to shame anyone. I believe that we all have a purpose, people or situations are put in our path for a season, for a reason. If debating the merits of the movie industry can dredge up this much hatred for another, based on a point of faith or opinion, then I can just imagine what a conversation ABOUT faith would look like. I do not base my faith on Hollywood, PBS or someone else’s beliefs. I base it on my own experience with prayer and with answered prayers. And the Bible. I don’t try to take scriptures out of context, it has to be read as a whole. There is a reason for that. But until someone is at their lowest, they may never want to know that reason. I know that there is evil in the world. And sometimes it comes wrapped in pretty packages. To deny that is foolish. Man was given his free will, and God will not drag us to His bosom kicking and screaming. No one should condemn you, just love you and tell you what Christ told us to tell you.. if you choose not to accept His words, that is your free will. I for one, will still love you, whether you be drug addict, murderer, prostitue, liar ,thief or misguided evangelist. My love is unconditional. It comes with no strings. I am only called to share God’s word, not enforce it. I made an observation and am willing to accept any and all attacks on my observation. It was never intended to shame anyone. I can not quote scripture to someone who doesn’t believe the Bible is the inspired word of God…it would be senseless. So I will do what I do best, whether you or anyone else wants me to is of no concern. I will be obedient to God first, and His greatest commandment is to love. Have a blessed day, and know that on Resurrection Sunday, a Man rose from the dead after hanging on a cross for ALL of mankind who would accept His sacrifice for them.

  • Shane

    Believe in nothing intangible? You mean like love, honor, and discipline?

    Look, no one asked the makers of Pretty Woman to take full responsibility for the evils of prostitution. I would just like to put a stop to the ridiculous glamorization and promotion of sex as casual entertainment, and especially depictions of ACTUAL PROSTITUTION as if it were romantic and pleasant.

    Shouldn’t be that difficult of a request to grant…. Methinks you over-analyze.

  • Shane

    Whereas no one makes money from prostitutes…?

    I know you in my nose. You want the government to be the pimp. Check out our prison system to see just how well things work out when seedy work is handed over to the government without adequate public oversight.

    The fundamental issue is a general population that has grown callous and insensitive to the concept of sexual decency. It all starts with a healthy attitude towards sex – and by healthy, I do NOT mean permissive.

  • Wayne Gemmell

    Your examples make no sense, they are a combination of social constructs and instincts that exist because we are a social species. There is no need for belief.

    Story tellers shouldn’t be muzzled regardless of your opinion. People need to take responsibility for their own actions and make informed decisions, not blame stories for their mistakes.

  • Chelsea Lane

    I have been a sex worker since shortly after turning 18, so about two years. I adore my clients. They are wonderful men (and women) who treat me with the utmost respect. I’ve never felt more fulfilled, happy, and respected than since I’ve become an escort. My clients truly value my pleasure, they value my company, and they treat me as an equal. The very few that haven’t (three, to be exact) were told to leave immediately. Some clients I am lucky to call dear friends. My clients are your brothers, husbands, and sons. My client is your pastor, your lawyer, your doctor.

    This article shows a very skewed perspective, and is not representative of the majority of sex workers. The public has so deeply stereotyped the “typical” sex worker – yet of the dozens I’ve personally met, and the hundreds I’ve corresponded with online, all of them are beautiful, strong, independent people. Listen to actual sex workers, not those speaking “for” us. Sex work is a business. It’s an excellent choice for me to pay my college tuition, my rent, and my other bills while working minimal hours so I can ensure my mental health stays on the up-and-up. Don’t impose your morals on others’ choices. This choice is right for me.

  • Chelsea Lane

    Nobody “needs” sex. But those that want it, should be able to seek it out in a safe, consensual way. Sex can be a beautiful thing. Other times not. But it can be beautiful whether it’s between a married couple who’ve never been with other partners, or between strangers who’ll never see each other again. Just because sex is an intimate, sacred thing to you, doesn’t mean it is to everyone else. Respect other people’s decisions to have sex in the ways and amounts that feel right to them.

    Sex workers have lower rates of STIs than the general population. We understand how important safer sex is, and use protection whenever possible. I’ve never had a sex worker friend get an infection, nor have I, but I’ve had plenty of “regular” friends get STIs for not practicing safer sex. Stop spreading the myth that sex workers are vectors of disease – we’re not. Sex with a responsible sex worker is no more risky than sex with your pastor.

    I do not disrespect my body. It is a temple. I take care of it, and all those who I allow access to it treat it with the utmost respect. You know why I still risk being abused at work? Because people with attitudes like yours perpetuate the false notion that my work isn’t legitimate, and that I’m less than human.

  • Minix

    Want to tackle human trafficking and forced prostitution ? Don’t attack the symptom but go to the source. And I can assure you that pretty woman is really not the source. It is called poverty. And to be clear I am talking about the trafficked girls who are forced into prostitution. Anybody who is doing it out of free will please do so.

  • Faruk Usaf

    Domina and Sherry, I don’t even understand and get why you need to make people understand, who may never want to understand. As he said, No one should pay for love, as it is not a commodity, but in reality, it is. Everything in this world is a commodity. When we start a relationship, we enter into a contract to exchange services (love and care). If we fail to get what we bargained for (love from the partner), we would look for an alternative. In case of a Girlfriend, we already invest in form of time and thus dont need to pay, but when we need the same or similar service or commodity, the opportunity cost is obviously the money and the payment.

    Whatever the sex workers do is their own life and choice to do. I have been to Berlin, Prague and Amsterdam, and out of curiosity, was lucky to interact with a number of student sex workers. To my surprise, they were just “normal” people, unlike what we used to see or hear through media. They had families, friends, and above all, kids. That was when all my stereotypes were shattered. The only exception was Bangkok, where a number of under-age girls were forced to work and had to feed families of 10 and 12, and thus had no choice whatsoever. But even then, they were content as they were supporting their families.

    I have had a number of discussions with my friends in Germany and UK, defending sex workers, and to my utter disbelief, even those apparently liberal looking people were dissing sex workers as their argument was that this industry affects “Societies”.

    But anything that affects any society is bigotry and the lack understanding towards sex workers and sex industry.

    In short, Sex involved in Sex Industry is a mutual consent agreement, a service and an alternative, and I dont think anyone should have an issue with that.

  • Faruk Usaf

    The irony: Most of those who diss sex workers are always up for “free sex” with drunk people in bars/night clubs. Sex Industry is treated as a disease, where as It is just any other “service industry”. Above all, the providers are always the “targets” and not the users.

  • Lemon

    Like any industry there are different levels to it from the low paid to the high paid. Take the catering industry you can go from a low paid employee in a high street burger bar (the ‘McJobs’) to working in a top class restaurant. Within prostitution there are different levels from the street worker to the high class prostitute. At the bottom end of the scale of any industry conditions for entry are very low whereas at the top levels conditions for entry are high. You wouldn’t lump a McDonalds server in with a waiter who works at the Ritz in London so why lump all levels of prostitution together.

    Human trafficking is a problem but not just within the sex industry and, I presume, in western countries at least, there will already be laws for trafficking and false imprisonment etc. And just because you are a woman with the right equipment doesn’t mean you will be psychologically prepared to go into this type of work, just like I know I wouldn’t be able to cope with being in the police or army.

    The laws for prostitution need to be tackled from a pragmatic view i.e. this happens so what is the best way to protect the people that do this work, not from a moral view where it is ‘wrong’ and ‘evil’.

    And for those girls who believed what ‘Pretty Woman’ was portraying then I would say they, probably, already had some sort of psychological problem by not being able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

  • Geoff Lee

    As a happily married man with children, I have never used sex workers so far in my life. One of my fantasies is to have 3 girls at the same time. The only realistic way to fulfill that fantasy is through sex workers

  • obama_sucks2

    1.) I never said you were less then human. So don’t put words in my mouth.

    2.) You can’t blame me or anyone else like me for how dangerous your “job” is. I didn’t make you become a prostitute. You choose that. So I will NOT feel sorry for you for choosing to do something stupid.

    3.) I don’t agree nor care to reply to your other misguided opinions. Except that anything related to lustful intentions will always tear something apart. It ruins marriages and relationships.

    4.) I’ll be praying for you too. I will pay for your safety. But also for God to open your eyes before it’s too late.

  • Gill Payne

    I was a sex worker for 3 years……it messed me up inside.
    I was not arrested (although I did choose to bribe cops at times).
    I was not addicted to heavy drugs. I needed the money for a family issue so I justified it at the time.
    It’s later you find it has done such deep damage.
    If it was not for Father Gods forgiveness and restoration through Christ Jesus, I would be dead now.
    Don’t listen to the ‘legalise prostitution’ crowd. It’s a terrible choice/lifestyle to make……it is NOT worth it.
    Gill.
    (I will not be answering this or reading haters comments….so don’t bother)

  • RedBaronsCuz

    Well, with a name like obama_sucks2 and all the references to God, I think that you might be right.

  • blackdreamhunk

    escorts and prostitutes promote anti black hatred and white supremacy. You claim that prostitutes get stereo typed but your ok with black people stereo types?

    Racist Escorts and Agencies?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U49iONdGm_s

  • LabertGitt

    You’re one of those religous people who dont respect other peoples opinions or beliefs arent you?

  • Ola Torheim

    Ahh, since you have had bad experiences then someone else automatically has them too? That is an stupid assumption. Your condemnation of other people and not their opinions, will lead to strength over education as conflict resolution.

  • dirtbikegirl

    I’m glad He rescued you, Gill. He has great plans for you. Pay close attention to your dreams he gives you at night… Go to Streams Ministries to get some clarity on interpreting them. You have a calling on your life to bring His love, compassion and forgiveness to the disenchanted. Be blessed.

  • Gill Payne

    Thank you for your encouragement dirtbikegirl…….big hugs. You know, I truly believe the only way we really deeply impact lives and change communities is one person at a time. Loving the person God puts in front of you….it’s the love of God that brings people to repentance. It’s ok to share our views or work for change in society, but it’s when people deeply care about people that lasting change happens 🙂 Thank you for caring precious girl.

  • Gill Payne

    Well said Amanda.

  • Gill Payne

    Mstrs Sassy Sherry I believe this world system is broken. Why do I say that? Because since the formation of the first families on earth there have been human beings who decided that one life was not as important or as precious as another. People started to enslave other people in many different ways. People also allowed THEMSELVES to be enslaved in many different ways and tried to justify or deny it was damaging them. ANYTHING that enslaves us or causes us to violate our God given value, integrity, purity and most importantly our relationship with our loving Father God is bad for us. And I mean ANYTHING – not just abuse and control, but also sex addiction, desire for power/control, adultery, drugs, alcohol, violent anger, gossip, food addictions, unforgiveness, self-righteous judgement, self-hatred and I mean anything. These things cause damage and will enslave us spiritually whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Brokenness is a state of being incomplete. Any of us can be in a broken state in areas of our lives…..I still wash myself too excessively (I’m overcoming OCD compulsions related to abuse) and have to daily look to Jesus to thank Him for cleansing, forgiving and loving me. We are all broken until we receive Gods restoration. And having said this, there are people reading this that will say there is no God, they don’t need God, or that God abandoned them and doesn’t care. That is a lie we have believed to stop us from running towards Him and surrendering. He really does love us and really does have good plans for us…..IF we will let Him. Anyone please feel free to message me if you want to know more about how Jesus rescued me from prostitution. He did it Himself……He allowed me to get to my rock-bottom so I was so desperate and then it’s like He personally walked me into a Salvation Army Recovery Church at just as they were about to start. I definitely had NO plans to step inside a church. Still don’t understand how that happened. He does care! 🙂

  • Gill Payne

    Are you really happily married Geoff? Is your wife happily married? You are NOT a person that cares about others….you are fulfilling your own lust and each time you do this, that lust will grow. This is not love for your family….this is self love. You are fooling yourself if you do NOT think this will hurt your wife and children. If your wife is ok with this then she has traded her self respect and value for something……maybe financial security or a home life and father for her children. I’m shocked at your lack of insight. I met and used many men like you when I was doing the game. Weak and narcissistic men like you were easy prey and they were my main source of income back then. I knew that they had a wife back home and I was sickened by these men and myself. Sorry, but this is the truth. I had to repent and leave that horrific lifestyle. You need to too!

  • Gill Payne

    Exactly…..this is very much about children and family life. So glad you are out too. HUGE HUGS 🙂

  • Gill Payne

    Well said Johanna.

  • Gill Payne

    There is no ‘whorephobia’ going on here. A ‘phobia’ is something someone fears and avoids. People here are doing the opposite….they are jumping right in and are wanting to communicate and interact with you. They want to share their experiences and view with you. I personally believe there is a reason why a person gets defensive and starts to apply a label like ‘whorephobic’, ‘racist’, ‘homophobic’, ‘islamophobic’ etc any time there is a serious discussion on a heavy issue of any sort. I believe one reason is because that person is not willing to open their heart to the possibility that they may not have all the truth in an area. It’s an attempt to shut down communication! What they really want to scream is ” I’m scared”, or “I’m angry”, or “I’m hurting” “You are entering an area that I am desperately not wanting to open up to. I shut that memory, hurt, guilt, shame, fear, etc down years ago……and to do that I had to shut the voice of truth out! Don’t go there!”. This is my belief. It’s the only possible explanation because these people seem blind to the fact that people who are trying to share with them…..actually really care about them and the issue.

  • Gill Payne

    Mstrs Sassy Sherry: I met a lot of sex workers too…..especially many Asian girls sending money home for the family. I never met anyone who was happy. I mostly worked for myself with well paying clients. It didn’t make me happy. I couldn’t bear working in brothels or on the streets….although when I was absolutely desperate for money I did whatever I felt I had to. It is not glamorous, fulfilling, or empowering in any way.

  • Gill Payne

    Mary Magdalene was not Jesus personal companion or lover. The Bible is clear on Jesus life, on His teaching and His stand on sin. He is the Son of God. On earth He was without sin. He lived and taught only what the Father showed Him to do and say. The women who accompanied them, when they were close to Jerusalem or Galilee, helped support and care for some of the practical needs of Jesus and the disciples such as helping financially, preparing meals and probably washing clothing etc as was the custom for Jewish women of the day. They knew that this was a ministry to serve and to support the Fathers purposes. They were led to help and serve. Some were family members and others were believers who had repented and chose to lead lives that glorified God. This statement is sad because it reveals who it is that has been influencing you for years. You have been deceived as I was….

  • Johanna Ward

    I’m not telling you not to create relationships with these girls, but do you really think you can reach every one of them? Even if a large group of good people does all they can there will always be kids that fall thru the cracks. And even if you try real hard to get thru to some girls, you’re still competing against the strong influence of the media, which is an uphill battle. I can tell you have never actually made a concerted effort in this area because you talk about it in terms of what ppl are supposed to do, and seem to think that children who grow up dysfunctionally still somehow have perfect logic and an untainted understanding of christianity and a normal level of self-worth, which they don’t at all, or they wouldn’t be so easily swayed by the media. I challenge you to try out your method on a troubled young girl you don’t even know (with your closed minded, naive understanding of the real world) and tell me if she says “oh wow I never realized all I need to do is go to church. Thank you for making it all so simple for me.” Or if it’s more like “um who are you? Quit judging me, I don’t even know you. You don’t even understand what is like to be me at all. Get the hell away from me.” But ask her who she looks up to the most and I guarantee it’s a singer or actress, and probably an inappropriate one, because she feels she can relate to her. ” the most influential ppl on us are those we feel can relate and understand the things we’ve been thru. And the media has a major advantage on influencing us, especially the impressionable youth. You’re right that prostitution well always exist. There’s no way to reach every lost person. But we need to exhaust all resources, and why would you leave the media out completely when it has the ability to reach more ppl globally then any person or group can? The media is the biggest asset we have to bring about a huge change in the world.

  • Amanda Thompson

    I am not interested in arguing or in being right. I’m just interested in discussion. I never once presumed to know you or your life experiences based on what you wrote in a comment on a blog. There is actually a lot more to me than my comments on this blog. I admit that I stopped reading your comment after you told me that you can tell about my life based on my comment. I’m finished with this conversation. Deuces.

  • Johanna Ward

    I’m sorry but what is the point of of involving yourself in a discussion when you really don’t care to read points of view other than your own? I’m not arguing or saying I am right and you’re wrong. I’m only trying to open your eyes to another perspective on this issue. Obviously you want to stay closed-minded, but that isn’t going to help you in your attempts to helping people in need. I’m only interested in standing up to people who get loud with their opinions when they are naive, inexperienced, and closed-minded. You get so offended at my assumptions about you, but you didn’t think about how your comments might be offensive to other people, did you? That’s ok, go ahead and skip this comment, like I’m sure you do with every comment that differs from your own. Good luck with that in your life. Maybe you should just keep your comments to yourself next time.

  • Derrington

    Me thinks you’re a john

  • Wayne Gemmell

    Me thinks your a tool.

  • Marino

    Wayne. Me thinks you need to rethink your grammar usage: ‘you are’ or ‘you’re’ a tool.

  • Wayne Gemmell

    And you think saying ‘Me thinks’ is good grammar? It was a knee jerk reaction to someone throwing around baseless allegations because they don’t have a reasonable argument to put forward. Not worth commenting on or picking apart.

  • Marino

    Wayne, ‘me thinks’ is good grammar, just a bit old-fashioned.
    Your jottings were grammatically incorrect and misspelled.

  • Wayne Gemmell

    Apparently it’s a single verb ‘methinks’.
    http://grammarist.com/usage/methinks/ . That makes us both incorrect.
    Can you let this go now?

  • Comments about Domina Elle show a history of stalking and unstable dangerous behavior. http://badboyreport.kr/2013/06/skekinah-avraam-koresh-leslie-eddy-domina-elle-july-4-1966-denver-co/ These are comments posted in 2014. In this blog – it says that she “stalked the competition”. So I typed in “stalking” and found this gem. http://www.bardotsmith.com/blog/2014/7/20/plagiarism-stalking-and-psychotic-obsession

  • Terrance Kenallen

    Talk about an attitude that sucks. With your Arrogant, sanctimonious, judgmental, folly you insult someone and their spouse simply because they are happy and content with their lifestyle that you do not approve of.

  • Jesterhead

    I think many can see where you and others are coming from with this, how this movie tends to gloss over the reality of prostitution and escorting.

    But…the creator(s) of the story never intended it to be a documentary or real-to-life drama about prostitution. Prostituting/escorting was simply the backdrop or situation that created some conflict, drama, and romance in the storyline. Nothing more. Anyone telling a story with any topic or another is in no way obligated to be educational about it. I’d even go as far as to say that they don’t even have to do it accurately because if you (or anyone else) needs to be reminded that fiction and Hollywood are pretty much on a different planet from reality, then you’ve lost the argument before it even began.

    @waynegemmell:disqus hit the nail on the head by saying that maintaining a level head and communicating with children or impressionable people is vital here. You can’t expect the world to raise your children with a healthy outlook on reality, especially if this dialogue never takes place with young people to begin with. Pretty Woman is a work of fiction, it is an artist’s creation to tell a story that they wish to tell. How people take their story is up to each individual, not the creator.