Mia Khalifa recently released a TikTok video captioned "that hourly dissociative attack from remembering hundreds of millions of people's only impression of you is solely based on the lowest, most toxic, most uncharacteristic 3 months of your life when you were 21."
It's just one of the reasons Mia is trending (the other is a death hoax, more on that later), but it makes a profound point about the double standard of working in the adult film industry. Mia only did porn for three months, but because of those three months, she will forever be known as Mia Khalifa, the porn star. Imagine if everyone were defined by what they did at 21. Instead of being Gary Smith Esq. you'd be, "Gary, the high as shit Jamba Juice Smoothie Technician, who happens to also practice law right now."
Said Mia on Instagram "Those 11 videos will haunt me until I die, and I don't want another girl to go through that - because NO ONE should." There are those who will argue, "It was her choice to do porn. She should live with the consequences," but there are two problems with this argument. One is that the people who say those things have her videos filed on a secret folder on their desktop labeled "business expenses." If it's okay to shame Mia Khalifa for the time she did porn, then we should also be ashamed to watch porn. You can't admonish people for doing an activity that you yourself benefit from.
But the second reason this argument sucks is that while it was Mia's choice to do porn, it wasn't her choice as to how she was treated. There's already the financially exploitative aspects mentioned above. Mia Khalifa being paid $12,000 for 800 million combined views on her videos is like if Leonardo DiCaprio were paid $12,000 for his role in Titanic. But there are also the myriads of ways actors are exploited on set. Racism in porn, for example, is a serious moneymaker. Note: Don't discount racism outside of porn for Khalifa's treatment too, as hundreds of white women have dabbled in porn and gone onto relatively quiet post-porn lives.
It's a no-win situation for Khalifa as she is criticized for both expressing unhappiness with her porn background, while at the same time criticized for having tried to make a living off of it. It's a depressing situation, and it's no wonder that people are so quick to pronounce her as dead. Khalifa, however, was a good sport about her death hoax.
But when you consider all of the former porn stars who have died an untimely death, perhaps it's long past time we leave Mia Khalifa the hell alone.
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Top Image: Mia Khalifa