The Dangers of “Sugar-Coating” Prostitution – A Response to Vanity Fair

One woman stated, “my friend who does it says, ‘I do it for the Chanel.’” To further drive home this point, the article was accompanied with photographs of a beautiful model with flowing blonde hair, wearing an elegant red dress, fancy high heels, and diamond jewelry—clearly reminding readers of Julia Robert’s character in Pretty Woman—specifically the scene where she is wearing a red dress and being “adorned” with the quarter million dollar necklace.
These images, coupled with the moniker “sugaring” itself, glamorize prostitution, making it appear to be an attractive, trendy, and sought-after lifestyle. What’s worse is that the glamorization of prostitution is far from a simple misconception. It entirely underestimates the act of prostitution itself by focusing solely on the money a woman can make through selling sex and what it can buy. There is nothing glamorous about prostitution. It is always exploitive, always carries an enhanced risk of violence to the seller, and is always a form of economic and gender-based structural inequality—regardless if the sex buyers are lingering on crime-ridden city street corners or websites.

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