If a woman posts a nude photo online, what is the narrative that people create about her? That she’s a slut? Is she just looking for attention? People often judge women if their photos are posted online, with or without their consent, because a respectful woman would not take such scandalous pictures. When a celebrity’s private photos are posted on the internet, they turn into headlines. The response is always the same: “If she does not want anyone to see those pictures, then she would not have taken them.” A woman now charges a fee for someone to view her nude photos. What is the narrative about her now? “She’s still a slut, but I want to see it, so I’ll pay.”
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is an online platform where women are able to post any content they create and charge users a subscription fee to view their content. The photos can range from a simple selfie to a fully nude and anything in between. OnlyFans allows women to be in control of their body and have a full grasp of their sexuality. It can be a place of expression for women or a safe place for their confidence to bloom.
Women are free to express themselves in any way they please. They are able to explore all forms of creativity and create content that makes them feel beautiful. By breaking the mold of what society deems “appropriate,” these women have created a world where they can feel sexy and profit from it. A number of women have turned to OnlyFans to create an income. However, most women will tell anyone interested in creating an account that it isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme.
What women working on the platform have to say:
Miranda (@meowmiranda on Instagram), a creator on OnlyFans, spoke with me about what it is like to create content. “The hardest thing is people assuming it’s easy. Any fan I’ve had I’ve had to work for, conversed with, coerced or convinced to buy my content. Once they subscribe if you don’t post daily and interact, they’ll unsubscribe just as quickly.” Most people like to assume that if a woman posts a racy picture online, she instantly makes money from it. The reality is that these women take time and put forth effort in order to create content that is worthy for them to post.
OnlyFans has a mostly negative connotation because people view it as a platform where women exploit their bodies for a profit. When asked why women often receive such harsh criticism for their work on OnlyFans, Jewel Sterling (@jewelnextdoor on Instagram)- a current OnlyFans creator- said, “I think it boils down to the fact that there is a lot of free porn out there and conservative people don’t like to see young women profiting off their bodies. A common comment I’ve seen is that it’s not a real job, and content creators are lazy.” Content creators often receive criticism for their work because it is unconventional. How does a woman that just posts photos profit off of it? Because there are thousands of people that will pay to see it.
The Reality of OnlyFans
When a woman makes porn for anyone to watch for free, it is acceptable. When a woman posts nude photos but charges a fee for them, it is infallible. Why was this narrative that if a woman is posing nude, it must be for the sole benefit of others? The women that have OnlyFans accounts and post regularly do it because they want to. They do not post photos of themselves in lingerie because they know it will please men. They do it because there is a market for it, and they are confident enough to dive into that market. These women have created a whole new world for content creators, a place where women can feel sexy and confident while also making an income. “I feel confident and in control of my financial stability, and that’s all that matters to me,” Sterling said about working on the website.
OnlyFans has given women both confidence and financial stability. It has allowed women to regain control of their sexuality, no longer giving others the power to exploit them for it. “Sex work, in general, has given me a very positive outlook on myself and my body,” Miranda said when asked how working on OnlyFans has helped her feel more in control of her body. Most people like to believe these women are attention-seeking or posting on OnlyFans simply because they are desperate. Women successfully profiting off of their bodies on their own terms is something that simply can not be accepted. But it needs to be. The confidence it takes to do the work these women do is more than almost anyone will ever have. Instead of passing judgment, everyone could probably learn a lesson or two from these women.
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