Mia Khalifa on life after leaving porn industry: ‘I feel like people can see through my clothes, it brings me deep shame’

Mia Khalifa, in a recent interview, spoke about her struggle being a porn star and how, despite leaving the profession, it is a tag that she has to live with all her life. ‘I am just a Google search away,’ she said.
Mia Khalifa recently spoke about her life as an adult star and the challenges it posed to her.(Instagram)
Mia Khalifa recently spoke about her life as an adult star and the challenges it posed to her.(Instagram)
Updated on Sep 02, 2019 02:20 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

Former adult star Mia Khalifa, in a new interview to BBC, has spoken about her experience of working in the porn industry and how it damaged her. She explained how inexperience got her into it and when when she eventually quit, the tag refused to leave her. No matter how stressful the period was for her, she said, the reality is that she is just a “Google search away”.

Speaking about how it all began, given that she had a decent college education, Mia said, “I don’t think low self-esteem discriminates against anyone. It doesn’t matter if you come from a great family or if you come from a not-so-great background, I struggled my entire childhood with weight and I never felt attractive or worthy of male attention, and suddenly in my first year of college, I start losing all this weight from making small changes and by the time I graduated, I was ready to make a bigger difference. I felt extremely self conscious about my breast because that was the first thing to go when I lost weight. I lost about 50 pounds and once I did that, I started garnering all this attention from men and I was never used to it, and I felt like unless I held on to it, and did what was asked of me to do or what was expected of me, it would go away and after feeling and what was like that validation, and you know, the compliments for the first time, I did not want that to go away.”

Mia Khalifa said she made a mere ₹8.75 lakh as a porn star and was in it for only 3 months.
Mia Khalifa said she made a mere ₹8.75 lakh as a porn star and was in it for only 3 months.

On the question of how she got into the porn industry, she said, “It wasn’t just ‘hey, do you want to come and do porn?’ It was more so ‘Oh, you’re beautiful. Would you like to do some modelling? Oh, you have a great body, I think you should do nude modelling’, things like that. And after I came and toured the studio, it was very respectful. It was clean. Everyone who worked there was nice, like it was nothing dodgy or that made me uncomfortable.”

On the question on whether or not she had a lawyer to take her through the paper work, she replied: “What 21-year-old has a lawyer on retainer?”

Answering queries on how stressful the experience has been, more so today, after she had moved on, she said, “I think post-traumatic stress kicks in mostly when I go on public. Because the stares I get, I feel like people can see through my clothes. And it brings me deep shame. It makes me feel like I lost all rights to my privacy, which I did because I am just one Google search away.”

“The things that men see in videos, they expect from the women in their lives, and that’s just not reality. No one is doing to be that perfect, no one is going to do those acts on a Wednesday night with the person they love,” she went on.

Her story is not hers alone and that there will be many actors and actresses going through similar ordeal. Agreeing to it, she said: “I honestly started seeing that recently after the interview came out and people started reaching out and all of the emails go, my manager checks them, and when he gets stuff like that, he filters them and sends them to me and reading the words of some of these girls who have been sex trafficked and forced into porn and all of these stories of girls whose lives have been ruined by it, and by men who have taken advantage of them and by contracts that they didn’t even understand the jargon of, it makes me feel like maybe it was a good that I started talking and that I posted this interview and that I’m speaking out now because other people feel the same way and even if they don’t relate on as deep a level as doing porn, they can relate on the level of bring insecure and being pressured into doing something they didn’t want to do.”

At one point, she was asked how and why did she agree to do this kind of work with a hijab on. She said: “I verbatim told them ‘You guys are going to get me killed’. They just laughed.” On the question as why didn’t she then say that she wouldn’t do it. “Intimidation, I was scared. I was intimidated, I was nervous.” she replied.

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Monday, December 06, 2021