Everyone is talking about the newly released Netflix drama Hot Girls Wanted, and for good reason. Shit, I’m talking about it; the writers here are talking about it; the stuck up folks at Starbucks are talking about it. But as I write this, I can’t help but find the whole Hot Girls Wanted awareness to be ironic. We all act like we didn’t know the porn industry was this shady, like “Hey! These girls are fine!” and now that we have a documentary showing us otherwise, we’re all up in arms, shocked that this is going on. Fuck, isn’t ignorance bliss.
The documentary produced by actress Rashida Jones gives audiences a narrative that is commonly ignored, not because people don’t care, but because people don’t want to care. A hit at Sundance, and a bigger hit in the small screens at home, Hot Girls Wanted delves into the porn business, a multi-billion dollar industry that only seems to be growing more and more, as it becomes more attainable through technology. Exploring the lives of young girls in the amateur porn industry-the fastest growing porn genre, due to it quick and easy production and the rise of girls easily signing up, cause they don’t actually know what they’re signing up for.
Hot Girls Wanted follows the journey of five girls who have been in the industry for as long as a week to a year at most. Seems like a short time for you? Yeah, well girls in the amateur porn industry don’t last long in the business, something Riley, the schemy founder of Hussie Models, continuously mentions to audience. Girls as young as 18, who are referred to as teeny boppers, and as “old” as 25 (those are MILFS…. 25 year olds are MILFs!), the lives of these girls range from experience, to outlook in life.
Girls like Tressa, just want out of their small town home, and hope they can do so by secretly doing porn, something she hopes her father will never find out, but as Riley puts it, “They always find out.” Tressa’s journey seems almost unbelievable- Yeah she’s in the industry, but you can tell she doesn’t actually belong there, something Riley has noticed too, so when her relationship with boyfriend Kendall becomes more serious, the fate of her porn career and growing Twitter following is at stake, which is really heavy stuff for someone who just graduated from high school.
Other girls living in Riley’s five-bedroom house, which is frequented by girls that come and go, see the porn industry as the easy way to stardom. They get paid a shit load for only a few hours, and their Twitter fame seems promising-Hey, if they have 2,000 followers than that only means things will go up from there, right? Well, not really; the attention and confident booster as one girl puts it, doesn’t become worth enough to sustain, especially when things get real.
As someone who doesn’t watch porn, I felt like I had baby ears and baby eyes as I watched what is getting people off nowadays. Things like facial abuse, forced blowjobs and other violent and degrading porn “genres” was very shocking to me, especially how these girls are spoken to just before starting, what could be, a very traumatizing scene. Sometimes interviewed before an abusive scene, the girls are referred to as “bitch” and “slut”; at once instance, racial slurs are being directed to a girl who is cleaning her own throw-up from the floor. Gagging from forced blow jobs are apparently a hit, as well as facial abuse, which I don’t think I have to explain to you.
Though Hot Girls Wanted is informative and surprisingly never really done before- at least never done this successfully- it still has its flaws, and that’s the unfortunate running time. 122 minutes is not enough to follow five girls, so some girls get more screen time than others, which is frustrating, cause I wanted to learn more about the porn star that spent the weekend staying in and reading a book. Though being filmed confessing to you family and ridiculed at your boyfriend’s friend’s party is already a lot to offer, there are still so much that could have been have been told.
Maybe a docu-series would have been a better route, but I can’t be ungrateful here- I am lucky as a woman, that something like this is out there, and streaming on one of the most popular streaming sites today; right in your face, waiting for you to discuss with your friends the following weeks. I can’t complain- No matter how short or hard to watch this was, we needed this. We always needed this.