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Stop Shaming People With An OnlyFans Account — There's Bigger Economic Problems To Worry About

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Ever since OnlyFans was founded in 2016, it has drawn in 1.2 billion dollars in revenue through its success. The purpose of the site was for adult entertainers to be able to deliver adult content straight to their fans, since users could not do that through Instagram due to the crackdown of nudity and pornography. 

Since then, OnlyFans has quickly become a medium for people to earn income, especially amidst COVID-19 shut downs. As unemployment rates shot up during the global pandemic, so did OnlyFans sign-ups, with a 75% increase in sign ups

Celebrities such as Cardi B, Amber Rose and Bella Thorne have joined OnlyFans — and make A LOT of money off of it. In fact, Bella Thorne made 1 million dollars in the first 24 hours alone.

OnlyFans has proven to be a quick and easy way for people to develop a fanbase and make money, so it’s understandable that others would want to do the same, especially during a crumbling economy.

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One story that has made headlines recently was the story of a paramedic, Lauren Kwei, who took to the NYPost to talk about her side gig on OnlyFans. Unfortunately, her NYPost coverage only served to shame her and put her reputation and job on the line.

In the article, the young paramedic was ousted and her personal information was published for the world to read and scrutinize, even though she had requested to remain anonymous. Her mother and employer were even contacted concerning her work on OnlyFans.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also defended the paramedic, stating “Sex work is work” and that the federal government has done nothing to help people sustain themselves during a pandemic in months.

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Nonetheless, many people have still taken to Twitter to shame Kwei instead of seeing the need for healthcare workers to receive higher pay, or seeing the need for working class people to receive assistance during a global pandemic.

This shaming is harmful for many reasons and does nothing to change the growing conundrum that the pandemic has created for thousands of working class people. 

Here are 3 reasons why we should all just mind our business and stop shaming people with an OnlyFans Account:

1. It’s hard out there.

The pandemic caused unemployment rates to spike at 14.7% in April of 2020, with LGBTQ and Latinx communities being hit the hardest. Until the vaccine is widely distributed, closures of businesses and unemployment will still remain a possibility, leaving many uncertain for their future. 

But even before the pandemic, academic inflation, rising tuition and student debt was already burdening young people. With so many economic hurdles, is it any wonder that people are exploring other methods of income? 

2. It perpetuates patriarchal notions of policing people’s bodies.

It’s no surprise that Lauren Kwei, a woman, would be shamed for her choices. But women are always treated disparagingly when we exhibit autonomy over our own bodies.

Historically, women have been forced into a binary, we’re either a “good girl” or a “bad girl”. This complex is more popularly known as the Madonna-whore complex, which says that you can’t be a “good woman” and be sexually empowered at the same time. 

Not much has changed, unfortunately, especially when women, trans and gender non-conforming folks use their sexuality to empower themselves economically. 

With sex work still being criminalized across the U.S. (except for Nevada), its harming women, trans and non-binary folks of color the most. This act of policing people’s bodies is inherently patriarchal and serves no purpose but to degrade others. 

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3. It deflects from the real problem of people not receiving the assistance they need.

Teachers have been receiving declining salaries since the year 2000 and median wages in health care support, service, and direct care jobs were just $13.48 an hour in 2019

And let’s not forget the problem of restaurant and retail workers not being paid a living wage. 

Education, healthcare, the restaurant and retail industries are just a few examples of professions that are underpaid. 

What’s worse, once COVID-19 hit, only one stimulus check was approved by the federal government and there were no small business relief efforts, or any cancellation of rent.

Instead of shaming people, we should be redirecting that effort to advocate for pay increases and liveable wages.

Let’s stop with the shaming already. It’s about to be 2021 and we have bigger problems to deal with. 

Angelique Beluso is a sex educator and writer who covers feminism, pop culture and relationship topics. Follow her on Twitter @AngeliqueBeluso.