Free Flight to Miami. Hot Girls Wanted. These are both real-life examples of ways that girls get drawn into the amateur pornography industry. It seems glamorous, exciting, and sexually liberating at passing glance. But is that what it’s really like? Do the behind the scenes match up with the glitz and glam online? These are the questions that the documentary Hot Girls Wanted tackles and attempts to answer. Produced in 2015 by actress and advocate Rashida Jones and directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, this documentary provides an intimate look into the lives of the girls involved in the amateur porn industry.
Pornography sites have more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. Since the sites are fueled by demand, there has sadly been a rise in amateur pornography sites and videos that feature “the girl next door” archetype. What sets these scenes apart from the professional porn industry is that they are filmed with cheap cameras and feature a male first-person perspective. The girls that are acting in these scenes are paid amateurs (18-20 years old), which means that the “girl next door” is being played by the real thing.
Hot Girls Wanted offers a raw and unfiltered look into the lives of 5 girls as they enter into or continue in the amateur porn industry, as well as the “talent agent” who first contacted them. This documentary shows how easy it is to contact and connect with girls online. Craigslist is one of the main platforms that “talent agents” contact girls on, and it’s a lot simpler than one would think. Reilly, the “talent agent” featured in Hot Girls Wanted states that all he has to do is post an ad labelled “Free Flight to Miami” and he’ll have five responses within an hour. One reason girls are drawn to the amateur pornography industry is that they see celebrities promoting themselves with sex, and they view that as the only way to become famous. At one point Reilly nonchalantly says that “every day a new girl turns 18 and every day a new girl wants to do porn. I never run out of girls.”
Jarring moments are abundant in Hot Girls Wanted, and many will leave you both enraged and sick to your stomach. Bauer and Gradus don’t sugar coat or romanticise what these girls go through every day. This is especially true of one scene that shows the tangible measure of degradation that the girls experience as they film these porn scenes. One girl, Jade, says that she does those scenes because at least “they’re watching it on the computer and not going out and doing it to an actual girl.” However, since 40% of pornography depicts abuse and violence against women, viewers of porn are more likely to treat women in real life the way they see them treated on screen.
Hot Girls Wanted provides a harrowing look into the lives of the girls that are seduced into the creation of amateur porn, while also informing the viewers of the harsh truths that accompany the growing pornography industry. The promises of fame and fortune are short-lived; due to the fact that a new girl starts out shooting 3-8 scenes a week making $900 a scene, but after 3 months in the industry companies stop booking them because there are so many new girls coming in. Many of the girls “know it’s a trap, but the money’s right there in their face, cash. They take it and just hope for the best” says John Anthony, a porn actor.
Hot Girls Wanted raises questions about the acceptability and normalcy of pornography in our society. In their pursuit to show the true nature of the amateur porn industry, Bauer and Gradus shine a light on the stark realities of this over glamorized industry. This no-nonsense film allows for viewers to understand what life is like for these girls and their families and answers questions about the pornography industry.
I highly recommend watching this film if you have any questions at all about why girls would go into the pornography industry, or if you’re at all curious about whether or not the girls really do enjoy their work. This film cut me to my core and made me physically ill at some points. But it does such a beautiful job of cutting through the propaganda and showing what is really happening behind the cameras. Not just with the girls themselves, but with their families as well. It’s a hard documentary to watch at points, but it shines a light on a part of our society that is eating away at our humanity. So if you have the chance, I encourage you to watch this film, even if it makes you uncomfotable.
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