“You think I’m proud of what I’m doing? I hate it!” These words are uttered by Molly Stewart the subject of this column. Molly is a vivacious, pretty and very likable 15 year old. She attends an exclusive private school and is an Honor Roll student. She is well liked by her peers and is the All American Girl Next Door….until the sun goes down. You see, Molly has been abandoned by both her parents. Her father left her mother while she was still a child and her mother left her when she met a new man. She left Molly a note and a hundred dollar bill. Little Molly was 12 years old at the time. Now this young lady works as a prostitute (named Angel) on Hollywood Blvd. to support herself. Her family are the people that populate the Blvd after dark. They are street performers and prostitutes but they really do care for and love her. Now her dual life is about to collide and come crashing down because there is a murderer and the target are the prostitutes. Molly is on his list. The movie is “Angel” (1984) and it is one of my guilty pleasures. I adore Molly and if you see this film you will too. The sequels leave much to desire but the original is worth the watch. And guess what. Molly is a good girl gone bad, however it is with a purpose. Molly is working as a hooker but she has bigger plans in mind. She wants to graduate high school and get accepted into a good college so she can have a real future and leave Hollywood Blvd behind. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week.
You may be wondering why I chose Molly, a 15 year old girl, as a character you can learn from. Well sit back kids and read as I put my twist on this story of a girl that the movies ad called “High School Honor Student by Day…Hollywood Hooker by Night.” We are going to focus on Molly because given the right (or wrong) circumstance, she could be any one of us.
Molly by all rights became self-empowered at 12 years old. She eludes that becoming a prostitute was rather easy for her. (at 12 you don’t have many life skills and McDonald’s is not going to hire you) She did her make-up, put on some sexy clothes and went out and earned a living. Now keep in mind that when the movie starts she is 15 which means she has been supporting herself for 3 years already. She has managed to survive being abandoned by her parents, she is not in an institution or foster care, she has found and managed to rent (with a story of an invalid mother) a decent apartment and has enrolled herself in an exclusive private school where she earns honors and hopefully a scholarship to a good college. A teenage girl with no family. It sounds unreal, however, it is not impossible.
At some point most people find themselves in a position similar to Molly’s. How many times has someone fallen on bad times. They may not have a job or are lacking any real money (enough to buy food and pay bills) to speak of. They may be ready to/or already lost their home. Their last living relative may pass or they may have been disowned. This is especially traumatic if the person in question is just a kid like Molly. In the most common case scenario they have been thrown out and disowned for their sexual orientation or like in the movie “Angel” a parent chose a relationship over their child. This can be emotionally devastating and create a world of stress. If you have no family the world can be a scary place as a child or adult. If you also have no real friends you can turn to and are 100% alone then the world can become a real horror show.
We have probably all been like Molly (however briefly) at some point. When you find yourself in this kind of position you have two choices. You can throw in the towel and hope for the best (which usually doesn’t come with this method) or like Molly you can push forward with a plan. Hopefully you never have a situation like hers but there is always a way out if you are willing to work hard enough at it.
Molly needed money. With no real skills to speak off this can be a devastating situation, It is hard enough to pay bills with a good paying job. I don’t know how people can get by (at least in this day and age) on minimum wage. I am not recommending you follow in Molly’s steps and turn to prostitution. Molly does what she has to so she can afford and apartment and tuition at an exclusive private school so she can get a good education and hopefully get into a good college so the future will be one she wants. As for her profession in the film, well Hollywood pisses me off with this one. Street prostitution in this movie almost looks glamorous and fun. I am sure it is not. I think the movie “Whore” (1991) starring Theresa Russell probably paints a more realistic picture. That aside, because the movie was written as fiction and entertainment, how does Molly conduct business? She won’t let anyone underpay for her services, she shows great pride in being “Angel” although for Molly this is a temporary situation, and she stops working at a decent hour so she can be rested for school. Molly seems more responsible than some adults I know. Molly is a dual personality. During the day she is the epitome of the All-American Girl Next Door. At night a different Molly emerges. Sexy, confident and willing to trade sexual favors for cash. She keeps the two personalities from merging. Her peers and teachers have no idea this brilliant and pretty girl is a worker in the sex-industry. She keeps the two separate. Sadly in this film her secret is found out and her reputation is shot. Now how does this apply to life?
How many of us want a better future? It is rare that a better future will just be handed to us on a silver platter. Most of us will have to work damn hard to get it. And the rewards will be that much sweeter when we arrive. How many times have we found ourselves doing a job we hate or think is beneath us? Sometimes it is what it is and we must do things in order to get by while we strive to achieve something better. How many of us have worked in a Dunkin Doughnuts, a food court in the mall, at a movie theater, as a clerk in a convenience store and hated every moment of it? How many of you have worked more than one job at a time to make ends meet? I remember a period where I had 3 jobs at the same time. One in a restaurant, one in Spencer Gifts and working as a maid for one couple two days a week. I did it because I had to, not because I think working 90 hours a week is fun. In the meantime I was planning on going to school (which I would have to pay for out of pocket. I had been denied financial assistance due to paperwork that was filed incorrectly by the financial officer at the school. They did fire him because this happened to a lot of potential students) so I could have something more. It turns out I did not care for my chosen profession and after 3 years I gave it up. Live and learn. I let my family push me into that field. My heart was in being an entertainer which I am now ( I do work a regular day job and get bookings when I can) and am hard at work with a friend/ film making partner writing a script we hope to get into production early next year.
I want you to think for just a moment on how easy it is to pass judgement. What do you think of when you think of nude dancers or private escorts. What words come to mind. That the girls are whores? That you could never do something like that? That they are beneath you? Not everyone feels this way but some people think these things immediately. There was a period that I worked in the adult entertainment industry (and I have no shame about the work I did). Were some of the women whores or was this their entire future? Yes, but let me tell you what else I found. I found women who where very smart. Some where single mothers dealt a bad hand and were there so there kids could eat and have a roof over there heads. Why would their moms do this? Because they love their kids and the job pays a hell of a lot more than you would make as a cashier at Publix or Barnes and Noble. The other thing is many of these women (mothers and girls without kids alike) had a bigger picture in mind. Many of these ladies were trying to afford homes that they would own rather than rent, some might need a better car and more of these ladies than you think were students during the day. They were dancing or private modeling/escorting at night and on the flip-side during the day they were learning to be cosmetologists, vet techs, paralegals and a wealth of other professions. They did this because they had to for the moment. It was the only way they could afford to pay bills and attend school. Many of these ladies (who I am still friends with) have gone on to fabulous careers and left the past behind. Some husbands/boyfriends actually are a little prideful bragging to their closest friends what their girlfriend/wife did for a living at one time. Gentlemen I do not recommend doing this. It could come back to bite your wife/girlfriend on the ass if she is now a professional in a law office or something to that effect. She told you not because she was bragging but because she loves you enough to believe you deserve the entire truth about her life. If you have been in these professions vying for a better future there is no shame. If you were professional and adhered to what is ethical for you (like Molly) then it is a job well done. You did what you had to. If you are in one of these professions now more power to you. I hope the money is good and the future is looking bright. For those of you that frown on these professions keep this in mind. You do not know these ladies, what their situation is or what they may be working very hard to accomplish. Given the right circumstances it could be any one of us.
I could break down the rest of the movie but this column is about taking care of yourself, as Molly did, so you could have something better in life. She is a different type of Movie Bad Girl. She is a good girl doing bad things knowing that if she works hard enough that her situation, one day, will just be a memory and the world will be her oyster.That is one of the most empowering things ever. Having goals for yourself so you (and your kids if you are a mom) can have money and a comfortable future that you can be happy with. And I hope you have a career that you enjoy. We all have to do things we don’t want to in life, however if we do it with honesty and integrity there is no shame. If we work hard, strive for our goals and never lose our focus we can make our futures ones we can be proud of. That makes us all Bad Girls in the best sense of the word. Until next time Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl because being bad feels so damn good!