CityinThree

Social media and technology have worked wonders in recent years. We've seen medical advances, communicative efforts, and the ability to travel...

Social media and technology have worked wonders in recent years. We've seen medical advances, communicative efforts, and the ability to travel long distance as just a few of the most important technological advances in American society. Most recently, the power to commodify yourself and capitalize off a career solely based off a popularity contest has risen. Women, more so than men, now have the option to become social media stars or "influencers", as they call it, and make an extremely decent living. With the Kardashian/Jenner family pioneering the ways in which we use sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat for fame, we've begun to see a breakthrough in what we share online and how we choose to do so.

With that being said, it's a well known fact that the song, Bodak Yellow, served as a landmark in Cardi B's career. Whether it was the lyrics or the beats, anyone who didn't live under a rock came to know the song that finally earned the rapper some respect in the music industry. The exotic dancer, turn social media star, turned reality TV star, turned rapper has become quite the household name this year with fans across the world singing along to Cardi's infamous lyrics "I don't gotta dance, I make money moves!" However, with great success comes haters, and lots of them, who couldn't fail to remind Cardi that she was once "just a stripper".


Now, regardless of Cardi's past, she managed to take advantage of her transparent personality and willingness to talk about sex, capitalize off it, and become a powerhouse figure. Cardi has actually spoken numerous times on her situation and how she actually got into stripping in order to leave an abusive relationship. In fact, it wasn't as though Cardi lacked the motivation to go to school or pursue a "regular" life; she had actually enrolled at the Borough of Manhattan Community College where she took a couple classes before ultimately decided that school wasn't the best option for her. In addition to this, Cardi has always been about her grind stating, “when I was a stripper, I used to strip like six nights a week, I used to bust my ass. And I didn’t stop [working]. Until today I work just as hard as I did before.” She continued to work as a stripper for several years before quitting on her 23rd birthday. It was then that Cardi really became a household name as she had garnered a spot on VH1's hit show Love and Hip Hop. Eventually, the young up and coming star took social media to her advantage when she started posting 6 second comedic videos on Vine. One of her most popular, and perhaps the most iconic Vine of Cardi, was the "a hoe never gets cold" clip seen below. 

However, Cardi B is not the only sex worker turned social media star. Melanie Williams, better known as PrettyHoe3o4 has completely changed and dominated the game. For many months, Williams would capture her day-to-day life, including her "dates", as she calls them, as a prostitute living in California. Williams lives a completely uncensored lifestyle and is more than willing to share this with her rapidly growing following. 

In fact, Williams was so in touch with her followers and what she would post on her Snapchat story, that it actually saved her from getting a life sentence in prison. To give some backstory, in the Summer of 2016, the Snapchat star and her best friend, also infamous for her unfiltered Snapchat videos, filmed herself gang-banging a woman who had made unfavourable comments about her best friend's child. These comments incited the two women to shoot at the woman, who was unarmed and eventually proceeded to call the police. However, when the woman gave her story to the police, she claimed they had shot at her while her infant child was in the car. Now, if this had been true, the two sex workers turned Snapchat stars would have received a life sentence for endangering a child, however, thanks to their Snapchat stories, they were able to prove the woman's testimony was false. With that, they managed to get themselves a sentence of only about a year, although they claim they performed sexual acts on the judge to get their sentence lowered. 

In the video included below, you can see the whole situation play out, including the shooting, the aftermath, and the arrests. 

When the two social media stars went silent on their Snapchat, this led many fans to question what had happened. Many took to Twitter to express their disdain and sadness of their "only form of entertainment" being locked up; I can testify on this because I was also super disappointed. Many fans went out of their way to find the police reports that documented their arrests to prove what many were in denial about was actually true. No one knew when any of the stars would be released and eventually, all talk of the two ceased. 

Earlier this year, in August 2017, however, Williams was released from prison and hopped right back on to her Snapchat to inform her dedicated fans that she was finally free. A couple weeks later, her best friend was also freed and followed in the same steps as The Pretty Hoe. With that, the two quickly amassed an even bigger following, especially upon getting recognized by Tee Grizzley, the rapper behind the song "First Day Out", which the two women played over and over in their snapchat videos. Fast forward to October 2017 and Williams is being booked for club appearances of $10,000 and up, has brand deals, gets over 100,000 views per Snapchat, and works as a weave model. Williams has supposedly quit her old life as a prostitute and now makes a living as a Snapchat star to support her 3 children.

With all this being said, it's interesting to see where technology is taking us. Becoming a star no longer requires a specific set of talents per se, but it does require some star potential. A willingness to be completely open and share everything that goes on in your day-to-day life has become the new norm to staying relevant. Whether this beneficial or detrimental to society can be argued by many but at the end of the day, it's clearly allowing sex workers to get themselves out of the streets.