Coming out of the dark


Ever feel like dropping out of school and becoming a stripper? 

You’re not alone.

It isn’t as absurd as you think. 

While stripping as a profession is pretty controversial, it isn’t always as low and demeaning as we may initially think. 

I’ll be honest, before hearing Cardi B’s back story and her stripping experience, I assumed stripping was too degrading of a profession for anyone. Brains and abilities should allow us to land on our feet in other careers.

My perspective was broadened after watching VladTV’s video interviewing the up-and-coming rapper about her stripping past. 

Cardi B revealed throughout this video that she got into stripping to escape her physically abusive ex-boyfriend and stripping saved her life by enabling her to save up money to leave and be able to live on her own. 

More people than we would think fall in love and dismayingly end up in an abusive relationship that’s heavily clouded by emotions making it hard to break free from, but that’s exactly what happened to Cardi B.

She found stripping to be the way out and she’s come as far as having her song “Bodak Yellow” gain the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 100.

Looking more into the exotic dancing business, the average stripper’s income can vary from about $47,000 to $300,000 a year, depending on the country and exclusivity of the strip club. Tuition at San Joaquin Delta College is about $1,600 a year and tuition for a University of California campus is about $34,000 a year for a California resident and $60,000 for a nonresident, according to the system. 

With these numbers, stripping while being a student does not seem like such a bad idea.

The national average starting teacher salary is a mere $37,000 and the average annual teacher salary is about $55,000. Who’s to say stripping isn’t a smart financial move? Then again, the two careers are revered differently in society.

But is it a good pathway to reduce student debt?
“Stripping is a good way to get out of bad situation fast but it depends on if there’s no physical touch,” Khalilah Bass, an incoming Delta student.

Deja-Vu here in Stockton does have a no-touch policy. 

 “I think it’s a good way to save up money to do what they inspire to do later on,” said Delta student Yasmeen Bucayu-Lee. 

Many of the students interviewed were quite hesitant to open up about stripping initially because it is seen as taboo or comedic, but I found that most people were open-minded.

Should we judge strippers harshly?

“No, I feel like they (people) put them (strippers) down even though they’re the ones who would go to the strip club and watch them,” said Moises Ayala, another Delta student.

 While this all may seem appealing from a capitalistic up-and-comer perspective, Cardi B herself also mentioned in her VladTV interview she wouldn’t encourage younger girls to strip because it made her scrutinize her own body enough to get breasts and butt enlargements. 

She notes how her body grew later and she kind of regrets getting them because she has no clue what the shady illegal street “surgeons” put in her derriere.

To some women, stripping can make them feel insecure and more critical of their body and women everywhere should not feel like their body needs to be changed in any way to be more successful.
All in all, stripping isn’t as shameful as it may appear on the surface because for some people it is their only opportunity to better themselves and move forward. You don’t have to delve into the exotic dancing realm but if you want to, make it for a good cause. 

Cardi B reminded me to not be so prejudice and judgmental toward strippers and the profession. Who are we to judge, honestly? 

However, if you do find yourself in an abusive relationship, know that stripping is not the only method out. Contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at (800) 799-7233.