Twitter Story By Aziah King
I read the Zola story a few years ago and became OBSESSED. A true millennial story told via an Imgur screen shot of Zola’s tweets, Zola details a wild, action-packed, strip trip to Florida taken with a newfound friend. If you haven’t already read the story, I highly recommend it. To me it doesn’t even matter that some parts of the story were exaggerated, it’s a great tale told by a voice of our generation. Zola’s tone is personable, relatable and full of catchy slang; I still use the term “hoism” on the regular.
I personally think that what makes this story an important read for the average non-ho reader (beyond the sensationalism and quirky quotables) is the very real depiction of the dangers of sex work. The fact that the author, a young WOC, tells this sordid story with such frankness should give the reader pause about why and how certain aspects of this story are treated as commonplace or blasé. I don’t want to give too much away for the few out there who haven’t read the story yet, but that’s just a tiny bit of food for thought.
I have nothing bad to say about this twitter story/scandal. Even though we find out it’s mostly made up and the characters/narrative perpetuate some negative stereotypes about hoism just for our entertainment, I feel Zola can do no wrong. In fact, she’s doing her stripper job better than most of us can by providing endless hours entertainment that last far beyond the short read on Twitter. Customers come to us to have a brush with our magical personalities, seeking a life-changing experience or at least something memorable. Zola provides in abundance with an attitude that’s like “You want entertainment, I will f-ing entertain you” which to me is a beautiful f-you to all the thirsty squares out there hoping to tear us/our lifestyles apart to find examples of abuse, moral depravity and violence. She knows they want ugly and she brings it! The truth is, our lives as sex workers often include the abuse, violence and depravity she includes in her story, but our true magic is being able to dance in and out of these terrifying realms and somehow land on our feet.
There's a lot of debate over the validity of certain aspects/this whole story. Does it matter whether this story is true or not? Why or why not?
What kind of sex worker stereotypes does this story uphold? Break down?
Why do you think this particular story captured the attention of the public? (Non-SWs, celebrities, the media, basically the entire nation.) What kind of narratives do you think the public wants to hear from sex workers?
If we were to cast this story as a movie, who would we want to star in it?