“Hot Girls Wanted”: A Review
Have you ever wondered what life is like in the amateur porn industry? Are the girls really as happy as they seem? Is the lifestyle as glamorous as it’s made out to be, and is it truly as empowering as everyone thinks? 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, and “Pro-Am” (amateur) porn sites and videos are on the rise, often featuring “the girl next door” archetype. These films are shot with cheap cameras and have a male first-person perspective, making it extremely immersive. Unlike professional porn stars, the girls that are acting in these scenes are paid amateurs, usually 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 five girls as they enter or continue in the amateur porn industry, as well as the “talent agent” who first contacts them. Because of the rise of technology, attracting girls is as easy as posting an ad on Craigslist for a “Free Flight to Miami.” Celebrities use sex to promote themselves, often sending the message across that if you want to be famous you have to use your sexuality to get you there. This is one of the tactics that porn “talent agents” use to attract countless girls into the amateur porn industry. Reilly, the “agent” that Hot Girls Wanted follows 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.”
There are many important and often jarring facts that are brought to attention while watching Hot Girls Wanted. One of them is that these girls are all drawn into creating porn by the thrill of fame, trying to escape their parents, and the promise of money to burn. However, as this film shows, these promises are short lived. While new girls start out shooting 3-8 scenes a week making $900 a scene, after three months in the industry companies stop booking them because there are so many new girls. 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.
This documentary offers a refreshingly honest and ultimately harrowing look into the pornography industry. Bauer and Gradus don’t sugar coat or romanticize what these girls are doing, curating many moments that will equally shock and enrage the viewer. This is especially true of one scene that shows the tangible measure of degradation and humiliation that the girls experience as they produce these porn scenes, all because there’s someone out there that wants to see that. After filming one such degrading scene, one of the girls, 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 porn depicts abuse and violence against women, viewers of porn are more likely to treat women in real life the same way.
Hot Girls Wanted provides a unique viewpoint of the impact that the decision to pursue amateur porn has on the girl’s families. These girls don’t want to hurt their families so they don’t tell them what they’re doing, but eventually, the truth comes to light. It is at that moment that you are able to see that acting in these porn scenes doesn’t just affect the girls but also everyone around them. However, there is a redemptive ending to some of the girls’ stories throughout the documentary. Several of them end up exiting the porn industry altogether and coming clean to their families about what they’ve been doing.
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 reality of this over-glamorized industry. This no-nonsense film allows for viewers to truly understand what life is like for these girls and answers some questions about the porn industry.
About the Author
Katherina Toews sees the world mostly from between the ears of a horse, and wouldn’t want it any other way. She believes that there is nothing that can’t be fixed by sharing tea, chocolate chip cookies, and a good black and white movie with friends. Katherina is currently the Head Wrangler at a year-round camp and retreat centre, teaching people about horses and helping them to overcome their fears.