- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Monday, March 15, 2010

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

Recommended to me by a friend, I recently read Diablo Cody's memoir Candy Girl. What a quirky and fun story!

Somewhere along the line I learned that the writer of Juno had a background in stripping and that she was funny, but reading this drove the point home. You can easily read this book in 3-4 days - I mean, obviously the subject matter (stripping in all its glory) is intriguing, but the way she brings you into that world widens your eyes, cracks you up and makes you not want to put it down.

Candy Girl chronicles Diablo Cody's one illustrious year as a stripper. Working at a dead end office job in Minnesota, she randomly decided to try out for an amateur night at a seedy townie strip club for curiosity's sake, but the curiosity didn't stop. Pulled into the crazy nightclub, cash rich, boobs=power lifestyle, she kept stripping on the side and eventually did it full time, with a stint as a peep show doll and a phone sex operator thrown in there, too. Her candid, honest take on the sex industry combined with her absolute normalcy and blatant sense of humor made this a great read. I realize why I liked the movie Juno so much now (And on a side note, I really should check out Jennifer's Body and the United States of Tara).

Aside from the entertaining subject matter, her voice is what really got to me. I saw a bit of myself in there. As the subtitle states, for her it was "A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper." As she developed into a stripper - buying the wigs, cheap bikinis and platform heels, becoming friends with her fellow workers, and grinding on strangers for tips night after night - she kept the perspective of someone on the outside looking in. Never quite sure if she fit the part and was indeed a "stripper" with all the stigmas and stereotypes attached.

I have the habit of trying out new personas - kind of like an actress going through life and trying out new roles every few years. In junior high, I set a goal to become a cheerleader. I played the role well but I was never sure if I fit in or had the right character for the job. At 18, I decided to become a New Yorker. I've lived here 7 years now, but I still don't embody the typical "New Yorker" attitude and I'm not sure I ever will. At 20, I became a bartender. I love the power, fun and cash that come with the title (and this may be the happiest and best fit I've found for myself so far), but I still doubt myself and my ability to blend in at times. At 23, I decided to travel to France and throughout Europe by myself. I don't know if I fit the mold of a true "world traveler," but I did have the time of my life...

This book almost made me consider taking a spin around the ol' stripper pole, butttt not quite. I already know that cash heavy, boobs=power world full of quirky middle-aged regulars and hopeful college boys, and I'm happy I just have to serve them drinks and nothing more (ha).

So, if you're curious about the world of stripping but can't see yourself hitting the next amateur night in your town, try this instead. Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

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