The photo sex worker Tilly Lawless posted of herself online. Photo: Instagram
Australian sex workers are sharing photographs of themselves on social media to protest the publishing of a controversial opinion article about the "tragic horror story" of the profession.
Mamamia published a story on Friday arguing the film Pretty Woman glorified sex work and ignored the "tragic reality".
"How many young, naive, and unsuspecting women over the last 25 years were deceived by the fairy-tale of Pretty Woman and led into a life of abuse, trauma, and slavery?" the piece asked.
The story was originally published by Exodus Cry, a Christian organisation that works to eradicate sex trafficking.
It said "Julia Roberts' teethy smile is not the true face of prostitution," which inspired a flood of sex workers to share their photos online with the hashtag #FacesOfProstitution.
The backlash began on Sunday when Tilly Lawless, a queer sex worker from Sydney, responded to the Mamamia post on Instagram.
"There is no singular story or person to represent the varied & complex experiences of all sex workers, but here is one face of prostitution amongst a myriad," she wrote.
Here are some of the posts that followed:
Sitting beside you at a coffee shop, I doubt you'd take me for a harlot. #FacesOfProstitution pic.twitter.com/B8Ehs2inzq — Ms. Savannah Sly (@SavannahSly) March 29, 2015
OMG! They make me prostitute AND a volunteer for aged care! This madness has to stop! SAVE ME! #FacesOfProstitution pic.twitter.com/aqSdTI713G — Holly In Griffith (@HollyInAlbury) March 29, 2015
College student. Aspiring lawyer. Activist. Daughter, sister, sex worker. I don't need rescuing. #FacesOfProstitution pic.twitter.com/tTUXqXlgJX — Chelsea Lane (@misschelseattle) March 30, 2015
Nerd,scientist & volunteer in providing clean drinking water to 3rd world communities. @Mamamia #FacesOfProstitution pic.twitter.com/q4qLLm651A — Sophie Melbourne (@SophieMelbs) March 30, 2015
Dear @MiaFreedman, I sometimes take my dog to work. Oh no! Even my children are on the 'game' #FacesOfProstitution pic.twitter.com/0miSPO5EMO — Carmen Sandiego (@CarmenOnTour) March 29, 2015