#FacesOfProstitution has mobilised Australia's proud sex workers

The photo sex worker Tilly Lawless posted of herself online.

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: