Y'all were not nice to Rubi Rose.

Content note: This blog post is intended for mature audiences; this is only advised for those 18 and older to read.
Respectability politics has been a trending topic this year because of people's reactions towards celebrities.
At the beginning of 2023, there was social media drama that started with three people: Rubi Rose, a rapper who has found success on OnlyFans; DDG, a rapper and YouTuber; and Halle Bailey, a singer and actor best known for her role in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Long story short, Rubi said something about Halle and DDG (who are dating), and the next thing we know, she’s getting dragged up and down Twitter. That’s pretty much all you need to know because what people were saying about her changed so much of the situation. I was very disappointed with what people said about Rubi to uplift Halle. It went from celebrity drama to people disrespecting professions.
OnlyFans is a site where independent contractors post pornographic material (mostly) behind a paywall. Disney is a company that produces family-friendly entertainment and is widely loved by society. Long story short, Rubi is a sex worker, and Halle is a Disney Princess. Two completely different kinds of creators, but only one was shunned for their profession.
The world has a history of disliking and mistreating sex workers, especially those who are feminine presenting. Many former sex workers lie about their past for a better chance of getting hired because of this intense dislike. It’s not just sex workers; this happens to actors and models who show their bodies in their work. Not long after the situation with Rubi, DDG, and Halle died down, Halle’s sister, Chloe, was shamed publicly for filming a sex scene with no clothes on in a TV series. This was yet another example of the profoundly ingrained discomfort with adults who express their sexuality or bodies in their work.


With the rise of OnlyFans and more people pursuing acting in the last few years (because our economy sucks and retail and food service are notorious for workplace mistreatment), more and more people have been openly hateful towards those who make pornographic material on the site for income along with being rude to actors for showing nudity in mainstream film. This isn’t new, but it feels fresh because it’s happening differently. Even then, if a person quits sex work, they have difficulty getting a mainstream job because employers often do not want to hire someone who has done sexual labor. Actors have gotten turned down for specific roles because of the sex scenes they performed in past films. This is what we call whorephobia, and it harms all women and feminine-presenting people, not just sex workers.


Many of the people who were shaming Rubi for being a sex worker were women, a trend that was also evident in the backlash against Chloe. While Rubi has said and done things that I disagree with in the past, shaming her for being on OnlyFans was uncalled for. Using her OnlyFans content as a reason to demean her is unjustifiable. They saw Halle as more innocent than Rubi; mind you, both of these women are in the same age range. Both have booty pictures on their Instagram pages. Both have talked about sex in their songs. This is where respectability politics comes into play! Because Rubi’s brand heavily focuses on sexuality, she was an easy target for misogyny.


The main talking point I saw was, “Halle is a Disney princess, and you’re just a sex worker,” and that’s where all the discourse began to go south for me. While I keep my opinions to myself on what Rubi did to start this discussion, her posting adult entertainment on OnlyFans is not a reason to drag her. While the different variations of sex work are one of the world’s oldest professions, it’s also one of the most hated. For a society that is incredibly sex obsessed, they sure do have a burning hatred for those who produce sexual content. The whorephobia was loud and clear after Rubi opened her mouth. We must start drawing a clear distinction between constructive criticism and unwarranted shame. While it can be argued how we can go about sexual content should be fixed (because I agree, I do not support all NSFW content because some of it is just plain wrong), an adult being a sex worker is not the problem. From my knowledge, Rubi’s NSFW content isn’t problematic, so she should not be shamed for it.


The public opinion surrounding this situation sheds light on society's perceptions of sex workers, models, and actors who use their bodies as part of their professional work. It was disheartening. No matter how much you dislike a person, working in the adult entertainment industry should not be used against them, nor does it make them less than.


Thank you all so much for reading. If you are interested in more of my writing, me and Amaya Janelle's new book Um, Do Not Call Me Sis, is now available for purchase! Offered in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. 

Other ways to support my writing.