Carnival Strippers- Susan Meiselas

I started looking into Susan’s work because it focuses around the carnival stripper scene. In this book she focuses on the strippers however also includes the managers, friends, family and viewers of these shows. This book really helped me out because they have first account stories from these strippers which lets you get look into their lives.

Before i started reading i just looked at the photographs of the strippers, from just looking at them they do seem to be radiating a sense of empowerment, a sense of confidence and pride. When these women get in front of the camera i believe they transform themselves into something they want to be rather than who they truly are and how they truly feel. 

These woman look like they are proud to be photographed, their happy with bodies and their happy for people to see them. But i the case? After looking at the photographs and coming to my own conclusions i then decided to go back and read the statement the strippers had left and see how they actually felt when stripping and if this was different to what they portrayed in their photographs.

“when they guys come in there to see the show they want to see you take your clothes off, and after they see you take your clothes off, they want to see how nicely built you are and then there going to make a go of it. There going to say “can i take you out tonight?”……Most of the guys just want to screw you, get you pregnant and leave you ass sitting. All they ant is the satisfaction of saying that “ive been with her” and afterwards they call you whore, bitches and talk about you the next year you come back.”  CANDY, STRIPPER

“It just didn’t seem like it was me. Thats the way to do it-be apart from it, dont let it get to you, because if i start letting things get t me i wont be able to work.” LENA, STRIPPER

” It do a lot for a girls ego, the longer your in it it doesn’t, but at first it does. Im a very self conscious about my body. I don’t think that i have a good body. I’m fat. But i have not heard one complaint yet-not one-and it makes me proud of what i got. My tits are pretty big, they aren’t the biggest i’ve seen, but still big enough. At my first show this guy said ” sweet-heart you could open a dairy but yourself” and i couldn’t help but just laugh.” GINGER, STRIPPER

“Some guy took a cherry and stuck it up my cunt and ate it out, and then he ate the cherry. I almost died, it was so funny. People have to be sick to do that. I acted like a real whorey person, really bad for the head if you think about it.” LENA, STRIPPER

After reading a few of the statement s i think you get a bit of a different picture about the strippers lives, there are a few statements which back the theory up that the women do acutely enjoy doing this and are getting a confidence boost out of it. How ever the majority of the girls find what they do to be humiliating and degrading but its all they can do so they put on a brave face and carry on. I think they transform themselves when they are up on stage and this translates in the photographs that susan meiselas has taken.

~ by hmsteel on February 11, 2013.

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