I love Juno. This is relevant because Diablo Cody wrote the sublime view of the teenager I wanted to be in a situation I could never imagine being in. It’s sweet without being saccharine, funny without being stupid and the soundtrack is just the right side of cool, without being pretentious. Well, overly pretentious, anyway.
“Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper” is a memoir (operative word here, people) about her time as a stripper. My own pre-conceptions tripped me up here, as I expected her stripping to be a necessity for survival, rather than a life choice. It was a bit of a shock for her to give up her stable job (where she does reasonably well) to strip, especially as she’s a new step mum to her new boyfriend’s little girl. I think I got defensive at this bit because she consciously rejected what is, essentially, my life.
Still, that’s me being all judge-y and I try not to do that. I guess I just didn’t understand why she wanted to strip. She has huge insecurities over her body but still manages to run around naked from practically the first night without any qualms. While stripping, she didn’t really enjoy it that much but she not only continued, she ‘graduated’ to a sex shop where she masturbated in a glass box for customers.
Basically, the main problem I had was that I expected the Juno writer to be like a friend I never had. Cool, quirky but generous and fun to hang around with. This character was way too cool for me, didn’t explain her life choices and liked bragging about her ‘day job’.
Nevertheless, the intricacies of stripping are fascinating. Some titbits I knew already, such as the fact that pole dancing gives you thighs of steel. Others were more surprising, like the way the strip clubs do not sell alcohol. Then you get into the murky underworld of her customers: foot fetishes, nun costumes, panty dances, curtained rooms and the person who licked the plastic booth clean of you know what.
Another thing I got defensive over was Diablo’s assertion that girls look down on strippers. Personally, if anyone has the focus to do so much stuff to themselves, top to toe, they should be applauded. The job itself – not something I’d want to do right at this moment, but I don’t look down on/get jealous of/hate girls or boys who do. It’s a bit like that time where I watched a TV programme about Jordan, who I’d been ambivalent about up until the point where she said “Girls don’t like me because they’re jealous”. If I recall correctly, she was wearing something in a shocking shade of pink which revealed her veins and lipo scars. She also had approximately three tonnes of make up, all in unflattering shades. I don’t dislike her because I’m jealous, I dislike her because she’s so arrogant she thinks everyone wants to look like her.
This book made me want to read a book about Diablo as a real person, rather than a stripper tourist who swings from loving it to hating it extremely quickly.
In summary, if you want to read an explicit book about the sex trade, read “The Secret Diary of a Call Girl” – she loves it, and when she stops loving it, she stops. Now, Belle would be a cool lady to hang out with.
Also, as I wikipediaed Diablo before writing this review, I found out that Diablo is not a birth name (pretty obvious, when I think about it) but neither is it her given name – it’s a pen name! However, she has published as Diablo so that’s what I’m using.
My E book is Elizabeth Goudge's "The Little White Horse", soon to be known as "The Secret of Moonacre", the film starring such national treasures as Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry and Dakota Blue Richards in the title role. Fancy reading with me?