Episode 5 of the Sassy Sisters Podcast
This week's Sassy Sisters conversation is between documentary filmmaker and stripper, Stella Dixon, and fellow stripper and Ph.D. researcher Scarlet Rose. Based in Newcastle, Scarlet and Stella discuss the growth of their careers and friendship, connecting over their shared mission to reclaim the narrative of strippers through research.
For Stella, this took the form of her debut mini-doc, 'Born To Flex', aired on BBC's New Creatives, and available to watch below. 'Born To Flex' is an exploration into the multilayered role of sex work, made in reaction to the media's representation of strippers. In the podcast, Stella talks to Scarlet about the void of realistic information currently on offer, and how she uses her art to change this narrative.
For Scarlet, her Ph.D research dives deep into discussing the business side of stripping, and how recent threats to clubs and sex work are impacting people from around the country. In this podcast episode, we hear the duo explain what laws need to be implemented so as to protect and destigmatise sex workers. As well as their shared memories and motivations behind the making of Stella's film 'Born To Flex'.
Cardi B - Bodak Yellow
Miley Cyrus - Heart of Glass (Live from iHeart Festival)
Melody Gardot - Worrisome Heart
Ashnikko - Cry Feat. Grimes
Daughter - Love (Baile Remix)
Born To Flex
New Creatives, supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts
Director – Stella Dixon Director of Photography – Danielle Giddins Producer – Magnus Dennison
Stella Dixon's film 'Born To Flex' is formed around interviews with her fellow dancers, including Sassy Sisters host Scarlet Rose. In this way, 'Born To Flex' puts the control of the narrative directly in the hands of the women included in the documentary. Dixon humanises the experiences of her colleagues, and herself, highlighting how the job requires a demanding set of skills including therapising, ego-boosting, attentive sales and character study.
We hear women talk through their own stories of stepping into the industry, and see the Sassy friendships that form within strip clubs. 'Born To Flex' provides audiences with a fresh and authentic perspective on sex work, from the viewpoint of those who actually work in the industry. In this way, Stella Dixon is directly challenging the negative misconceptions about stripping and through film, is reestablishing agency over the representation of herself and her peers.