Hot Girls Wanted (2015)
NR / 84 min.
Starring: Farrah Abraham, Rachel Bernard, Tony D.
Directors: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus
Documentaries about porn. Usually I tend to stick away from them. First of all, they are not the kinds of things you are going to sit down and watch with other people…because that’s just weird. They also tend to highlight the glamorous party lifestyles that the people involved in the industry usually tend to lead on. Bottom line, most of the documentaries are not good. However, Hot Girls Wanted has been getting a lot of buzz ever since it debuted in February. I decided to give it a look…with a slight tinge of hesitancy.
What we get from Hot Girls Wanted, produced by actress Rashida Jones, is a documentary about a certain slice of the porn industry…the amateur portion of the industry. It’s an exploitative atmosphere for young models wanting to make it big and the documentary’s goal is to show how easy it is for a girl, turning eighteen, to get her foot in the industry’s door. How easy you say? All it takes is a craigslist ad and proof that you are eighteen. Before you know it, you can be whisked away on a plane to the amateur porn hotspot they call Miami, Florida.
Viewers often get a candid look at a plethora of different “porn actresses” with various experience in the industry, but the main focus is put on young eighteen year old Tressa Silguero, a seemingly innocent girl who finds herself given the opportunity to make a lot of money. She stumbles upon the craigslist ad created by Riley Reynolds, founder of Hussie Models. (Side Note: this Reynolds character is pretty much the exact stereotype of a guy in the amateur porn industry, sleazy as can be) Before she knows it, Tressa is making a lot of money, gaining a new following on social media, and becoming a popular teen porn star.
The documentary reveals that she has not told her parents about her new job, which is mind-blowing for me. I cannot imagine the type of parents that would be okay with sending their baby girl, straight out of high school, on a pretty lengthy trip to Miami. Things start to slip for Tressa and she ends up telling her parents, as well as her boyfriend, about her newfound fame in the porn industry. The interactions between Tressa and her family were some of the weak spots of the documentary, considering all of the cameras probably take away from the authenticity of these conversations. The interactions seem fake, especially given the subject matter that they have to discuss. Parents who find out that their daughter has been making porn without telling them would be bouncing off the walls with anger, along with a plethora of other emotions. Instead, we see a calm and collected mother lecturing her child. It does not have a profound effect on the viewer.
Amateur porn has not been a focus of most porn documentaries, which makes Hot Girls Wanted a rare and unique breed. The direction and focus of the documentary lacks clarity however. The goal is to open people’s eyes about how easy it is for young women to get into porn. Its almost meant to shock viewers. Tressa’s story sticks with the theme, but the rest seems to glorify the young women getting into the industry. We often see the girls having the time of their lives. The documentary is quick to tell viewers that these models are making a lot of money pretty quickly. All it takes is a couple of months of hard work and you can net yourself a pretty penny. The documentary even ends with a “where are they now?” segment that shows a couple of the actresses still making it big in the industry. Tressa ends up leaving porn behind, but it was not clear by the end of the documentary if it was trying to argue for or against the amateur porn industry.
Hot Girls Wanted did succeed in opening my eyes to the seedy underbelly of porn and the types of things that models have to endure on their rise to stardom, but the documentary lacked direction. The cameras were intrusive as they could be, following these girls in the most candid of ways, which was interesting but led to some fake and unauthentic interactions. I have to give Rashida Jones some credit for giving us a unique look at the industry from a different angle, but it could have been a lot better in what it was trying to accomplish.