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She Has A Name

by Michelle on May 15th, 2017 in Industry

she-has-a-name-blogWhether you watch porn or not, you’ve probably heard of the Duke University student who was so overwhelmed by tuition costs ($4,000 a month!) that she began shooting porn to pay for her education.

What you may not know is that this young woman has a name. It’s Miriam.

Miriam allowed some filmmakers to shoot a documentary on her journey, how an 18-year-old college student turned to porn, a film which I viewed recently (no, I won’t link to it), all the while shaking my head in sad recognition.

Honestly, none of Miriam’s story surprised me because, in the 16 years XXXchurch has been around, we’ve heard the same story so many times. Just like most everyone in porn, Miriam chose a “porn name” (Belle Knox) and would eventually come to refer to Belle as her alter ego, a creation that helped her transition between who she really is and what she was doing to make money.

We see it all the time: in order to keep going, most girls have to be able to turn it on and off; should those two worlds collide, it’s usually over for them.

According to the documentary I watched, Miriam grew up shy and kept mostly to herself. Though she became captain of the debate team in high school and was exceptionally smart, she was awkward and nerdy, which led to her being bullied as a kid. (And we all know that being isolated and being bullied can beat a person down and make them feel inferior.)

Fast forward to Miriam in college, with bills coming in, knowing her parents spent a lifetime in debt over their own educations. She started thinking about ways to pay for her education and considered what she had: a nice body, youth, and an enjoyment of sex.

So she simply Googled “How to be a porn star.”

Miriam quickly found her first job opportunity: the money was good and the producer’s talk was smooth, so she said yes and her career in porn was birthed. But although the $1,200 came fast and easy, the scene did not – it was a really rough scene she did not feel prepared for. After it was over, she was regretful and worried but fairly confident she would not be caught.

I’m sure she felt empowered when she transitioned from Miriam to Belle, from a girl who never received much attention growing up to someone who was ogled by viewers around the world. She stated that her porn career puts everything on her terms, that she is in control. She can be Miriam in the day-to-day and then turn on Belle when it comes time to shoot porn or stand before crowds of men who pay to have their pictures taken with her during adult conventions.

Speaking of that last part: I found that to be the most difficult and troubling aspect of the film, watching grown men throw money at her like treats to a dog to be able to rub up against her in photos or to lift her skirt and touch her for a photo op. Truly unsettling.

I saw the end of the film coming from a mile away, because I’d seen it already in so many other young girls who are momentarily in the spotlight and feel empowered – it all came crashing down. Miriam started encountering whispers at school until her identity was fully exposed. She says her life is over, her family no longer speaks to her, and she has lost her best friends. 

Miriam becomes so transparent stating that, “The industry has a way of making you bitter – it teaches you not to trust people and it ages you.” She said she no longer has the mind of an 18-year-old girl, but instead often feels like crying during scenes. It’s evident to me that the life she now has is not the life she thought she was signing up for.

Miriam is a young woman who once just wanted to be known and to fit in. And while she’s definitely now known, when most people look at her, they only see Belle.

Same old story.






  • Page Trimble

    This is sad.

  • Tempted by curiosity

    Love the articles and the way they expose myths about the glamour in the porn industry…but please. STOP GIVING THE NAMES!

    • Makemyburdenlight

      I agree. You can.describe the situation without making it TOO easy for anyone to curiously google her

      • Jenna

        That’s what I think too.

    • Struggling Addict

      While I agree to Stop giving them names. It also helps show what this industry does to people and how desperation can make people do things that they regret.

    • Allan Madhuram

      I’m sorry but did you not notice the wiki page that has her full name in it???

    • Allan Madhuram

      I’m sorry but did you not notice the wiki page that has her full name in it???

    • Gustavo Melo

      Yes, I love these specific and anecdotal articles. They are so representative of such a small industry.

  • Konstantin S

    I read this all, and I’m not sure I understand your concern. She did it to herself and I think there may be (but I don’t know and don’t wish to judge) relatively easy access to statistics online about abuse that occurs among porn stars (which I think it does, haven’t read the statistics well enough).

    • Jes Balascio

      Oh, I don’t think that’s fair. We read daily the statistics of car collisions, plane crashes, and hippos eating people. 😉 We ALL think, “Hey, that’ll never happen to me! I’m a great driver, my flights are always short, and I don’t find myself on the African Savannah often.” She was/is SO YOUNG! So so so young. I don’t think we get to throw stones b/c she made the choice. That’s a dark lane to walk, and think about Grace. …

  • Rj

    I hope xxxchurch or other Christians reached out to Miriam and showed her love thru Christ so she can have a new family and friends to support her and lead her to Christ and out of the situation.

  • nojo2207

    Prayers for Miriam

  • Blah blah

    I wish I could email her or just talk to her. She obviously needs someone to be there for her and to tell her about Jesus

  • What was the name of the film?

  • Jarred by reality

    Thank you for posting her name. She just became real.

  • sameer

    Mairiam Jesus love you very much and care u . he is always with u .

  • Shimotokito Wa

    You American Christians have such strange interpretations of biblical sex, and problems with it? As a Christian, I have studied the scriptures for decades.
    Please enlighten me what is the difference between your “serial monogamy” and polyandry and other sexual immorality? A technicality? Marry only a young, pure, never having been “known” by another man, attractive compatible girl! Do not know a woman who has ever “known” by another man! Mathew 19!
    What is the real difference between between Pornography and say Genesis 29:33-39 or 35:22 or 38:8-9 and so on?
    It is visual? They did not have video back then? How can you be so drawn to this? And have it make you lust???
    I tried to watch some Porn, I found it either boring or disgusting, not enticing. You would have to be looking to lust, or have a lustful mindset when going to watch it, yes?
    I suspect your acceptance of immorality is your weakness? Many of you are willing to “know” a girl who has been “known” another man, not a virgin to you alone.
    Meditate on what is pure and good!

    • Desiree Carter

      Thank you shim very amazing view. This comming from a “known” woman who due to getting moves put on her in college did not get to keep that status. I am Christian and know these women feel no better way to provide for themselves and sometimes we use it to cover the pain, I know because I lead that life til God said no more. I promised God I’d never go back. N I’m recovering everyday from solo work and men valuing me nothiing more than a snack

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