Complex.com, which prides itself on being “ premier online destination for the most influential 20-something male consumers” posted the list that included 25 LA Direct models and many lesser-known names. While their way of compiling the list is still very much shrouded in mystery fans and perfromers took to the comment section to voice their concerns about the porn industry, namely racism.
While the Complex list was actually one of the most diverse list I’ve ever seen with over 37% of the list compromised of women of color. Compared that to the popular porn fans site Freeones.com which has a fraction of that with only one Black porn actress in their top 100 and 3 Asians and a few Latinas. The author even commented that the editorial staff made an effort to include a diverse collection of women.
That being said, I cannot argue with the fans, they are correct there is a lot of racism in the porn industry, from upfront racism on box covers to the more subtle forms that was found in the description of some of the actresses on Complex’s list. Under Candice Nicole (#67) :
“Limited to Black porn” this isn’t anything new, and its not like the industry hides the fact that there’s a premium placed on whiteness, be it being White or fucking white. Its funny that the editors of Complex took the time to combat the exclusion of women of color but then validate the same mode of thinking in industry that leads to their exclusion. Films featuring people of color interacting with other people of color is not on par with mainstream White films.
Why would readers take the time to learn the name of the big booty black girl who performs with Black men? Its not like those films are for everybody who has the ability to purchase them. They aren’t like White films because everyone knows that the default person on earth is White and everyone can equally identify and be attracted to White people. Black porn are ghetto films, literally they are stuck in the slums specifically because of the race and ethnicities held within them.
The entry for Candice Nicole is not the only place where this sentiment is echoed. So while Complex is patting itself for including diverse faces in their list they aren’t winning the much harder battle of belittling productions because of the race of people that are featured in them. While its nice that they addressed tokenism and colorism albeit briefly, not challenging it isn’t very progressive.
Race isn’t the only place where Complex rubs fans the wrong way. They describe 125-pound Abby Brooks as a “plus size” porn star. I think established BBW performers like April Flores and Kelly Shibari might have something to say about that. There’s nothing “plus size” about a 125-pound woman. Hell, doctors have removed tumors out of people that weight more than Abby Brooks.
I was also put off by some of the homophobia, if you are going to talk about porn and claim that you are talking about THE HOTTEST but leave out pioneers in the Queer porn genre like the iconic Jizz Lee. There are also no mention of any TS performers. There was a tongue in check jab at women performing strap on sex on camera with men which is funny because every performer that specialized in receiving anal sex from men was practically cheered as a national treasure and credit to the human race.
I was also bothered that for some of the Asian women pictured were either making children sexy in schoolgirls uniforms or making ethnic stereotypes kinky , throwing up the peace sign while clutching giant cameras. One actress is actually doing both in a weird gangbang of stupid. None of the Hispanic actresses were pictured holding sombreros; none of the Black actresses are straddling watermelons while seductively licking a tender piece of friend chicken. If they had Joanna Angel on this list would she be pictured counting pennies?
All in all I honestly feel that Complex recognizing or trying to recognize diversity in the industry is a step in the right direction but there are some serious flaws. I honestly can’t dig too deep into it because I’m not in anyway privy to how each model was picked or how the ranking was organized. For all I know they just took 100 girls and put their names in a hat and went crazy. I am very happy to see the fans the people whose money fuel the industry speaking up, hopefully one day the industry will actually listen to them.
Here are some of the women of color listed on Complex.com
|98||Nyomi Banks (Black)|
|86||Persia Pele (Asian: Iranian)|
|83||Skin Diamond (Bi-racial: Black)|
|78||Megan Vaughn (Black)|
|75||Nina Mercedez (Latina: Italian/Mexican)|
|71||Melody Nakai (Black)|
|67||Candice Nicole (Black)|
|61||Jenna Brooks (Black)|
|60||Kaylani Lei (Asian)|
|53||Esperenza Gomez (Latina: Columbian)|
|51||Havana Ginger (Black)|
|48||Isis Love (Bi-Racial: French Jamaican)|
|45||Evelyn Lin (Asian: Chinese)|
|44||Amina Miley (Mixed: Italian Hawaiian)|
|43||Evanni Solei (Black)|
|42||Shazia Sahari (Asian: Pakistani/Saudi)|
|41||Rene Cruz (Asian: Filipina)|
|39||Rebecca Linares (Latina)|
|38||Adrenalynn (Mixed : Native, Kushanta /Black)|
|36||Rihanna Rime (Biracial: Italian /Black)|
|34||Lela Star (Latina)|
|33||Jenaveve Jolie (Latina)|
|32||Melanie Jane/Melanie Rios (Latina)|
|31||Jessica Bangkok (Asian)|
|30||Bethany Benz/ Caviar (Biracial: Russian/ Black)|
|26||London Keys (Asian:Japanese)|
|23||Juelz Ventura (Latina:Brazil)|
|22||Bella Moretti (Black)|
|20||Jenna Haze (Latina)|
|19||Priya Rai (Asian: Indian)|
|13||Sophia Saint (Latina)|
|10||Kristina Rose (Latina)|
|8||Abella Anderson (Latina)|
|7||Sunny Leone (Asian: Indian)|
|3||Asa Akira (Asian:Japanese)|
|2||Isis Taylor (Latina)|