As in other Hot Girls Wanted episodes, "Owning It" deconstructs our preconceptions about the porn industry while still indulging in the salacious images that would lure unsuspecting Netflix users. Bailey is a legitimate businesswoman who makes substantial money wrangling new talent ($500 for each new recruit and an additional $500 if they're down with "girl-on-boy"). Her personal cam work rakes in even more; in one scene, Bailey slaps her ass as an anonymous audience showers her with tips. Minutes later, she's obsessing over internal site data that allow her to pick and choose which viewers to allow into her room. Guys who tip more get the best shows. "I like statistics," she says.
This is a woman at the top of her game. The money Bailey makes selling her used panties ("the ones from high school sell the most") and paintings she's smeared into existence with her breasts are like cherries on top of a never-ending sundae.
"Owning It" feigns introspection but also seems ready to gobble up that sundae. "I am a feminist working in this industry," Bailey asserts, and from her business acumen to the fostering of young talent, it's hard to argue. Except that, to normalize porn, we also have to accept that it's taboo to many.
Remember "Belle Knox," the 18-year-old porn star who got into the business to pay off pricey Duke University bills and, in 2014, found herself inundated with harassment after a fellow student discovered her identity? The media coverage only exacerbated the shame slung by anonymous internet trolls. Through it all, Belle steadfastly maintained that her life was where she wanted it to be. "My experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering," she wrote on XOJane. Time magazine, and many other outlets at the time, responded: nah.