Media across the pond are abuzz over the personal outing of the
anonymous writer of one of the most seductive blogs of the twenty-first
century: Belle de Jour, Diary of a London Call Girl
After six years of feverish speculation, the elusive high-end
escort/blogger, who became a media powerhouse when her blog led to book
deals and a popular Showtime spinoff, revealed
herself to be Dr. Brooke Magnanti of the Bristol Initiative for
Research of Child Health. Magnanti, who said she turned to escorting
due to lack of funds while completing her PhD between 2003 and 2004,
said she had gotten to a point where she could "no longer keep secrets
and not be open with people." Naturally, her story is attracting debate
from all sides:
- Prostitution Isn't Glamorous Tracy Corrigan
of the Telegraph finds Dr. Magnanti's fairy tale too perfect, making it
dangerously possible for women to see prostitution as a "cool career
option." "Even the Julia Roberts heroine [in "Pretty Woman"] seemed to
have had a tough background and was not an entirely happy hooker," she
- You Do What You Have to Do Gawker's Foster Kamer
rushed to Dr. Magnanti's defense Sunday, quickly pointing out the
hypocrisy of society at large. "Where there's an entrepreneur, there's
someone damning their cash flow: moral majority, emerge!" the gossip
outlet said. At the same time, Gawker also believes Belle/Brooke should
be shameless and "take the writing gigs where [she] can get them.
Besides which, there are way more prolific whores in the world of
writing when it comes to selling themselves off."
- You Got Caught, Admit It For TechCrunch's Paul Carr,
Dr. Magnanti's biggest deception is not the glamorization of
prostitution, but rather the story of being able to be a successful
anonymous blogger. It's just not true, he says, "the only way to truly
remain a successful blogger is not to have any success whatsover.
Because the moment people start to pay attention to you, it's
inevitable you're going to get screwed."
- Prostitution Stateside Brad Trechak
of TvSquad thinks Belle caught a lucky break from her employer, which
has said her past was not relevant to her current job. However, he
wonders "if an American university would be as supportive of such a
decision, given the taboo of sex work and sex in general in the U.S."
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