Stop dictating what free souls should do with their bodies

This is a generic image used for illustrative purposes.
This is a generic image used for illustrative purposes.
Image: 123RF/ Evgeny Ustyuzhanin

Before last Thursday, I had no idea what OnlyFans is, and I know I can't be the only one.

So let's start off with a little education. Turns out, OnlyFans is a social media service based in London, England. It can be accessed online and from mobile devices.

OnlyFans is predominately used by people who want to make money off their talent as amateur sex artists. This can range from simple lingerie pictures to hardcore pornography.

Why are we talking about it? Rami Chuene, affectionately known to her fans as Khomotjo from Muvhango and T-GOM on The Queen,caused a stir last week when she endorsed her daughter Nthateng's OnlyFans account.

Nthateng said she had created an account so she could raise money to pay for culinary school. What experience is she curating on her account? Her nudes. And this is what people find Rami, as a mother, should not be endorsing. She left social media divided.

I should probably make a disclaimer at this point: Rami is one of my best friends and has been for several years. So I may not be very objective on this issue, but it is still one that needs to be heard.

I have always been in awe of the relationship that Rami has with her children: open and free. It has always made me feel like had my mother lived, that it is the kind of relationship that we would have.

I am unfortunately unable to share the elements of their relationship that I love here because while I have been allowed front-row seats in their lives, it is still their story to share.

I do, however, feel compelled to add to this topic.

Nthateng and I drove to Polokwane this past weekend and we had a conversation about this.

She tells me that the idea behind OnlyFans is essentially giving anyone a chance to monetise their talents. "My talent is and has always been nudes. I've been posting nudes on Twitter for years and no one was ever bothered. In fact, I got praise for being 'body positive' for 'owning my body' for 'being different from the rest' for 'making classy nudes that deserve to be hung up on people's walls'. But once I put a price on that exact same thing, it's now just getting negative connotations even though I'm doing the exact same thing as before. Just not for free."

The fact that Nthateng has decided to put a value to her being naked is what has people bothered. It is not that she is naked that is the problem. It is that people have been taught to have shame around their nakedness that they envy a person and a family that is open with theirs.

People came out against Rami for supporting her child to sell her body. These are the same people who complain every Sunday about having to take their bodies to work on Mondays. Every kind of labour requires that you smell something of yourself. You're delusional if you do not think that this is the case.

We all sell something to live and make a living: skill, hard labour, or physical labour. You exchange it for money. Sex work, in any form and or situation, is real valid work.

I personally cannot think of a better way to make money than by existing and being beautiful.

Make friends with your body, with your children, and stop policing people and what they do with their bodies.

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