Monday, March 19, 2012

The Ragdoll Project: Meet Rebecca!

Rebecca"s Story: My name is Rebecca. I am a 13year old ballet dancer from Toledo, Ohio. I live with my parents, my younger sister Melissa, my younger brother Harry and our dog Tiger. One day after a big recital, a woman, Emily, came up to me said she was an agent and gave me her card. She told me that she was a friend with my dance teacher, and that she could get me an audition for a show. I was really excited. I didn’t tell my parents because I wanted to surprise them with the money. The next Saturday, I told my parents I was going to a friend’s house after rehearsal. Instead Emily picked me up and took me to the audition. Emily did my hair, put makeup on my face and helped me change into my costume. Afterwards Emily said that I got the job, and she gave me 200 dollars. I’ve never had that much money before in my whole life. Emily said that she would pick me up the next night for rehearsal and the first show. I told my parents I was sleeping over at a friend’s house. We got the place, and it looked different at night. There were bright lights and neon signs. It made me a little bit nervous. Emily helped me get ready again, and she even gave me a new costume and high heel shoes. The costume was really pretty even though it was a little too small. When I went out on stage, there were a lot of men. I did my routine and they started to throw money at me and they tried to touch me. I was scared, but I looked at Emily and she smiled at me. After the first week she wasn’t as nice and said that I would have to start stripping like everyone else because a big producer was coming. It was the most humiliating experience ever, and she took pictures. She said that if I told anyone or tried to quit. She would send the photos to my parents. I was so embarrassed and ashamed and overwhelmed. I worked at the strip club for Emily almost every night for the next year, until my parents found out, and she got arrested. I just wanted to be a famous ballerina.
This is a fictional story, loosely based on the experiences of Theresa Flores, victim/survivor and author of “The Sacred Bath: An American Teen’s Story of Modern Day Slavery”.

Title and Date: Rebecca 2012
Artist: Jeannette R. Geter/J.Rochelle Designs
Medium: cotton, embroidery floss, yarn, plastic buttons, polyester fill       
Dimensions:   11.5”x4”