Becoming Belle Knox: Behind-the-Scenes Life of a Porn Star

I’m a porn star, ex-cutter, rape victim. That’s a lot of baggage for one person to carry…I’m just taking things day by day, and I’m just as confused as every other person out there. There’s…so much that’s unresolved, that I don’t have answers for. There’s obviously some reason this has all happened to me, and I want to find some type of meaning.” – Miriam Weeks

Becoming Belle Knox, a short docu-series from Conde Nast Entertainment, follows porn actress Miriam Weeks by giving an eye-opening, raw look at her history and current experiences in pornography.

Becoming Belle Knox

The purpose of this article is to express the humanity of all persons—even porn stars. We have the tendency to see pornography as mere fantasy which gives the illusion of people who are obsessed with sex and live solely for it. Too often we are blinded to the reality that porn stars are people too. They have very real emotions, fears, and problems (just like the rest of us). Quite possibly, a hurtful or abusive past has led them into the porn industry and led to a perceived willingness to be degraded for the eyes of anyone to gawk at.

Miriam, whose porn star name is Belle Knox, has scars on her thighs from when she used to engage in self-injury in the eighth grade. Before she shoots a porn scene, the makeup artist hides the scars. As a former cutter, this struck me as utterly saddening. “Our scars remind us that the past is real,” as one song puts it.

Yet Miriam’s past is not explained nor acknowledged for those who view her scenes in pornography. She is seen as just another body, another tool to aid in getting ourselves off. Her humanity and history with pain, confusion, and troubling experiences are totally hidden from the scenes she shoots. She is seen as less than a human being. According to the way she is spoken to in her films, the lust-filled audience is encouraged to see Miriam as a dirty whore (or more explicit terms).

Miriam noted, “A lot of #@*&$ in my life has been ruined because of sex. A lot of my family doesn’t even talk to me anymore. I lost my best friends because I joined the sex industry and decided to be a porn star.”

“The industry has a way of making you very cynical and very bitter. I’ve already…I feel like I’ve in a way…I’ve started to get…a bit bitter and a bit cynical. It teaches you to be street smart and not to trust people. I’m so used to being always on the lookout for scammers and for people who are going to try to pimp me out or traffic me. I think my experiences have aged me. I don’t have the mind of an eighteen year old. I kind of have…the emotional baggage of somebody much, much older than me.”

She went on to say,

“I thought this would be like a part-time job, like I would compartmentalize Miriam and Belle. Miriam would be when I go to school and then Belle would be when I have breaks, but I was naive to think that I could do that because it can’t be really a part-time job. You have to kind of do it all the way. Sometimes I feel like school has become secondary to it because it becomes…its own identity and you can’t just take that identity out whenever you want to. You have to constantly be your porn alter ego.”

Miriam said she talked to a girl who was kind of retiring from porn and asked her why she was getting out of it. The woman responded, “I was becoming my alter ego.” She also cautioned, “If you start becoming Belle, you need to leave the industry and that means you need to stop.” Miriam expressed, “I still haven’t…decoded what exactly that means, but I think it’s really interesting to think about and I think it probably just means don’t lose yourself.”

Biblically speaking, sex is an intimate act where one man and one woman give themselves fully to the other in the context of monogamous marriage.

Sex is so much more than feelings or having fun for the night. It binds people very deeply on an emotional level and connects people in more ways than just the physical. To think sexual acts can be had otherwise only results in heartache and baggage. It is unfortunate therefore, how Miriam described her view of sex:

“I think I had an issue before porn with separating love with lust. I’d always fall for people who I hooked up with and now that I’ve done porn, it’s so much easier for me to detach emotions from sex which I think is a good skill to have in life.”

As a precious woman made in the image of God, this documentary subtlety begs to bring awareness to the hurting soul and dignity of this young girl. She is worth more than the scenes she shoots, the arousal she incites, the body she flaunts, and the casual sex she engages in.

Although the film is much less graphic than its content might suggest, it does contain scenes that are explicit and I do not recommend seeing it, especially if you have a history or current stronghold with porn.

The next time your selfish desires beckon you to return to viewing porn, remember what Miriam said while crying, “I think about my mom a lot when I do porn scenes, just how sad she would be that her little daughter was doing this…”