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Confessions of a Video Vixen

Published:

Author(s)
Karrine Steffans

Note that this book features child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault/violence.

I heard about this book from Tee Noir’s video deconstructing the femme fatale and Khadija Mbowe’s video on video vixens1. Video vixens are the attractive female models who appear in hip-hop videos. There’s a lot more to being one than just appearing in appearing in music videos, something that Confessions of a Video Vixen exposes. I haven’t read may “tell alls”—much less anything on media but given the aforementioned videos as well as getting worn out on self-help I decided to give it a read. It wasn’t as scandalous as I expected.

The most interesting parts for me were up to where she left Arizona for LA and the Q&As in the epilogue—I couldn’t care less about her flings with prominent artists. I get that’s what a lot of people were looking but for me, her upbringing (as traumatic as it was) was more interesting to me. It explains why she tried so hard to earn validation from men in the inner chapters.

From the Q&A she was asked to explain her rather lax attitude to sex which seemed “European” and she mentioned how it’s how she grew up in St. Thomas was a former Danish colony which inherits most of the “European” views on sex. Main thing is how it’s just a part of life so there’s no need to be ashamed of it. Also her thoughts on hip-hops sexism which she says is a reflection of culture she finds disappointing as it’s like being slaves to themselves—an observation Kanye made 12 years later.

I guess it’s because it’s over 15 years later so I don’t have any context of video vixens besides those two videos I linked earlier. It would be more interesting if there was a modern tell-all like this featuring influencers instead. It would be interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes of the influencer industrial complex. Better yet, I’d have more context for it. Unless you’re doing some history, this book isn’t worth picking up.

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  1. Black women finally get to shine on YouTube. ↩︎