There was a time when being a stripper was considered on par with being a prostitute. Perhaps the excessive 80’s and the over-the-top movies that accompanied that decade helped emphasize the sleaze factor associated with the profession. And anyone who dared venture into the forbidden world of sex, booze and unfiltered dollar bills, never divulged a word of it, even to their closest friends if they could help it. It was a part of their lives they kept well hidden and off limits.

Now forward to present times, and the stigma of a stripper’s past doesn’t sting that much, in fact the information is enthusiastically shared with anyone who wants to know the deets. Draya Michelle from the Real Housewives of LA, defended her stripper days to her fellow co-stars, and despite the hail of negative comments that were dumped on her, she stood her ground. She did what she had to do at the time. She didn’t share the other women’s views which seemed to hinder on the fact that she was stripping away her dignity every time she hit the pole. She saw herself as a hustler who used her God-given gifts to make extra cash, and when that was no longer a necessary source of income, she left it behind to pursue other more acceptable “body-conscious” outlets.

Nene Leakes, a regular on BRAVO’s Real Housewives of Atlanta also paid her dues in strip joints. She definitely wasn’t as forthcoming as Draya, but as her popularity soared she not only admitted it, but she was almost boasting and fondly recalled how lucrative her short-lived career proved to be.

So are we now generally accepting of people who have indulged or continue to swim in the murky waters of societal pleasure, or are there are some of us that still can’t or won’t associate with women who have a stripper’s past? Should they keep that bit of information buried or trust they won’t be judged and discarded by a potential friend or mate?

Maybe now that Reality TV has helped to propel ordinary citizens into instant stardom, we have become numb to whatever baggage rises to the surface. And that should be good news to anyone still sitting on a ticking time bomb.

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