On Thursday, March 14th, the infamous adult industry star and sports commentator, Mia Khalifa, and her long-time boyfriend, Robert Sandberg, got engaged over a fancy dinner in Chicago. As soon as I saw the picture on her Twitter page, I was ecstatic because I love engagement announcements. Besides, there's always something encouraging about seeing two people who are in love take an even deeper step in their relationship to ultimately reach their end goal. But of course, when you're a public figure, people take it upon themselves to add their two cents. While I usually roll my eyes at unsolicited comments from randoms on the internet, I couldn't help agree with one thread of comments in particular.
Seeing tweets like this make sense to me because I've always been a firm believer that being a non-traditional woman doesn't make you exempt from being wifey material. When I saw that Mia got engaged, the first thing that came out of my mouth was "good for her" and I meant that genuinely. Her career in pornography has been controversial especially due to her Lebanese heritage. In an interview with Newsweek, Khalifa admitted that her own parents don't even speak with her.
After leaving the porn industry within three months, she became a successful entrepreneur. People wondered how she could make the transition despite her past, but she went on a become successful businesswoman, juggling between being a co-host for sports commentary channels, posting live streams for Twitch, and selling merchandise through Patreon. I personally don't think these amazing qualities should be overshadowed by the stigma of working in adult film.
And the stigma behind bad girls didn't just start recently. Most of this can be explained by the Madonna-Whore Dichotomy (MWD), popularized by Sigmund Freud. Simply put, good girls are associated with purity while the bad girls are associated with promiscuity. While many of Freud's theories surrounding sexuality are laughable at best in the psychology world, the MWD still holds weight today and both women and men suffer from this ideology. Even certain reactions to Mia's engagement compare her sexual reputation as a contrast with what a "good girl" or "wife" should be.
With that said, let me explain why non-traditional women like Mia Khalifa are worthy of everything they desire. There's underlying strength behind bad girls because they tend to live a fearless life. A bad girl doesn't make her decisions based on what people think of her or what seems like the easy route to go by. A bad girl is fully aware of how she may be perceived, but that doesn't stop her from conquering her goal. A bad girl receives the fullest out of life because she doesn't get what she deserves per se, but gets what she negotiates. When she actively gets what she wants on her own terms, it's often a display of her confidence and power and that alone is ten times more alluring than being basic.
So when people ask the questions “Why would a man want to marry someone like that?" I would tell them that many qualities that are considering wifey material are outdated. In the 1950s, the main aspect that constituted what it meant to be a wife was a woman who fulfilled the traditional gender role. In 2019, women have more space to live their lives in a way that isn't solely an audition to become a wife even if they still get judged for it at times.
Now, the concept of what wifey material is has changed. It's not only about a woman's ability to cook and clean and preference to stay in rather than going out. A study conducted every year by the University of Iowa since the 1930s gave insight to the qualities that men look for in a long-term partner and the top traits were financial stability, emotional stability, attractiveness, intelligence, dependability, and ambition.
Independence is one word that can sum up most of traits and it describes women like Khalifa perfectly. She even stated in an interview for Playboy that when it comes to whatever direction she goes in life and career, unless she does it on her terms, she'll never be happy. It takes a lot of confidence, independence and intelligence to be able to flourish while doing what you want on your own terms.
Aside from Khalifa, there are many examples where non-traditional women have reigned supreme. Take Chrissy Teigen for example. She isn't the kind of woman who dulls herself down for the sake of a relationship. She's outspoken and never shies away from addressing topics that other women are thinking of but don't say out loud. She has also revealed that she and John Legend slept together the first night they met, and they're happily married to this day.
The same compartmentalization applies to Nicole (Snooki) LaValle who was once deemed “one of the most un-wifeable celebrities" due to her party image in "Jersey Shore." She is now currently going strong with her husband, Jionni, and they have two kids.
Meghan Markle, Duchess Of Sussex, also faced scrutiny as she hasn't always been seen as the proper fit for Prince Harry because she never lived a “quiet" life before him and lived her previous life in the public eye through acting. Despite reservations on their relationship, Markle and Prince Harry have been successful and will welcome their first child later this spring.
To put this in a more realistic context, a lot of us will never know what it's like to live the kind of life with the stigma of being a woman in the adult entertainment industry or the minimization of our career due to our marriage with a famous husband. However, many of us do know what it's like with the stigma of not being a traditional woman. We know what it's like to grow up learning that we have to dumb ourselves down in order to make boys like us more. We know what it's like to hear "the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach" followed by stern advice to make sure we know how to cook in order to keep a man. We're well acquainted with the feeling of discouragement of being talked out of many things because it isn't considered ladylike.
So if you're a woman who is reading this and you don't have the most conventional style, personality, or career path, continue doing you. Don't live your life constantly wondering what people will say about the way you live your life. You are free to be as loud, confident or unorthodox as you want. Being wifey material should not be at odds with feminine sexual expression or anything else that goes against the status quo that women have to be docile and submissive in order to obtain a husband. Keep shaking the tables and breaking down barriers because one day, the world will be yours.