Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Candy Girl: Diablo Cody

Before her Juno fame, Diablo Cody was a fairly average working class girl, living in Minneapolis, in a job she didn't much care for, writing on her own time, and generally strolling through life without much aim. And then she became a stripper.

Candy Girl is Cody's memoir of the year she spent in various nudie bars, taking off her clothes and dancing for money. The novella is subtitled "A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper". An innocuous girl in hippie clothing shows up at a seedy dive for amateur night and receives looks of doubt. She stumbles around on stage, unaware of her limbs and is ungraceful as well as uncoordinated. What would most likely end in a single night of unspoken humiliation for most, turns out to be the launch pad for Cody's new career. She fiercely admits that her strange interest in the sex industry is perverse and at one point she even goes into the depths of stripping out of pure curiosity and witnesses how dark and disgusting back room business can be. It's a fascinating journey into a dark secret of society that most of us turn blind eyes to.

Possibly the most fascinating element of this story is Cody's boyfriend. Jonny neither encourages nor discourages her new chosen career. He is steady as a rock, and becomes increasingly curious. He takes pride in his sexy girlfriend, and is there at the end of every night to snuggle her close and listen to her talk about her night at work. He is possibly the most supportive man in written history. Jonny and Diablo are now married and she claims they are the happiest people in all the U.S.A.

Diablo Cody is a fantastic writer. She is the Francesca Lia Block for grown-ups with a crude vocabulary. She is able to write both common and literately. A smart reader will instantly recognize that Cody is well read and well educated. Candy Girl is filled with all of the true-life minutiae of stripping including gross overshares of industry methods. Cody adamantly maintains that stripping was her fantasy choice. Never once does she allow the reader to feel sorry for her, because stripping was something she volunteered for. It's almost empowering, really.

I have a new hero in Diablo Cody. She is smart, witty, and extremely talented. The girl knows how to turn a phrase, that's for sure!

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