*Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in October 2015, ahead of Amber Rose’s inaugural “Slut Walk.”
Written underneath one of Amber Rose‘s most popular photos on Instagram — where she’s seen overlooking the scenery on her balcony, her stacked silhouette accentuated by a stringy one-piece — is a comment from an Internet troll that reads, “‘Instagram turning these wife’s into hoes’ my nigga Wiz said it best ‘These hoes… they Fa everybody!'”
Similar comments exist under each of her 1000+ posts. Whether she’s fully-clothed or scantily-clad, users feel entitled to share their judgements about her body. Her sexual confidence makes her an easy target for slut-shaming. And she isn’t alone. Amber is just one of many
celebrities women, who has suffered slut-shaming by not only men, but women who have been conditioned to judge other women based on their appearance.
But Amber decided to do something about it.
With over millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, the self-proclaimed “bad b*tch” launched a GoFundMe to fund her inaugural SlutWalk, which took place Saturday.
15,000 registrants are “coming because they’re sick of the double standards and the derogatory labeling,” Amber says. “It’s for rape victims, sexual assault victims… It’s to motivate us as women and men feminists to come out and raise awareness.”
Amber Rose didn’t invent the title “SlutWalk.” The movement originated on a Toronto college campus in 2011 after a young women was sexually assaulted. A police officer perpetuated rape myths when told the women on campus, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.“
“I’ve been getting slut-shamed since high school,” Amber recalls. “Because a lot of boys liked me, that obviously made me a whore. If I had a lot of male friends, people would assume I was having sex with them.” After growing tired of defending herself, she reached a breaking point. “It was like, let them say whatever they want to say, I’m just going to go on with my life. I stopped caring and I know that’s a difficult place for women to get to but I can be the mentor and advocate for them to look up to. My slut-shaming is on a whole different level than the average girl.”
Funding the SlutWalk proved to be a difficult task. Since the walk was in its first year, there were very few sponsors.
“I don’t make any money from it,” Amber asserts. “None of us make money. We have volunteers and sponsors from different companies. All of my fans donated $5 or $10 here and that really helped. My celeb friends donated a lot of money: Nicki Minaj put in $5,000; Nick Cannon donated $14,000. They didn’t want the credit for it, so they donated anonymously.”
Last month, Amber posted an Instagram status calling out some female entertainers for trying to charge her $40-$50K for a performance at the SlutWalk.
“I just felt like as women, the fact that we get slut-shamed and a lot of women I reached out to specifically were women who get slut-shamed constantly. It is a non-profit organization so any money I would pay would come out of my pocket. It’s the first year, so it’s like do it for the cause … to help these people out who aren’t.”
But even Amber herself admits that she was once a slut-shamer. “I have slut-shamed women numerous times though out the years just because that’s what society taught me and we have to come together and realize that it’s not right and it’s not fair.”
Amber also found support in her best friend Blac Chyna, who “donated a lot.” And supported by “just being like my sister and being there for me is the most important.”
Amber and Blac Chyna‘s relationship has flourished over the last few months. Together, they navigate motherhood and stardom.
“I think society teaches us as women that as a mother that you need to be a nun,” she explains. “You’re no longer allowed to be a sexual figure out in the open anymore. Everything has to be extremely discreet. Even though you’re a mom, you’re still a sexual being. I have a shirt in my SlutWalk that says ‘If I’m a whore so is your mother.’”
Amber’s parenting skills are constantly criticized. “It’s like if I want to twerk, I twerk.” Speaking about the infamous clip where she and Blac Chyna twerked in an Uber, she says, “I’m having fun with my friends, we have a few drinks, we were at the VMAs, we had a good time and wanted to dance in the Uber, that does not make us bad mothers. That doesn’t not mean that we’re going to go have an orgy after that. That does not mean that we even have sex on our mind at all. We were just having a good time but people will never ever look at it like that and that’s why I do stuff like that on purpose because that’s when I can talk about it, after the fact. We twerked in an Uber right to our house and put our sons to bed. We sat with our babies and we nurtured them and we put them to bed.”
She adds, “You are allowed to still be human and still live your life exactly how you were living it. You just have the responsibility of raising a beautiful child.”
Closing out the convo, she says, “I am not here to be a role model for young girls or for children. I’m not here for that. I don’t want to be a role model. I speak to adults. My SlutWalk is 18 and over. This is for grown women. When it comes to their children or people’s children, I am not raising your children. I’m not here to promote promiscuity at all. This is not about having sex with multiple people. This is about owning who you are as a person and basically you can do whatever a man can do. You have to live your life to the fullest.”