Came across a hardcover of Fast Girl in the clearance bin at a non-local bookshop and had to have it. Yet another hooker book I haven’t read only now I have the space and time in which I could, so I did.
I remember when the scandal came out, wrote about it, in fact. It wasn’t until I read the book this week that I finally realized Suzy Favor was her really-real name because it sounds like a hooker name if ever there was one.
Her track career I read with deep envy as a sprinter who had the love but never the support or training to make anything of my obvious ability. But then, she also made it clear my love of running would have never survived the brutality of her training, as it barely survived hers, disappearing entirely for the latter half of her career, resurfacing only as a way to heal many years later.
That, I understand; survivor of the photography teacher whose motto was “make them cry in class”. (I never did, I saved it for the bathroom breaks or my dorm room because I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction, but it certainly wasn’t for his lack of trying.)
Her wild escorting career was interesting to read, and laughable in some ways, like her insistence on staying in fancy rooms when she only did outcall. (She was impressed by a $300 Agent Provocateur set, I wondered if it came from the clearance rack. Then I realized I’m a jaded snob and wondered when this happened but that’s a whole different thing.) She never does math: the difference between the cost of her Vegas trips and what she actually made after the agency cut. Her husband does better hooker-math than she does.
Her sense of competition with the TER rankings was so incredibly misguided, even though it was her own sense of self that did the guiding. While that self was supposedly in manic mode during this time, that self was also her drive to win in running–it’s part of her nature no matter what and can’t be blamed on mania. It is what it is; she’s an Olympic-level athlete which makes her a rare person by any standard.
Her fall from grace, which I supported with extensive Googling, even reading the awful, original TheSmokingGun piece on her, had me asking only one question I’m not sure I asked myself when this broke because the scandal brought up so many other questions. The sole question to be asked about all of this is: Why? What did the asshole client and TheSmokingGun think they were doing? What was the purpose behind her outing?
Really? What was the actual reason?
TheSmirkingReporter for TheSmokingGun who talked to the naive Suzy (she should have told him to fuck off and that was it), and the hit-piece written never give any reason as to why outing an athlete and mother as a part-time escort was important news.
She wasn’t selling nuclear secrets, she wasn’t trading insider secrets or helping to rob casinos, she wasn’t even able to help her husband with their realty business without causing more problems than she solved. So why was destroying her two professional lives, and nearly destroying her entire family circle worth it? What was the goal? She was acting in a role millions of women have, and her clients were with her as partners in that role. They were married too. So why was exposing her and not them the big story? What made her a target? What significant social good was accomplished by exposing her?
I’m not hurt or changed in any measurable way by knowing about Suzy’s secret career. No one I know is hurt by her actions. I can’t remember that society was unduly influenced one way or another by her escorting.
As far as I can tell, the only thing the outing accomplished was to was hurt her and everyone associated with her. That’s it. It stopped no crime, exposed no dirty dealings, society is not any better for her exposure. It got clicks for TSG.
Ruin a woman and her entire life for clickbait.
Truly a worthy 21st century misogynist goal.
It’s a question so basic she doesn’t even stop to ask it in her book and I wish she had. She talks of her anger at those in her life who stifled her and yet she apparently doesn’t have enough anger at those who destroyed her and I’m including the website that bothered to give enough credence to the story to actually, physically report it.
It’s what’s known in media circles as a non-story and yet somehow it became a scandal.
This is all rhetorical, I know exactly why a beautiful woman was destroyed as much as possible by men who couldn’t have her.
The other reason I’m writing this is for those sex workers who also suffer mental illness and aren’t being properly treated. Suzy and her doctors would have benefited greatly from having her undergo a Genesight test. I know I’m flogging an expensive medical test. It works, though. That’s worth every penny to those who suffer.
The test results and report, and I have the original copy, show how I process a variety of psyche mediations. It also shows I have two recessive genes that ruin how my mind processes its own chemicals, specifically serotonin. I’m genetically-predisposed to depression due to mal-processing of chemicals and the only solution is the correct medication that balances my brain’s chemical processes by creating a workaround since we don’t have the knowledge to repair such issues.
My issues are indeed all in my head and my parents are to blame. How many can say that? (Anyone who has similar genes, really.) Bad jokes aside, it was a relief I didn’t know I was seeking to discover that my issues are scientifically-provable, that I wasn’t making things up, that I wasn’t making too much of things, I wasn’t crazy, I have an actual medical issue for how I think and feel and have lived. Fortunately, it’s a treatable issue no matter how invisible it has been.
Before I was treated properly, yes, I have suffered deep despair and depression throughout my life. When my situation is horrible, I’m suicidal. When my situation is better, I’m mostly okay (but can fall into a depressive state with little provocation). Adding other problems, like PTSD, into the mix just exacerbates every single issue of these illnesses to a very large degree.
Proper medication allows me space to think clearly. My deepening burnout would have literally killed me if not for being properly medicated for the better part of the last two years. Even then, it was a near miss. I had to realize that burnout was still an issue of my mind pointing out a problem to me, something I needed to fix, and it was screaming as loud as it could to bring my attention to the problem. It took a while, but I listened and have begun fixing the problem.
At any other point in my life, almost all of which was spent free of professional psychological intervention, this would have ended very, very badly. Most likely permanently–the ending I’ve seen for myself since I was very, very young.
Reading Suzy’s account of her attempts at professional help made me wish she could have taken the test. It would have changed so much in her later life. Perhaps she has taken it now, and is being properly medicated based on her actual body chemistry. It’s a much better solution than what her doctors at the time did: prescribe for her based on semi-informed guesswork, with what she claims was disastrous results.
Her story made me realize I was luckier than I thought to have access to a professional who knows of tools like Genesight. It’s just a tool, not God, a tool that takes guessing out of the equation. Guesswork when dealing with psyche meds is a terrible way to try and treat serious problems. (Says the person who was dosing herself for three years without doctor supervision with a psyche med that just made things worse.)
I hope she, and those of her audience who need it, continue to find healing.
The last thing I want to say about this story is the story itself. When I was Googling for information on her, something I don’t remember doing when her story broke, everywhere I went I found tons of pictures of her. There were always running photos and sexy photos. She’s a beautiful woman and was a beautiful college girl. Her daughter will likely be beautiful as well.
The only video I watched was her Nike commercial, which is hilarious. I’m probably going to search for videos of her running, at her peak. Just so I can be jealous of her running form, which has to be efficiently perfect. (Mine’s not great, not terrible.)
The sexy photos, however, were always on the stories deriding her fall from grace; the most sexy photos on the leering TSG article that outed her, of course. Even the Nike commercial exploits her beauty and sex appeal.
I’m not even covering the multiple verbal beatdowns and sexual harassment she received in her life due to her natural build: large breasts on a petite frame; unusual in a high-level runner. Or her disordered eating quickly descending into bulimia because she didn’t fit an idealized body type.
One long-form story on a running website that detailed her running career had an ad for another story on the same website, ranking the country’s “sexiest female athletes”, dead-middle in this story castigating a woman for capitalizing on her sexiness.
The cognitive whiplash actually hurt.
Be a beautiful, sexy woman; don’t be too sexy, don’t personally profit off it, don’t keep it to yourself either but share it freely with everyone who wants a piece of you, but don’t share too much either because that’s also very bad. Don’t take pride in yourself or get a big head but please continue to keep yourself up and be sexy because you owe it to everyone who wants to look at your. And for God’s sake, don’t profit off of it. Especially that.
How does anyone expect a woman to stay sane? It’s impossible.