Friday, January 22, 2010
The Transformation of an Exotic Dancer
Scars and Stilettos: incredibly gripping and beautifully written
As a radio personality who interviews authors, many books cross my desk unsolicited. Scars and Stilettos grabbed my attention immediately, partly because of Harmony Dust's beautiful face on the cover, and the subject matter: an exotic dancer's life is transformed by Christ.
Like a lot of women, I've wondered how any woman gets to the point of displaying her unclothed body for money, so I began reading. And pretty much didn't stop until I had finished the book.
Harmony writes so beautifully, I had to stop and search for a ghost-writer's name on the book. There is none. This woman has a natural talent for writing--for telling a story in the most evocative and powerful way.
Although there's nothing graphic in the book, she doesn't pull punches. You'll find more curse words than you're used to seeing in a "Christian" book, but I'm sure not as much as if she had more accurately recounted conversations from her past.
The story unfolds of a young woman who holds the scars of child sexual abuse and rape, and who is so hungry for love that she'll do anything to keep the man she thinks she can't live without--including selling the view of her naked body to strangers. Not to mention squandering thousands of dollars on his whimsical "needs" and emergencies.
But Harmony is a complex person. The whole time she was stripping for a living, she was attending college, studying child psychology and making straight A's. She lived a double life: hard-working and hard-studying Harmony in sweat pants and no make-up by day; Monique, dancing in an all-nude strip club by night.
She recounts the events in her life with a raw clarity and authenticity, but also with such descriptive beauty and power that you can't help but feel every emotion.
In the end, Harmony's life begins to change thanks to one Christian friend who loved her, didn't judge her, and kept asking her to come to church with her.
Harmony's transformation is a story that shouldn't be missed--and a challenge to all Christians to never stop trying to reach "the unreachable."
Go here to read about Treasures, the ministry Harmony founded to reach out to young women involved in the sex industry.
More on Scars and Stilettos here.