Dear Belle Knox….

No offense, but I think your 15 minutes of fame are just about up.

I’m not judging what you’re doing or the choices you’ve made or anything about you personally I just don’t care and I’m tired of hearing “duke” and “porn” in the same sentence all over social media and the blogosphere. Look, I get it, you’re obviously working with a great PR agency and you’re trying to make hay while the sunshines on this story but…. as a Duke alum I’m over it and I’m tired of you using my alma mater to sell your story.

You’re not the first University student to strip or participate in the adult film industry to pay tuition and you probably won’t be the last. Hell, you’re not even the first Duke student to strip to pay tuition- so why are you everywhere at the moment? Would it be the same if you were at a different school or are you using Duke as part of your message somehow?

Look, I can kind of buy into your message about being empowered and making choices blah blah blah but then I see an article about you offering to buy the men’s basketball team sex toys modeled after your ‘self’ if they win the NCAA championship and I start to feel a bit ick. (Btw, If it’s anything like in my day, most of the players had girls throwing themselves at them anyway- I don’t think they need your “gift”.)

Maybe I would feel better if you were somehow making a statement for the greater good- advocating large universities to be more fairly priced or more reasonable in their financial aid, maybe I could handle another few days of seeing you pop up on my news feed. But, let’s be honest Belle, you’re not. You’re promoting yourself and your film career much like any other Hollywood starlet would promote their new movie.

If you want to do porn or strip or make your own sex toy, by all means go for it Belle- your body, your choice but please leave Duke out of it. You made your choice to go there and they’re pretty up front about the costs involved so please stop relating your chosen career path to the University. I know it’s part of the PR spin but, puh-lease can you stop being the “Duke porn star”- the UNC porn star would work fine for me (kidding, not kidding- it’s March Madness time, Go to Hell, Carolina!)

Now, let’s talk about Duke for a second. As a Duke alum, I can safely say that going to Duke was the best 4 years of my life. Duke was amazing- the people, the classes, the atmosphere, the campus, the experience was first rate– I loved it all, Belle. And you’re missing it. You’re missing the parties, you’re missing the freshman year hijinks, sorority rush, trips to Macaroni Grill and Waffle House. You’re missing the lifelong bonds and you’re missing out on a time in your life you’ll never have again. You’re not missing out on it because of porn, you’re missing out on it because you’re marketing yourself as the “Duke porn star” and you’re on The View and you’re on CNN and getting interviewed all over the place for all sorts of publications. I can’t imagine you’re bonding with your classmates over this; I can’t imagine you’re getting a lot people coming to your freshman dorm to gossip with you. When are you going to the Oak Room? Have you had pizza at Satisfaction in Durham?? Have you even tried to slide away to the Hideaway?*

*I’m not sure these places still exist but they did when I was at Duke and they were fun!!!!

Anyway, my point is that you’re missing out on the best parts of your Duke education. Belle, enjoy being a Duke student while it lasts, because one day sooner than you think it will be May and you’ll be sitting in Wallace wade stadium in a cap and gown and it will be all over and you won’t believe it went by so fast. So do porn or don’t, but don’t blow your chance (pardon the pun) at Duke to learn, live and love it as much as those who have gone there before.

After college, write a book about your experience, advocate for sex workers’ rights, do more porn, do whatever you want, but for now go walk around Duke Gardens, paint yourself blue and watch a game at Cameron, sit on a bench in front of your dorm and then burn it when we win the NCAA, take a road trip with your dorm mates, go to a few parties, enjoy the Duke experience- yes, it’s expensive but it goes by quickly and when it’s over, there’s no going back and you’ll realise that most of what you loved and treasure about it, no amount of money could buy.


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