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Very Young Girls (2007)

August 6, 2009

8/10 Rough Childhoods

Man, there is nothing cool about being a pimp. I don’t care what that 50 Cent song says. Pimps fucking suck.

Very Young Girls is a documentary that gives an inside look into the world of underage prostitution in modern-day New York City through the testimonials of numerous girls whose lives have all been peddled by predatory, scumbag bastards that make an underground living out of selling their bodies.

The openings lines of Very Young Girls: “In the United States, the average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 13-years-old.” You probably already gathered that this movie is pretty rough from the ambiguously upsetting title, but just in case you missed it, this movie is no joke.

A friend of mine recommended this movie to me recently after she saw it on a whim. I’d never heard of it before, but being that I live in Manhattan you’d think I would have considering that’s where it all takes place. But that also kind of factors into the movie’s draw. I’m not big on watching documentaries about 13-year-old prostitutes, but since I had no idea prostitution was still even a thing in NYC, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.

The thing is, you don’t hear about prostitution, let alone underage prostitution, in New York anymore. It’s not like living on the set of Taxi Driver where sex is pandered out in broad daylight and everyone knows about it, only no one’s talking about it. Call me naive, but this whole movie was a pretty big surprise.

It’s heartbreaking to hear the stories of these girls who got taken advantage of in every way by seedy pimps when they’re too young to even know better. It’s even harder to watch them continue to go back to a lifestyle that’s clearly destroying them because they have nowhere else to go and are convinced that these men they’re answering to are actually in love with them. Needless to say, this documentary is doing any favors for men, but the again, these men should be locked the fuck up for the rest of their lives.

So Very Young Girls is quite the downer at times, but a great deal of the movie also focuses on a program in New Jersey called G.E.M.S. – a boarding home of sorts for young girls trying to escape from their lives of prostitution that was founded by a woman who started out in the same spot. It makes you shake your head in disgust to see evil people targeting the innocent, but it’s even more powerful to be reminded that there will always be good people out there to help those who need it most.

You might have to be in the right kind of mindset for this movie, but the payoff is worth it. It might not be the most entertaining hour and a half, but if you’re like me and love coming across simple documentaries that let the subjects tell the story, than I’m gonna go ahead and recommend this seriously emotional, infuriating, and important movie.

Gives you a whole new respect for To Catch A Predator.

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