DURHAM, N.C. — Belle Knox’s story continues to ascend the ranks of the mainstream media, landing an extensive spread in the May 8 issue of Rolling Stone.
“The Blue Devil in Miss Belle Knox: Meet Duke Porn Star Miriam Weeks” doesn’t offer a dramatically different take on the Knox/Weeks phenomenon, but it does offer a qualitative window into her inner, outer, academic and professional lives, which exist across her two personas: Miriam Weeks and Belle Knox.
Framed as first-person narrative, Rolling Stone reporter Alex Morris travels with Knox to buy “cheap underwear” (to sell at Exxxotica Atlantic City, naturally), to a college night on the town that takes a turn for the uncomfortable when Knox is immediately recognized, to Duke’s public policy building where Knox discusses sex work with students, and finally to Exxxotica itself.
Morris seems interested in exploring the identity crisis that sometimes tows living a double life, particularly when those lives intersect. "Belle was somebody I took out on the holidays when I did porn. And I would put her away and go back to being Miriam and have no issues," Knox told Morris. "But now that I've become more popular in porn, they've morphed together. I'm answering calls as Belle. I'm doing interviews as Belle. She's no longer somebody that I can just put away."
The piece also chronicles Knox’s rise from nerdy Catholic school girl to a porn star who often plays a Catholic school girl-type, elucidating an authentic person at the core of her media persona, marked by her controlled, pro-porn narrative.
Morris writes, “Weeks knows that the prevailing narrative for women who enter porn is that they're crazy, damaged or have daddy issues; and so she hesitates to tell me the parts of her story that seem most to fit that narrative.”
Knox tells Morris that she was once sexually assaulted in high school, that her brother and sister won’t talk to her, that her dueling identities remain muddled… Knox’s story is not all lemonade and sunshine, but it doesn’t invalidate her life choices or her argument that female submission and feminism are not mutually exclusive states of being, even if she's rehashing a long-hashed debate. Instead, whether intentionally or not, it serves to humanize the 18 year old, who entered the limelight completely incidentally after being outed by a classmate.
"I don't feel respected at Duke. I feel respected here," Knox told Morris at Exxxotica, adding later "All those nights I wondered if I made the wrong decision or ruined my life? This just proves I didn't."
To read the story in full on RollingStone.com, click here.