Instead Of Making Fun Of OctoMom, Let’s Talk About The People Exploiting Her

Nadya Suleman is a grown woman who made some questionable choices. And she’s endured an intense amount of vitriol for those choices. The infamous mom of 14 has been torn apart by every blog, magazine and media outlet on the planet. Including this one. I’m not sure if she’s really earned the level of hatred she seems to inspire, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Instead, can we take a minute to talk about the companies that are exploiting her for profit? Because I think they deserve at least a little thought.

One such reputable business is a Florida strip club that hired Suleman to perform there for four nights. They immediately started advertising their famous new addition to the line-up. Then, someone from T’s Lounge in West Palm Beach went on television and called OctoMom crazy. Apparently, that’s not how Nadya was planning on being billed. Her lawyers say that she won’t be performing anywhere where club employees have “defamed” her. The club owners say they’ll sue Suleman if she backs out of the performances.

First of all, there’s just one word that goes this story. That word is “sad,” in case you hadn’t already mumbled it while shaking your head. The world’s interest in this woman seems to be the most open and accepted case of schadenfreude ever. We just love seeing a woman who dared to have a lot of babies on her own struggle and fail. (Yes, yes, I know. YOUR taxes are paying welfare for her so YOU have a right to be hateful and cruel about her if you want to. Considering the collective tax burden, about 1/1000th of a cent of your money actually goes to Nadya Suleman. So let’s calm down.)

The club owner if banking on everyone’s disapproval of this woman to gain attention. They’re loving that a legal battle will gain them even more attention. It’s probably even better than actually having her perform. There’s probably a small number of people who are actually attracted to her and really want to see her naked. There are a whole lot more people who want to talk about how horrible she is.

Wicked Entertainment is employing the same business model. How many people actually want to see Suleman masturbate? I doubt the number is super high. How many people want to make fun of her or condemn her for doing so? Much bigger audience. You notice Suleman didn’t copywrite the term “OctoMILF” herself. Wicked did, and they’re thrilled that people are offended by it. Because they aren’t actually concerned with a mother of 14, they’re thinking about the press she attracts.

Nadya Suleman made some irresponsible decisions. She could be a horrible person, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never met her. But she’s not the only problem. If we’re going to continually condemn her, maybe Wicked and T’s Lounge and every other person who makes money off her leper-like status deserves to share in the collective public outrage.

UPDATE: We would like to clarify that Wicked did not film or produce Nadya Sulemon’s solo sex tape. They are distributing and marketing the film however.

(Photo: Zap2It)



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  • Andrea

    Don’t feel sorry for her. And don’t blame the businesses either. When she first had those babies, she made it CLEAR that she intended to make a living with a reality TV show. She wanted media attention, she went on the today show 24 hours after giving birth for pete’s sake. The reality show did not materialize, but she had visions of being the next “Kate plus 14″.

    She has NO ONE to blame but herself. She was hoping for fame and fortune on the backs of those babies and I sure hope that very soon they get taken away from her and put in decent homes. Perhaps homes where the parents don’t make a living by pimping themselves and their children out.

    • Cait

      This right here is why I have no spare sympathy laying around for Nadya Suleman. She’s only posing nude to put food on the table because her scheme to single-handedly raise fourteen kids for the cameras didn’t pan out. Her situation is sad, but I’m not sad for her. If anything, I’m sad for those children.

    • Eileen

      I agree. That’s not to say that I don’t think some women are victimized by the sex industry, because they absolutely are. But this woman isn’t one of them. She wanted to have a career based on having a lot of children – her gimmick, her livelihood is having a lot of children. Because she is a nice-looking woman who has a lot of children, she’s getting porn offers. The gimmick is the main draw, and she knew that going in.

      You’ve talked about worrying and stressing about the cost of various fertility treatments, as well as the cost of having another kid, and you’re hoping for a second baby that will be supported by two stable incomes. This woman planked all her cash down on treatments to have a seventh (and got bonus eighth-fourteenth) with no planned means of supporting them, except by exploiting the fact that there are many of them. She doesn’t get to complain about the fact that the people who are allowing her to exploit her kids/motherhood status are making her look ridiculous.

    • CC Pat

      The ONLY victims here are her children. Nadya was in over her head from the start.

      I live a few minutes away from T’s lounge, in fact I pass it several times a day. The thought of her being in town at T’s “performing’ naked disgusted me. How could she even think about facing her children after doing such a thing!? No one cares about her sex tape or club appearance. SHE keeps putting herself out there. Good grief,lady, get some psychiatric/psychological help. Your children deserve it.

    • whiteroses

      I agree with you, Andrea. And what happens when (like with Kate Gosselin) people get sick of watching your reality show or whatever else you have cooked up? Having kids with the intention of having other people pay to raise them NEVER ends well.

      I don’t have sympathy for this woman, because she’s ALLOWING herself to be exploited. If you can’t afford to take care of your kids, then you shouldn’t have more. It’s as simple as that. The only people being exploited in this situation are Suleman’s children. They’re the ones we should feel sorry for.

  • Veronique

    I remember when those babies were first born, many, many people reached out to Nadya to offer her free services in order to help her out: nanny services, nurses around the clock, free products, etc. Dr. Phil was one of those people who gave her all these things so her could have her on his show and ask her all the questions he wanted. Nadya refused ALL the services, and those she didn’t refuse walked out on their own because they couldn’t deal with her antics anymore.

    Nadya was deluded into thinking that after the first year with the octuplets, she could put them into daycare at her school and go finish her master’s in psychology, which would then give her ample money in order to provide for them… Which also didn’t turn out as she had hoped.

    And yes, she desperately hoped that some company would pick up a reality show because in this day and age, it seems as though having a reality show is the only way to support crazy-multiple families without having to work 4 jobs (I’m talking at 6-8 children here, not twins). I think some company actually did film her and her family, but there was no channel willing to buy the show…

    And so now the only industry willing to give her a decent “paycheck” if you can call it that way is the adult industry. She mud-wrestles, “celebrity boxes”, and now she did what she swore she would NEVER do, which is do porn…

    Having her home being threatened to be taken away every day, children with special needs who need a lot of attention and resources she clearly cannot give them even if she wanted… I feel a mixture of sadness and outrage thinking of the choices she made in order to fulfill her own need of being loved…. Those children never did anything to deserve such an unlucky draw :(…

    • Andrea

      That’s what EVERYONE kept telling her, including her mother. There is NO way to support 14 children unless you turn to questionable resources or are incredibly wealthy. The children did not ask to be brought into this world, but she clearly cannot provide for them and she has no prospects of being able to do so in the future. They should be taken away and that’s too bad for her. They deserve a better chance than what she can do.

      And I don’t even want to THINK about what the psychological effect of growing up with a mother that does those types of things or having to grow up in the equivalent of a dog kennel.

    • Veronique

      I don’t think being taken away would be that much of a solution. Being that Children’s Aid is involved, if they thought it was the avenue that was best for the children’s development would be one thing. However, being in the field, there is nothing more damaging for a child than to be taken away from their mother – no matter how messed up the mother is. As long as they are not being physically neglected or abused, it is always best to find solutions that will keep the children in the home… No matter what happens the kids will most likely be messed up – so how do you minimize the damage?? I think that’s the social workers’ challenge!

    • Andrea

      Veronique, do you remember that report from the hair stylist that went to her home and took pictures? They showed the kids going on potties outside, running around with no clothes on, and the house was a disaster zone full of markings on the walls. I grant you that if Social Services is involved, they must have deemed the home somewhat liveable. But, and you’d know more than me on this, I think SS is highly understaffed and underpaid and the publicity surrounding a potential removal of 14 children from their home would be disastrous for the agency. That may be preventing any actions.

      Also, sure, being removed from a home is damaging. However, I am pretty sure that 14 children in a home of a single mother with no money pretty much guarantees neglect. And let’s not forget she has been known to blow money on mani/pedis, brazilian blow outs, and who knows what other grooming expenses that allow her to show her ass on camera.

    • Veronique

      I hadn’t seen that. I am just pointing out that, especially with all the media surrounding this affair, my impression is the opposite – that social services will be especially careful to deal with this situation in the best possible way. Always ask yourself this: you want to take the children away, but where will you put them? The parents are not equipped to handle them alone. She has no siblings or other family members to take care of the children. And there will NEVER be enough foster care to take care of all the children who we would want to take in. There will especially never be a foster family that will be willing and equipped to take in 14 children. Let’s just accept that splitting them up from each other and from their mom would be very damaging – probably more damaging than keeping them with their mom, and putting up certain guidelines to make sure that the kids are kept clean and safe, and giving Nadya proper surveillance ;).

      I used to work for a children’s aid organization (granted not in the US, but in my city in Canada) and once you see what all of these difference processes do to kids, it’s a lot more difficult to say flat out “take those kids away!!”

  • pkjane

    She plunked down her cash and lots of borrowed cash as well, from student loans, disability payments and personal loans.

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  • Nikkie

    I don’t feel sorry for her in the least. She didn’t magically get pregnant with 14 kids. She had 6 then purposefully sought treatment to have more, she ok’d a dr. putting 8 eggs in her and knew that she could potentially carry all 8. She comes across as narcissitic she spends her money on plastic surgery, expensive hair treatments etc. and then wants to whine about havign to turn to porn and stip club endorsements (who she now wants to sue) to support her family. Get real. She needs mental help for sure, but I don’t feel sorry for her, she exploits herself. She has no one to blame but herself (and her fertility doctor)