Young girls make bad decisions all the time. The desire to fit in or be loved convince them to make emotionally (and sometimes physically) unhealthy decisions. Often that love they desire so strongly is false or self-serving. Convinced they know what's best, they choose to take paths that lead them away from love and self-esteem. Even those girls who are raised in "healthy" homes with loving parents sometimes make bad choices.
Back of the Book
Fear of being abandoned keeps nineteen-year-old Harmony Dust trapped in an abusive and cruel relationship. She thinks she has hit bottom-tens of thousands of dollars in debt, struggling to get by, and so controlled by her boyfriend that she doesn't protest when he begins openly sleeping around. Things can't get worse . . . until someone tells her how much money she can make as an exotic dancer. For the next three years, Harmony lives a double life as Monique, a dancer in a fully-nude strip club. Scars and Stilettos is Harmony's stark, honest, and ultimately hopeful story of how God found her in that dark, noisy place and led her out. She has since married, completed an MA in social welfare, and now leads Treasures, an organization helping women in the sex trade discover their true worth.
Harmony was raised by an erratic, absent mother. She learned well into her youth to not rely on anyone but herself. Treated as a sexual object her entire life, it made perfect sense for Harmony to turn to erotic dancing as an out of her massive financial debt.
I read this book with mixed feelings- on one hand so proud of the young Harmony's inner strength in pursuing her education despite almost unsurmountable odds yet so frustrated with her support of a man who didn't respect, care or love her. As a mother, I think this section was the hardest to read. Breaks my heart to think of tons of girls in the same situation. Without hope or a way out. So many young women in her situation have children or abusive relationships or turn to drugs or alcohol and get trapped.
Truthfully this book was hard to get through. Not because she was a bad writer. Far from the truth. She's brutally honest not just in the telling of the circumstances but of her emotional landscape and the actions of those around her. As a reader, you're in that room with her. The book was heart-breaking because you just want to take her in your arms and lead her down a different path. Which, according to Harmony finding God, did for her. Thank Goodness.
As the back of the book alludes, Harmony is leading a vastly different life now. Married with a child, a Master's degree and a new calling. As emotionally wrenching the first chapters are, the ending more than makes up for it with it's inspiring message of faith and renewal.