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A new six-part mini documentary, launched exclusively on Instagram is teaching teenage girls how to monetise their nude selfies using the SnapCash feature on Snapchat Premium.
Created by Australian artist Jesse Willesee, the five-minute documentary follows Jesse’s girlfriend Hannah as she turns her nude selfies into a steady income of nearly $2000 a month.
While critics have dammed the documentary, claiming that it encourages young girls to sexualise themselves online, Jesse views it as an easy way for teenagers to pay off their college debts from the safety of their own homes. As the 29-year-old filmmaker explains:
“I couldn’t help but think with America’s minimum wage so low and college tuition so high, how many students would be getting Snapchat Premium instead of a part time job?”
While some have questioned the idea that Jesse Willesee should be classed as an “artist” or even a “filmmaker”, the raw nature of the documentary does merit some recognition. Filmed entirely on Jesse’s phone, the documentary’s use of Instagram and the simplistic application of text overlays nicely compliments the bleak voyeurism of the subject matter.
Watching Jesse’s girlfriend writhe around on camera for cash is weirdly reminiscent of a scene from Channel 4’s black comedy Nathan Barley. With her hair in pigtails and wearing a skimpy pink bikini the result is not something which screams female empowerment. Despite this however, Hannah doesn’t believe that her work is demeaning. Commenting in the documentary, Hannah says “It’s a bit empowering actually, I kind of like the fact that what I’m doing is not what people think is right.”
Part 1 of my straight to Instagram mini-documentary “Premium”. Made in three days, shot entirely on iPhone and edited entirely in-camera and in-Instagram, it stars my girlfriend @hollabackhannnah and looks at the world of Snapchat Premium. Hannah has invited us into her world and sat down with me to discuss her experiences.