Amber Rose on Kanye West’s Presidential Run and Joining OnlyFans: ‘I’ll Show My Boobs All Day’
The stripper turned cultural personality opens up to Marlow Stern about her X-rated OnlyFans, Kanye’s stab at politics, and the accused serial rapist that needs his comeuppance.
Amber Rose is on the move, weaving through L.A. traffic to squeeze in a quick gym session—she says she’s still shedding the baby weight from her second child, Slash, delivered late last year—before picking up her little ones from childcare. “This mom life, you know!” she exclaims, with a chuckle.
The 36-year-old has, over the last decade-plus, done just about anything and everything in the realm of popular culture. She’s modeled in rap videos and for Louis Vuitton; penned books; appeared on shows like black-ish and RuPaul’s Drag Race; hosted The Amber Rose Show; dropped a few singles; took on rape culture in hosting L.A.’s SlutWalk; and garnered plenty of ink for dating a pair of famous men, Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. Her latest venture is joining OnlyFans, the subscription platform for risqué content. Once dominated by sex workers, the site’s exploded in popularity during the COVID pandemic, attracting the likes of Cardi B and Bella Thorne, and even making a much-ballyhooed cameo in a Beyoncé song.
Posting nudes, she says, feels like a blast from the past, since Rose began stripping as a teen to help provide for her family. “I’m gonna leave my vagina for my husband but everything else is fair game,” she tells me.
It’s been a pretty wild week in America. I mean, the president and the first lady have coronavirus. It’s just crazy.
I know. It’s crazy. It really is crazy. I’m definitely not a fan of Trump but coronavirus is really taking people’s lives at this point. It’s not cool. Thank God none of my family members, my children or my husband got it. I’ve had a few friends get it and they recovered.
I’m curious why you’ve decided to join OnlyFans now?
I would’ve joined earlier but I was pregnant! I would’ve been the first one on there, are you crazy?! [Laughs] With my second baby, I got up to 224 pounds. So now, I’m about ten pounds away from where I was before I had Slash. But yeah, I would’ve done it earlier. Shit.
What sort of content can we expect from your OnlyFans?
I was a stripper for a long time, and with my SlutWalk, I’ve always spoken about being body-positive and how women should be able to breastfeed in public. For me, boobs aren’t a big deal. I’ll show my boobs all day on OnlyFans—boobs, and ass, and twerking. All the good stuff. I’m gonna leave my vagina for my husband but everything else is fair game.
OnlyFans seems great because it cuts out the creepy middlemen that can be involved in sex work. I have friends who have stripped and had bad experiences with strip-club managers.
Thank God, man. I’ve really only had positive experiences being a dancer. I was always down with all the girls, all the management. It wasn’t janky or what they show you in the movies. It was one of the best times of my life and the money was great. I was in my 20s, had a lot of friends, it was a party every day, and it was before I had kids, so I had nothing but time.
It sounds like your OnlyFans is going to be pretty legit and not like, say, a Bella Thorne situation where she promises a nude to her paid subscribers and then fails to deliver.
I don’t exactly know that whole story but I’ll say this: Whatever I say I’m gonna give you, I’m gonna give you. I was a stripper, bro. It’s not a big deal to me. I like to get the people going—and love the haters as well. I just think it’s fun. It’s like a digital strip club for me, and it brings me back to my roots.
It seems to fall in line with your mission of destigmatizing sex work—and sex workers.
Yeah. And it’s also me doing what I want with my body, and not having any man or fan or anyone online policing my body. I get to do what I want with my own body, and that’s the main thing. Furthermore, I talk to everyone in the DMs myself, personally. I set the time aside to be able to actually talk to people. I think it’s not cool to have people pay for your time and it’s really somebody else talking to them, you know what I mean? Even on Instagram, if you DM me and I DM you back, that’s really me. I run my own shit.
What do you say to the full-time sex workers who have been critical of celebrities joining OnlyFans and accusing them of taking money out of their pockets?
Well listen, I would say that because I was a stripper, I understand where they’re coming from, but they’ve gotta understand that there’s somebody for everybody. There will be a lot of men out there who will be intimidated to talk to me in DMs, or who feel they’ll get more attention from those girls instead of me, so they don’t have to worry that I’ll be taking anything away from them. I never did porn or was a prostitute but I was a dancer, and that’s a part of sex work as well.
You’ve been very outspoken about the importance of reproductive rights. Are you worried about the likely appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court? She’s called Roe v. Wade “barbaric” in the past, and something she’s vowed to end.
I think it’s complete bullshit. She’s not looking at everyday life when it comes to women. I’ll tell you something even better: I had my son Slash on a Plan B. I took a Plan B the morning after me and my husband had unprotected sex, and we were wildin’ and havin’ a good time being in love. And I love my husband and am so happy we had this beautiful baby but I took a Plan B and it didn’t work. For people that are in situations where they think they’re in love, take a Plan B or the condom breaks or it’s a rape, and it doesn’t work, and then they’re thinking, “Shit, I can’t afford it” or “I’m not ready,” what do they do? It’s our bodies. I don’t think anybody should have an abortion at 24 weeks but 8-12 weeks? It’s your body and your choice. Plus, let’s say they abolish abortion. Are they going to take care of the kids, and give people money? How is that going to work?
At the end of the day, guys need to shut the fuck up. They’ll never have babies, they don’t know what it feels like, and at the end of the day, a lot of men walk away anyway. They don’t have to go through the pregnancy or any of that. The fact that it’s a woman [Barrett] doing it is really bad, bro. It’s just ridiculous.
I know you weighed in on this somewhat subliminally on Instagram, but this has become Kanye’s big thing—fearmongering over abortion. He has a very big fan base, and a responsibility to those fans, and it seems strange and irresponsible to make this be his cause célèbre.
I’ll just say that any man that does not have ovaries needs to shut the fuck up. Any man. I don’t care who it is. It’s not your place. You cannot have children. You’re not stuck with the baby. You’re not stuck with the pregnancy. You’re not pregnant and then have to give your baby up for adoption or put them in foster care because you can’t afford a child. I have two kids and I make good money, and let me tell you something: my kids are expensive as hell. Just for diapers alone and formula—a six-pack of formula is $60, and that goes very fast. It’s not easy to afford that. So men need to stop policing women’s bodies and they need to shut the fuck up. Guys are like, “It’s our choice as well!” and at the end of the day, it’s not. It’s just not.
All they did was shoot, really.
That’s it! That’s all they did.
I wanted to ask you one more Kanye question, and it has to do with his presidential run. He’s openly admitted that he wants to cut into Biden’s votes to help Trump, so how do you feel about what he’s doing?
I would say that… you know, for me, we dated 10 years ago and now I have a whole other life, so I don’t look into anything that he does. Whoever’s gonna vote for him will vote for him, and whoever doesn’t doesn’t. Moving forward, we see what Trump did in office and it wasn’t too great, so I think we all need to look into who we’re voting for and do our due diligence in figuring out everything that this person is willing to do if they get elected.
We’ve spoken about this in the past and I’ve written about it a bunch but I wanted to discuss one of Kanye’s protégés, the fashion designer Ian Connor, who has been accused of sexual assault by God knows how many women. And he’s still running in circles with famous people and getting opportunities, which is crazy.
(Connor has denied the allegations.)
It’s similar to the situation with R. Kelly in that you’re dealing with Black women who are [allegedly] being brutalized and abused, and unfortunately society doesn’t give a fuck enough until it’s too late. Is it 20-plus victims? I don’t even know what the number is now as far as Ian Connor’s [alleged] victims but there are a lot of [alleged] victims, and they all have the same story—similar to Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, and the other famous predators out there. It’s super fucked up.
Famous men really need to do far better too. When someone in your crew is accused of rape by 20-something women, you’ve gotta cut ties with this person otherwise your ass is complicit.
Yeah. With the SlutWalk, I get this question all the time: Don’t you think girls lie sometimes because they want to get some money or hurt this person? And I say, yes, very, very rarely, there are people out there who do bad things and want to hurt someone for little to no reason. But when five, six, twenty, thirty women all over the world have the same [alleged] stories, they’re crying, and they’re saying, “I don’t want money—I just want justice,” there’s a huge problem. We shouldn’t throw these women’s stories away just because he’s not famous enough. And this has been going on for years with him. I’ve tried to help these girls—get them all together, get them lawyers—but I’m only one person. If nobody’s willing to come in and help me help these girls… I’m trying my best to get justice for them.
Speaking of sexual assault, it’s really nuts how more attention isn’t paid to the fact that 23 women have accused President Trump of sexual harassment or assault. I think it’s a pretty damning indictment on the media and the public.
I think as a society, through generations, we’ve been conditioned to allow men to get away with a bunch of bullshit. Did you ever watch Mad Men, and how there’s sexual harassment all over that show? They’re trying to show you that in the ‘60s you could slap a secretary on the ass and there would be no consequences but now more people realize that that’s not OK. And the Trump stuff is crazy to me as well. And there are a lot of female Trump supporters, and I’ll never fully understand it. I think they’re either emulating their husbands or conditioned to say, “Oh, it’s locker room talk,” or “She put herself in that position.”
It does sound like internalized misogyny.
What’s the future of SlutWalk in the time of COVID?
I try to think of cool shit every day. My husband, AE, he’s very creative, so I’ve asked him how I could do something digitally and still make an impact, because we can’t really do anything out there like that in California until there’s a vaccine. I definitely want to do something digitally with SlutWalk. For sure.
And you’re always hustling and wearing a lot of hats. What else do you have cooking?
OnlyFans is only the first of many things I have coming out. But I don’t want to talk about the other things until they’re ready. So you’re gonna have to stay tuned.