A Portrait of Angela White
If there is a more unexpected woman in the adult industry, she’s been drowned out by the noise that has rallied behind Angela White. A self made success in the adult industry, Angela had already graced the covers of magazines as far back as 2003, launched one of the most high-end solo sites running today, negotiated a coveted Fleshlight deal, and built up a massive audience on her own by way of camming before she ever stepped foot in America as a performer available for independent hire.
And now, newly available for hire in hardcore scenes, Angela is one of the most frequently booked models today. She moves an enormous amount of traffic and is all but guaranteed the center stage on box covers, advertisements, and promotional headlines as a wide range of studios try to follow the clicks that lead back to her.
A slight Australian accent and an efficient sense of purpose lead the conversation when Angela speaks. She sits at a small table in an ice cream parlor wearing a shirt that has a feminist message and a cartoon pizza. Though it’s a day off, the curvy brunette is put together in a way that is perfectly in line with what I already know about her. She is polished, but not fussy, and the casual way she dresses is enough so that she can be comfortable but still grab candid photos as she goes. Her hair is smooth and stick-straight. Asked about her brand, it’s easy to see that vanity is not what singled her out so much as a clean understanding of who she is, and, more importantly—when the widget is you—how branding works.
I am the product, she says plainly, therefore I must control the way I am presented.
Angela is available for hire, but not to everyone. Her images are everywhere, but they are selective. Her social media stream is constant and far reaching, but the tone doesn’t change. She understands that the traffic doesn’t follow Angela by chance. They follow her by name.
It’s a name over a decade in the making. She was still in high school when she modeled for her first photo shoot. A determined eighteen-year-old who understood that Australia wasn’t the place to build an adult career, Angela had already spent a handful of years weighing her options before the first plane ticket was ever booked. She knew that she was sexually charged, and—often to her detriment—sexually open. Since fourteen she’d had the same breasts she is famous for today, and in tandem her sexuality had kicked in, transforming her from a shy and studious girl into an open and attention-grabbing girl on her way to being a woman.
Now I can say I’m a sapiosexual, Angela will laugh lightheartedly. Back then, though, they decided I was a lesbian. I wasn’t a lesbian. I was having sex with boys too.
Her peers were not receptive.
In Australia, a derogatory word for lesbians is lemon. From the time she was fourteen until she graduated, Angela would walk the halls of her school to the background noise of students calling her a lemon and a slut. The noise picked up and Angela kept on. She wasn’t ashamed of her sexuality but they were determined that she would be. It escalated eventually to the point that they threw lemons at her in the halls. Angela straightened her back and adjusted her bra strap. She grabbed a few men’s magazines featuring nude centerfolds on her way home from school. She was fine with being a slut and a lemon and whatever else they called her. So just needed a better outlet.
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But the women featured in the magazines that Angela bought didn’t look anything like Angela looked. She remembers being dismayed to find page after page of women with a similar structure and build who made similar poses with a similar face. They were thin with narrow hips.
I remember feeling like I wasn’t represented, says Angela. My look wasn’t treated as sexy. So I went out of my way to find the place that glorified people with bodies like mine.
She found it in a Florida-based magazine called Voluptuous.
I was so excited when I found their magazine. It was dedicated to bodies like mine. They were so body positive. They called stretch marks beauty marks. They understood that breasts that are this large have hang to them. They appreciated what the other magazines dismissed as flaws because they understood that real bodies, if they have these curves, come hand in hand with these things. So they loved those things too. I felt wanted.
Angela was wanted. When she was old enough, she submitted photos to the magazine with the hope that they would choose her to model for them. Voluptuous responded immediately. In no time at all she had a plane ticket booked and a photo shoot scheduled. Quite happily, the high school senior packed up a suitcase and flew alone to the other side of the world. She never looked back.
While it may not be such an unexpected story that a woman with a fluid sexuality and large breasts might find her way into the sex industry, what becomes unexpected is the overwhelming amount of education and intent that has been overshadowed by those breasts. Sure, with the breasts came the hormonal surge that transformed Angela from shy and studious girl into an openly bisexual teenager capable of raising the emotions of an entire body of students in the halls, but Angela never put down the books. Even through the international flights and the first magazine layouts that released while she was still in high school, through the sexual partners male and female, through the first sparks of a promising career and the larger sparks that followed, the grades kept up.
What resulted is an understanding of her business well beyond branding. She pursued a formal education that would lend to a detailed understanding of the psyches of her peers and her customer base, as well as—most importantly—herself. After graduating high school with honors, Angela spent a year abroad at the Paris Institute of Political Studies—the same school attended by the majority of French presidents in years past—and then returned to the University of Melbourne, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with first class honors in Gender Studies, a broad subject that put emphasis on gender and sexuality, political science, psychology, anthropology, and psychoanalysis.
Listing off these topics rapidly, Angela stops to surmise it. In feminism, the personal is the political—that’s the mantra. That’s why these subjects tie together.
From there she went after a masters degree on the same subject. Her thesis was written on female experiences in the Australian pornography industry, a body of work that was conducted with qualitative research and whose findings are set to be published this year in the Routledge Companion to Media, Sex, and Sexuality. At the graduate level she graduated again with honors, and was invited to deliver her thesis work at an academic conference at Griffith University in Australia. And then she ran for parliament.
Asked about the subject, Angela smiles again before she speaks. I lost the ticket, of course. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to take votes away from the green party because they wanted to implement the Swedish model, which would make it illegal to solicit sex. I don’t agree with that. Our sex industry in Australia is safe because brothels and escorting are legal.
In diverting those votes, she succeeded, and the brothels weren’t changed.
Here in the story Angela stops herself.
Sorry, she says quietly. Batting a strand of stick black hair away from her eyes, she looks up.
I don’t mean to say so much, but in my experience that’s how much it takes before people begin to believe that a sex worker could have half a brain.
Angela’s pizza shirt hangs loosely to mask her breasts. It nearly works. In public she could be anyone if it weren’t for the fact that she is Angela. Ones gets the feeling that has always been her greatest strength.
In tandem with her graduate studies and alongside a political race, Angela continued with her slow climb towards the top. She made repeated trips to Florida for magazine layouts with Voluptuous, as well as their sister title, Score, and graduated from solo shoots to shoots with other women. In Australia, she booked her first few self-produced scenes, managing to further embed herself in her thesis research in the process. Just then, Internet speeds kicked off and the camming industry became a very viable source of income for a wide group of women. Angela’s presence on the cam sites fast-tracked her to a fan base that snowballed.
After the bid for parliament the self possessed twenty-five year old launched a website—AngelaWhite.com—in a market space so fraught with competition and damagingly loose governmental regulation that most would-be competitors were going under or bought out for pennies on the dollar, and on a continent half a world away from the industry’s center, no less. There too, she succeeded. In sticking with an ever-tightening brand and rigorous work ethic, Angela’s site grew during the adult industry’s greatest recession. To keep up with member demand, she began traveling twice yearly to Los Angeles to produce batches of content at a time. There she worked with top talent and the highest quality photographers she could find. Alongside her website she negotiated a distribution deal on her content. The DVDs released as top sellers against the names of performers with resumes that had far broader reach.
Fleshlight’s offer to brand her name on a novelty line only reinforced what Angela’s fan base already knew: she had reached an elite level within the adult industry that only the most brand name performers ever reach. Unlike the women who came before her, though, Angela had not been made by another company. Only then did she begin researching agents with the intention of becoming available for other studios. She had done all she could do as a woman with some social media accounts and a URL. It was time to cast a bigger net.
Today, Angela’s body is still not well represented. There are no other models who quite touch the corner of the market she has dominated, which is perhaps, in part, why she’s dominated it. The more understated explanation might just be the mind that takes the back seat to her figure in the public eye. Breasts are alluring, and plenty of women have them, but we are attracted to people with great talents for a reason—their display provides a crack in the door through which to view the intelligence beneath. Angela has a talent for branding Angela. Like any performer, she will always be the machine, but in a rare place apart from the herd, her value lies in her expertise on the mechanics just beneath.
Look for Angela's newest scene in "Sacrosanct," available now exclusively on TRENCHCOATx.com