Amber Rose, The Walk of Shame and A Sex Positive World

You may have seen Amber Rose’s latest FunnyorDie video circulating in news and information. Titled “The Walk of No Shame,” it is everything one could ever want from a sex positive spin on the world. Amber struts out the house in last night’s dress, heels slung casually in her hand over her shoulder, and is immediately greeted by a 50’s style milkman who comments that it looks like she had sex last night. A brief exchange ends with him declaring, “you’re living your best life!”

Amber Rose: The Walk of No Shame

The entire 2 minute video is a series of similar interactions turned on their head: construction workers replace objectifying catcalls with, “I respect that you enjoyed yourself last night!”, a man honks at Amber Rose, and calls her an “inspiration for his daughter.” Countless women offer their congratulations and entire families take notice of and verbally appreciate that she is a lusty, body confident, sex positive woman on her way home from a night of fun.

The video requires the suspension of reality: for just one moment, we the viewers can imagine what it would be like if we lived in a society where a woman’s sexual autonomy, body choices, and celebration of her sensuality were something the rest of the world rejoiced in. While Amber Rose is the focus of this video, the happiness of everyone she encounters, sharing in her joy, is the real fantasy. It makes us ask ourselves, “wow, wouldn’t it be great if, when a woman has a one night stand, we could feel this same sense of happiness for her, instead of the shame response we’ve been trained socially to experience?” It shows us a world in which a woman’s sexual autonomy being celebrated not only benefits and enriches the woman having sex, but the lives of the community around her.

The only negative moment in the whole video comes at the very end, as something of a punchline to the joke. It ends on her shutting down the man that she slept with, in a way that is not particularly kind. This speaks to the cultural fear that empowerment must mean power over, that their way of showing her strength and power was to have her crush someone “lesser”.

While it was mildly disappointing that the producers ended a video that was overall full of positive messages on a negative beat, it doesn’t undo the magic of the dream of a world where people celebrate sexual autonomy, women aren’t shamed for enjoying themselves, and communities overall have a positive and rejoicing response to women’s sexual freedom.

This reviewer, for one, hopes that someday a milkman will congratulate her on living her best life.

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