JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN

Project Description

Shadait, Escort

Her mouth is smiling but her eyes are not. Her nervous disposition and undisguisable apprehension is hard to hide from the prying camera. “Fashion is my passion” says shy Shadait, almost unsure of how much to disclose next. “I’m an escort but I love vintage fashion and I needed a way to fund my ‘addiction’” she giggles. “The job is all about image; fashion is a big part of that.”

Shadait began escorting when she became homeless, but considers her line of work far classier than that of the ‘street hustlers’. “Prostitution is illegal and those girls work for far less money than me. Escorting a gentleman is more ambitious” she tells us. “For example, the girl-friend experience. It’s not just about sex with a stranger, it’s about creating a connection with dignity, shaping a feeling you’d only get from a partner. I maintain a high quality and certain standard. By charging in excess of £200 per hour or £1000 for a full night I deter the sorts I don’t want to meet. I refuse anal and draw the line at water-sports. Maybe I’ve never felt unsafe because I’m picky. Of course most of them try to lower the price, but I don’t budge.”

Discretion is the name ‘on the game’ when it comes to the world of escorting and Shadait says her way of working is no exception to that unwritten rule. “I’m very covert with what I do. That’s another major difference between escorting and prostitution. I prefer to be undercover”. But we wonder if her introverted nature is more about hiding herself in the shadows. “I am ambitious and I like to make everything worthwhile with self-growth. I don’t want to do this forever but I do want to develop more self-confidence. I also want to get into clothing design – that’s my real dream. I didn’t want to be an escort, but here I am, so I want to grow towards that instead. Women get judged and people think what I do is sleazy and degrading, but that’s a misconception really.” She shrugs…

“A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.”

Shadait’s eyes light up when she talks about fashion, a whisper of Vogue magazine sends a shudder of undeniable pleasure through her bones. “Fashion is my passion, so I do modelling as well” she says through a struggled smile, stroking the satin fabric she wears.

Shadait grew up with adoptive parents on the outskirts of London and became a single parent at eighteen. Heartbreakingly, Shadait’s child passed away whilst still young, but the memory of her firstborn has never left her. Now a single mother once again, her son lives with the people who raised her. She visits once a week to maintain the maternal bond. “I don’t have support so it’s about survival. I am trying to make a better life for us both.”

We have no doubt that Shadait will achieve everything she dreams of, with her self-taught ambition and desire to grow ever stronger. As the runway beckons her irrefutable calling, escort or not, this soft cookie is hardening on the inside, still waiting to be a reborn fighter in a new world.

Text by Jen Brook

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