From giving the cast of Hustlers advice on how to move like a stripper, to developing her inner gay witch by making glow-in-the-dark ashtrays for stoners, Jacqueline Frances is celebrating her body on social media.
On Wednesday afternoon I was greeted with a big red-lipstick smile and, right behind the smile, a tapestry with a set of legs in stilettos hovering amongst the stars. I knew the smile was Jacqs’, as we were scheduled to meet that day, but the legs were giving me this sense of déjà vu–I had seen them before. She later confirmed that the legs were, in fact, hers. I know, bit stalky when you can recognize a set of legs. But Jacq’s Instagram is filled with her legs; on a pole, spread wide, or standing strong, ready to take on whatever she decides to pursue.
For those unfamiliar with the multifaceted life of Jacqueline the Stripper, I’m here to fill you in on the tea. Yes, as her name suggests, Jacq is a stripper. But she is also an advocate, an artist, an author, a comedian, and, one of my favorites, a foam roller enthusiast.
How did the title “Jacq the Stripper” come to be? It was born at a bar; a pick-up story, with an exchange of numbers, and a text that we are all too familiar with. When Jacq exchanged numbers with her newfound friend she texted her, “Jacq the Stripper.” And so, the title was born.
We began our chat, as you may think, discussing Jacq’s time hustling the club. From the look in her eyes, I could tell she had a lot to say–and she said it.
“I fell into it, as you do. I needed money. I learned so much about myself, humanity, classism, capitalism, women, cash, and just everything. I dove right in," said Jacq.
Yet, the shitty downs of sex work differ greatly from the downs of other jobs. Sex work is criminalized, and there is a stigma surrounding it. It is demonized when it shouldn’t be, leading to sex workers feeling underrepresented, and struggling with their mental health.
Jacq utilizes her platform to be an activist for sex workers of all types: from the stripper on the pole hustling bills to the OnlyFans home creator. She does so by raising awareness with the help of her art, as well as supporting nonprofits like ZeppWellness, which supplies free therapy to Black queer folks.
“I wasn’t seeking out to be an activist, but activism is just part of the deal when you see injustice. If I see something’s fucked up, I just have to do my best to fix it,” Jacq said.
Let’s talk more about Jacq's art. Working out of her residence in Brooklyn, Jacq is creating physical pieces. She supplies the artwork to her subscribers on the popular membership platform Patreon, and also on Instagram.
Her art is celebratory and is inspired by her body, her friends, and basically, created when she feels like it. From beautiful multicolored paintings of her ass with quotes like, “Blondes have more Bills,” to photographs with her signature spread legs pose, Jacq’s art puts forth an incredible wave of self-love.
Most recently, Jacq has been selling her custom glow-in-the-dark ashtrays (that you can find no matter how stoned you are) with one-liners on them. “You’re Doing Great,” “We All Share The Same Planet,” and, one that we discussed, “Never Not Healing.”
“There’s so much healing to do and can’t that be great? Can’t that be exciting that we are constantly improving and discovering new things? And banged up because life is exciting,” Jacq said.
Before she really submerged herself into art, Jacq was a writer. She wrote about what she knew, which led her to publish a variety of books like The Beaver Show, Striptastic, and How to Not Be a Dick In a Strip Club. The books cover facets of the stripper community ranging from Jacq’s story to a patron's guide (as suggested by the title How to Not Be a Dick In a Strip Club).
“Everything has been an experiment in how to make money on my own terms, doing whatever the fuck I want," she said.
I feel like this mindset embodies Gen-Z. I mean, who wants to work behind a desk when you can be out working a pole, creating art, or doing whatever the hell you want.
Or for Jacq, working with Cardi B, Lizzo, and J. Lo on the set of the movie Hustlers as the sensitivity coordinator, and stripper consultant. On set, Jacq gave these icons tips on how to perform different moves. Whether it be showing how to move during a lap dance, or how to work the pole, Jacq had them covered. Also, she was responsible for making sure everyone was comfortable with their roles.
“Just being someone to ask about an actor’s boundaries is rare, and it’s great that they had that,” Jacq said about her role on set.
When she isn’t working, Jacq is taking a step back from the hustle. Whether it be reading a book, or taking a walk, the talented Jacq of all trades (pun intended) is focusing on her own self-actualization, restoring her spirit, and healing.
Jacq offered relief advice to the ever-present pain of wearing high heels in the shape of foam rolling. Jacq assured me that she wasn’t a doctor, but loves foam rolling to relieve her shin splints.
“Releasing tension and giving your body a massage is a really important way to stay limber forever, which is one of my goals,” she said.
Jacq left me with one last snippet of advice in the form of an explanation to a caption on her Instagram, which happened to catch my eye:
“You can be as skanky as you want on your path to enlightenment.”
She responded, “I don’t even know what enlightenment is, I just know that I am on this incredible journey and I learn new things every day. And I know being a skank has brought me so much joy, so many adventures so many stories, and so many connections.”