Sexy Baby


There might be something new to say about sex after all, and it’s said in Sexy Baby, a snazzily edited documentary by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. Never titillating, the film examines how porn inspires real women to changes of identity: Laura, a 22-year-old teacher from North Carolina choosing labiaplasty—objectification anyone?—because a boyfriend preferred porn stars’ vaginal looks to hers; Nichole, a 32-year-old ex-porn queen/pole dancer in Florida asserting that most women want to be like her “Nakita Kash”; and the trickier case of the engaging and sophisticated Winnifred, a 12-year-old Manhattanite growing up in the immersion tank of erotic billboards, ribald lyrics, sexting, and the porn-strewn Internet. Hers is the first generation to know no other way; even she calls thinks of her age group as “pioneers.” Winnifred has decided to eschew watching porn, but she likes its style, adjusting her fishnet stockings for the right slutty look en route to a Lady Gaga concert. Later, though, she wonders to the camera if her seductive Facebook page “starts an alter ego that shapes how you are in real life.” Incongruously and inconclusively, Sexy Baby ends with photos of Winnifred and her family and a close-up of Nichole’s baby, perhaps nods to the gestalt. Still, the takeaway image is of twin hunks of labial flesh on the surgical table: in porn-slang, Laura’s abhorred “roast beef.”