Starz has been a premium channel that has exploded with black television shows, such as Power and the new breakout hit P-Valley. A show set in the Mississippi delta area with a strip club called the Pynk or “P-valley”. This show follows the lives of uncle Clifford, owner of the Pynk, the longest working stripper, Mercedes, and newcomer to town Hailey or her stage name, Autumn Night. From pole drops to private room lap dances, Starz shows all the things that go on in the Pynk.
It continues to follow the lives of the strippers outside the club. For example, Mercedes, a stripper at night and majorette dance instructor during the day. Starz did not have to show life outside of the club, but they did which is an interesting choice with the stigma faced against strippers. The idea that they are whores, sluts, drug addicts, alcoholics, and just overall condemned individuals. The Pynk shows that these women are more than strippers, they are entrepreneurs, mothers, and just overall HUMAN. The profession of stripping is always looked down upon because it is seen as a form of sex work. However, Starz emphasizes the beauty in stripping and how it should be viewed as an art similar to dancers or performers.
The show examines suburban life in the delta which even to this day has its own unique culture uninterrupted by the internet. P-Valley has a raw authenticity, (SPOILERS AHEAD!!) one of the strippers named Keyshawn is in an abusive relationship that she is told by many to get out of the relationship. Yet, she stays, which can be a brutal reality that someone may be facing today. Another authentic part of the show is the fact strippers get into stripping only long enough to save enough money. In the words of the veteran stripper Mercedes, “Stack yo paper and then get out of here”. Mercedes is not saying that stripping is not a “good” job, in fact she saved over 20,000 dollars in her 7 years as a stripper. However, everyone gets older and you may not be able to do your job as well in terms of performance. Overall P-Valley is an empowering show that breaks the stereotypes of stripping, specifically for black women.