Usually when an an actor or recording artist has a past that includes life in the seamier side of occupations, one thing they try to do is to cover it up. It's a tactic that worked for Cameron Diaz, who once she got rich enough, managed to buy all the rights to all the porn flicks she appeared in while an upstart in the movie business.
Still others haven't been shy about those sordid chapters, like Courtney Love — widow of grunge pioneer Kurt Cobain and leader of her headline-grabbing band Hole — who freely admitted to gracing the stage in many a peeler parlor.
Then there's 25-year-old rap artist Cardi B, who not only let the press know about her stripper days back when she was trying to pay the bills six years ago, but is telling her fans to quit judging and start respecting those who go the X-rated route.
The performer, who became an overnight success via her hit "Bodak Yellow," insists that those who opt for the pole-dancing circuit is no reflection of their intellect or character. When it comes to her background, Cardi B hit the strip market after being fired from an earlier cashier job. She claims it gave her some empowerment and independence, as she saved enough to move out her boyfriend's pad at the time from what she called an abusive relationship.
Doffing her duds in public also helped her in another way: Cardi B's presence on social media grew, as more and more visitors were attracted to her candid chats about her job. Additional videos documented her take on relationships, finance, and of course, sex. Her profile went so viral, she was able to drop her stripping career in favor of a club event host via her skyrocketing Instagram status.
Her social media following was the ideal base to springboard into music. After the success of "Bodak Yellow," the hits kept coming. In January, she became the first woman to have five simultaneous songs in the top 10 in Billboard's R&B/rap category, beating Beyonce's record of four. Her five tunes, including "Finesse" — a duet with Bruno Mars — also tied a record shared between Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
That said, she's not afraid that her high profile is fragile enough to be toppled by political correctness.
"Everybody gets bothered about everything," declared the notoriously outspoken performer. "If I change myself, then I’m going to lose myself, and I won’t be who makes me happy.”