Marie Hald (Danish School of Journalism)
In Denmark prostitution has been legal since 1999. One of the women who works as a prostitute is 37-year old Bonnie Cleo Andersen. Bonnie works alone in a little house in a provincial town in southern Sealand, everyday from 9 till 4 am. When she comes home from work, she is a mother for her three children. Since Bonnie was a child she has been living a life with lack of boundaries, violence and abuse. In her everyday life she struggles with the fear of loosing her children because of social services. All while dealing with a progressive eating disorder. Today Bonnie's only goal is, that her children will have a better life than her own.
Bonnie Cleo Andersen has been a prostitute since the age of 18. Her first time having sex for money was at a visit at a brothel in a small town. Bonnie and her girlfriend were in need of money and wanted to try it out. The experience was unpleasant and Bonnie was shy and ashamed of her body. But because of the money, she stayed in the sex industry.
In a small village in Sealand Bonnie owns a house, where she works everyday from 9 to 4. When her day is over, she picks up her kids and drives home to her real house in another nearby village.
Since prostitution is legal in Denmark, Bonnie pays taxes and is registered as a business. However she has an old sentence for fraud and has been to prison a couple of times.
Bonnies youngest son, 6-year old Noa, thinks that his mother works as a housekeeper. The older children know what their mother does for a living, and so does their school, the community and their friends. It isn't easy on the children, and they have been bullied and asked how much their mother costs.
When the family is a sleep, Bonnie has the house to herself. She makes plans for the next day and smokes a cigarette.
The single most important thing in Bonnie's life is her children. Her hope is, that they will have a better childhood and life than her own. The 14-year old Oliver is hanging out with some bad kids and getting into trouble. Because of this Bonnie has decided to send Oliver to a Boarding school on a boat in the Caribbean.
Bonnie's oldest son Oliver is getting confirmed at the local church. Besides Bonnie is her mother Doris, her stepfather, oldest daughter Michella and a friend.
Bonnie has a lot of bad memories from her childhood. Her mother and father took the children to the local bar instead of sending them to school. And at an early age her father was sent to prison for murder.
16-year old Michella has a girlfriend who is learning how to do tattoos. On a Friday night, drinking pina coladas, Bonnie gets a tattoo on her arm.
The family is saying goodbye to Oliver, who is going away for a year to the Caribbean. Everyone cries uncontrollably, when they hug him for the last time.
If Bonnie could earn the same amount of money doing something else she would. She has no self-esteem and suffer from temporary pain in her body. But her job is what she knows best and she likes the joy and pleasure she gives to her costumers.
Bonnie doesn't hope, that her children one day will work in the sex industry. But if they do so, Bonnie will help them, so that they don't have to go through the bad stuff, that she went through herself.