Mia Khalifa on taking back her power

When content creator and activist Mia Khalifa looks back at her younger self, she sees a woman who was struggling with confidence.

“I was looking to other people to put value on myself. I was looking for validation in every crevice that I could, without actually doing internal work,” Khalifa tells Yahoo Life.

At 21, Khalifa spent three months in the adult film industry — completing 12 films that today have garnered more than a billion views. She now refers to that period of her life as a “lapse in judgement” that was never meant to last.

Khalifa, now 28, is speaking out about her experience in the adult film industry and the path that led her there. She’s vocal about the exploitation she experienced and hopes her story can shield other women from going through the same thing.

“Tik Tok has been better than therapy. The women who tell their stories, who are brave enough to put their face on the internet and share their experiences, that is where my confidence comes from,” says Khalifa. “That's been the biggest key to kind of battling with my own shame. Seeing all of these women who have been through things that are a lot worse than I have and come out like fighting with skin under their nails."

Khalifa has also set her heart on raising funds for the causes that matter most to her. In August 2020, after the explosion in Beirut, Khalifa decided to auction off her glasses to raise money for the Lebanese Red Cross. The $100,000 bid from the auction eventually fell through, and to make good on her commitment, Khalifa launched an Only Fans account to make money. She was able to donate more than $160,000 to the Red Cross, and felt encouraged by the impact she could have with her new platform.

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