10/30/2014 09:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Meet Bonnie, A Loving Mother And A Sex Worker Living In Denmark (NSFW)

Warning: The following post contains nudity and is not suitable for work.

This is Bonnie Cleo Andersen. She's the mother of Michella, who is 16 years old; Oliver, who is 15; and Noa, who is six. She is also a self-professed prostitute, working legally in a small house in a village in the east of Denmark.


Image courtesy Marie Hald

"I first met Bonnie while I was doing a project on my final semester of school," photographer Marie Hald explained in an email to The Huffington Post. "We were given totally free boundaries to start a project. I had always been interested in the subject of prostitution, since it is a legal profession in Denmark. I was mostly interested in finding a woman who wasn't the typical stereotype of a prostitute. What I really wanted to find was a woman with a family, living a 'normal' life. And so I found Bonnie."

Hald found Bonnie from a website and soon got in contact with her. She went to visit her at the brothel where Bonnie worked, and the two talked for hours. "In between our talking, customers came in," Hald said, "and so I just sat there eating chocolate while hearing her 'work.' That was a wild start."


Image courtesy Marie Hald

Over the course of the following year, Hald followed Bonnie and recorded the intimate details of her life, both personal and professional. She discovered, for instance, that while Noa thinks his mom works as a housekeeper, the older children know the truth, and are often bullied as a result during school.

Through this period she became close with Bonnie's entire family, learning their hopes, goals and fears. "Bonnie's goal with participating in my project was to show the world that she is a whole person, not just her profession. Her number one aim in life is being a good mother for her children."


Image courtesy Marie Hald

Hald's photographic portrait captures the many roles Bonnie embodies in a single day -- mother, friend, sex worker, human being. The images, simultaneously brutal and beautiful, depict a life filled with hardship, pain and love. Although a number of the images capture the explicit details of sex work often kept behind closed doors, many offer mundane and touching moments between family and friends that look, above all else, familiar.

"I want people to get a look into a world that is not normally open for people to see. I have tried to show Bonnie's life as honest as I could, brutal as it may be."

See Bonnie's story, with captions provided by Hald, below.


For another honest portrait of life as a sex worker, we suggest this series chronicling the life of Claudette, an intersex sex worker.