Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Embracing Exotica: The Coco De Thick Story

Published:Monday | April 3, 2017 | 4:12 AMKrysta Anderson

For centuries, stripping has been synonymously linked to sensualising celebrations. And while the act itself is seen in a positive light by a few, the stigma attached to those living the exotic life is sometimes very caustic. Today, we shed a softer light on exotic dancing and share the dynamic journey of Coco De Thick.

In Jamaica it is often said that one one cocoa full basket?  Coco De Thick has decided to embrace her exotica, filling her basket one dream at a time. 

So, what’s in a name? For Coco De Thick, everything! She called herself Berry at first, but found the fruity name too common and unmemorable. So when a dancer began calling her Coco, (possibly synonymous with her ebony skin), she ran with it, adding ‘de thick’ for her thickness.

Born Kyla Ramsay, Coco has been an exotic dancer for two years, and explains her entry into the exotica world. “I never wanted to do exotic dancing. It wasn't something I ever thought of pursuing. But I saw this outlet as the only way of getting fast cash,” she explained to Flair Magazine.

Of course, this pursuit came with a price. It meant becoming estranged from her family, because they did not want to  support her or her career. Strangers she once noted, will move mountains for her far more than family or even friends, who she believes, sometimes want to see her fail.

So once this Portlander ventured to Kingston to embark on a new journey, finally making a stop in Montego Bay, the rest became Coco history.

Business, according to her, has had it’s ups and downs, but so far, she is doing well, and has remained positive. After exploring the club scene and seeing all its possibilities, she pretty soon sought solace in branching out and becoming an independent dancer.

As it pertains to how she feels about exotic dancing, she firstly stated that strippers are not prostitutes, they are entertainers. In addition, she view that stripping is no longer so taboo. “Stripping is now a trending thing on social media. A lot of strippers are now promoting themselves through these platforms in order to get other opportunities, and it is actually working.The more you promote what you do, the more money you will make.”

She gave us a teaser into her following as we watched her number of followers skyrocket within minute will documenting behind the scenes footage. “I will get up to 10,000 viewers at a time over social media,” she added.

Sometimes, however, she receives unwanted or uncalled for messages, but sees that as a part of the game. Rolling with those punches, she jabs back, finding her centre in good feedback.

Coco also dares to be different by turning her focus to her new business ventures: her Khighlash beauty collection, consisting lashes, lipsticks, lip gloss and brush sets, promotions of events and pages through her followers on social media, as well as her website that she launched on January 1. There, viewers can find exclusive content. They can subscribe for membership for one to three months and are given insight into Coco’s world. She may seem shy to those who meet her, but once it's go time, she effortlessly lets her body do all the talking.

She loves that her job creates opportunities to meet many new and interesting people, but noted that while the money is good, it is important to be smart about how you go about making it. Her advice for potential exotic dancers is this, “Save and invest. Try to have plans and goals, set them and accomplish them, because otherwise you will be dancing for years and you will just be another dancer. You want to be someone that people look up to.”

With the quote “Sometimes you’ve got to fall before you fly” tattooed on her left shoulder, she uses this as her mantra to make it in life, flying over her circumstances to success, as she embraces exotica.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com