While looks certainly aren’t everything when it comes to being a successful dancer, they sure are an important factor. One thing to remember is that strippers come in all shapes, ages, sizes, and colors, and there’s a customer for everyone.

At the same time, there are some “types” of girls who get hired more easily in certain clubs. Especially in Manhattan, it’s often easier to get hired if you’re young, thin, and white or a light-skinned woman of color. If you don’t fit that type, you may have fewer options for where to work, and you may have to work harder to make your money.

As a dark-skinned black woman, the number of clubs I can work at are limited. Even though I walk in looking fine, management just sees my race and automatically tells me they aren’t hiring. I know that’s not true, because my white friend may have just been hired at that same club! – Stacey

Once, I had a customer who told me he liked older dancers like me, but that they were hard to find – too many of the girls were young and he thought they were immature. – Isabel

Because I’m a thicker girl, I’ve had trouble getting hired at some of the higher-end clubs. Actually, when I was working in Manhattan, the manager would stand and stare at me while I ate lunch and would sometimes criticize me and my size when he saw me eating. It felt pretty awful. – Jennifer

This can be a tough industry to work in and it’s easy to start to feel bad about ourselves — or our coworkers — when we face this daily pressure to look a certain way. Of course, we all know that the days when we feel hot are often our best days on the job, and New York City is a great place to snag spa deals, great haircuts and blowouts, discount waxing and hair removal, and even explore surgical treatment if you choose that route. (Check out our Resource section for some stores and salons we like!)

But if you find yourself spending a lot of money just to fit in at work, make sure it’s worth it to you — that you are making that money back and then some. You may be able to spend less, make more, and feel better about yourself at a club that’s more relaxed. (See our Choosing a Club section.)