Seeing for Yourself: Expecting More from
the “Stripper with a Heart of Gold”
Alexa Erb
From "Lessons," 1.08 The Wire
hardene Innes is a familiar character: the
stripper or prostitute with a heart of gold.
Modern audiences have seen this trope
countless times in popular culture including the
subject of Ed Sheeran’s song “A Team,” Satin in Moulin
Rouge, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman the list goes
on and on. Viewers often find themselves rooting for
the “good girl” who has found herself in a less-than-
ideal situation. As Americans, we love to cheer for the
underdog, a category this stock character fits into quite
nicely. But, it goes deeper than that. The character of
Shardene, though lovable, reinforces the shallow, one-
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