Bonnie Rotten is only 20 years old, but she was the frontrunner and eventual winner of the Female Performer of the Year at the 2014 AVN Awards.

Every year in January, the talent and business ends of porn get together in Las Vegas where the winners of a seemingly endless list of categories are announced. There are smaller awards for “Best Condom Manufacturer” and “Best Lubricant,” then niche awards for things like “Best Threesome (M/M/F and F/F/M), or Best Dramatic Parody, but the big awards are obviously best film, female performer of the year and male performer of the year.

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Like any awards show, the winners accept their trophy on stage and deliver a sometimes tearful acceptance speech. They thank their fans, agents and fellow performers and put the trophy on their proverbial mantle, hoping to win again the following year.

Traditionally, the Female Performer of the Year is the girl next door — with a kink or two. All the way from 1993 when the AVNs began, it’s been a stream of pretty blonds and brunettes — with the occasional redheads. Tori Black won in both 2010 and 2011. The notorious Sasha Grey was 2008. It was Bobbi Starr — professional trained on the oboe — in 2012, and Asa Akira, the AVNs second Asian Female Performer of the Year since Asia Carrera, in 2012.

Rotten, on the other hand, is covered in tattoos, including a chest piece and spiderwebs around each nipple. She’s got punk rock hair, is often clad in black and looks more likely to be found in a metal bar than in a novelty shop. One has to wonder if Rotten winning the coveted award is a sign of changing tastes.

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Rotten certainly isn’t the first tattooed porn starlet. Joanna Angel and her troupe of performers have been releasing titles under the name Burning Angel for years, and it was arguably Angel who started the adult hardcore alt porn trend. Angel is also almost a household name — depending on the household — with her numerous crossover appearances. However, none of those girls have ever taken home Female Performer of the Year, and have traditionally been referred to as “alternative” stars, despite their massive fan bases and Angel’s appearances in AVN promotional materials.

With Rotten taking home the top prize in 2014, fans of inked beauties can only hope this signifies a changing taste and the next layer of acceptance for the rocker look that could cross over into mainstream territory. Maybe a future Vogue cover will feature a mohawk and some body mods.

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