Tuesday, April 30, 2013


This thought occurred as I was out jogging, but because I had read here and here.  I'm channeling evangelicals and fundamentalists on this.  This is part one.


What's wrong with Victoria's Secret™ models?  Nothing.  That's right -- nothing.  Why?  Here are several reasons:

  1. The only reason you could think it was wrong is if you are fatter and uglier than they are, and you're just jealous.  Get over it.
  2. The only other reason you could think it was wrong is if your wife or girlfriend are fatter and uglier than they are, and you're just jealous.  By the way, that's obvious.
  3. They've made it.  They're successful.  They've had to be successful to become a Victoria's Secret™ model, and you're jealous of they're success.  That's easy to see.
  4. The Bible doesn't say it's wrong to be a Victoria's Secret™ model, and so if you judge it to be wrong, you're adding to scripture like a Pharisee.  You are "above that which is written," because the words "Victoria's Secret™ model" do not appear in the Bible.  And for good measure, you are making the traditions of men into the commandments of God.
  5. You are straining at a gnat by criticizing Victoria's Secret™ models, and that's why there's nothing wrong.
  6. You are ignoring the weightier things of the law by bringing up Victoria's Secret™ models, and that's why there's nothing wrong.
  7. You are minimizing the gospel by criticizing Victoria's Secret™ models, and that's why there's nothing wrong.
  8. The Bible doesn't tell us how long clothes should be, what should be covered, and there are not any pictures.
  9. God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.
  10. Immodesty is an inward problem and not an outward problem, anyway.
  11. If you say Victoria's Secret™ models are wrong, you are trying to cleanse the outside of the cup, like a Pharisee again.
  12. People who think immodesty is an outward problem are moralists.
  13. You can't judge Victoria's Secret™ models to be unsaved, because salvation is by grace through faith and not by works.
  14. Beyond total nudity, the Bible doesn't have any rules of modesty, so if you say Victoria's Secret™ models are wrong, then you are adding rules like the Pharisees did with Sabbath violations.
  15. Saying Victoria's Secret™ models are wrong is living according to culture and not according to the Bible, so you're putting culture ahead of theology.


Joshua said...

I'll give honest evangelical answers while trying to be as charitable as possible to them:

1. VS modelling is wrong because the Bible clearly propounds modesty and wearing nothing but erotic underwear is starkly immodest - at least to my current sensibilities which are informed by a hybrid of fundamentalist forbears yet worldly contemporaries.

2. VS modelling is clearly wrong because I do not know any self professed "real" Christian who would be comfortable doing this.

3. VS modelling must be wrong because all the big names I respect in evangelicalism would be happy to identify it as wrong also.

4. VS modelling must be wrong because there is no debate among right-thinking evangelicals regarding this, so I don't have to call for epistemological humility.

5. If called upon, I would be happy to invoke any number of verses that clearly imply that this is immodest and wrong... but I am only happy to apply such verses where there is no chance it will condemn my friends. None of my friends are VS models, so I would be happy to do so.

In my estimation, that is the sum total of standard evangelical thinking on the matter. Everybody (currently) "gets it" on VS modelling. That said, none will engage you on this because they will be forced to try to define why their arguments for modesty against VS models don't apply in other areas.

Any precise thought and consistent application on the matter of modesty is going to cause them a lot of problems, because that's not how they arrived at their position. Their position on modesty was thrust upon them by the culture and the churches they grew up in/joined, and all arguments in favor of it have been loosely assembled to justify what they see as a reasonable compromise between the Biblical call for modesty and current fashion realities.

More to the point, it would cost a lot of your antagonistic readers dearly to come to a consistent position on modesty - they would become pariahs in both their churches and their wider culture.

It's not pretty, but it's just the way it is sadly.

For those who are antagonistic yet saved, I believe that as our Western culture becomes more depraved and their churches follow it, eventually they will start to kick up a fuss and end up without the camp over it. For those who aren't, they'll just keep sailing on for the ride.

Thanks for this post. It's an excellent tool for examining the modesty issue and the hypocrisy that goes with it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Joshua,

Very interesting, especially with your background. I can't comment on your comment, but I don't think I need to, because it stands on its own. My second post will bring some analysis. You definitely understood what was going on.