Ironic, isn't it? The thing that would bring me out of blog silence would be the sport I dislike most.
Yes, football. The Super Bowl. The Big Game.
I've been struggling with my thoughts since Sunday night, when I came downstairs after putting my son to bed and my husband hit rewind so I could catch the half-time show. He knows it's the only part I like. Except this year it wasn't; this year the only part of the night I liked was watching survivors from Sandy Hook Elementary School sing "America the Beautiful."
As talented as Beyonce is, I'll never like the fact that she utilizes her body as a marketing tool and allows people across the world to see her as a sex object. I'll never enjoy watching her lick her finger and rub it down her chest. I'll never smile as she writhes on the floor. I just won't.
I'll wager that millions of Americans were excited by it, and Beyonce is no dummy. She knows this. She's known this for a long time. Years ago I watched her teach Oprah how to shake her booty on Oprah's afternoon talk show.
Please don't think I am pointing my finger merely at her. She is but one of thousands of women who have allowed themselves to be exploited by some form of media, and in many ways they are all victims. But you know what? Victim or perpetrator, it's wrong.
I saw the now infamous Go Daddy commercial before the Super Bowl even aired, and I admit I struggled with how to feel about it. Why did it disgust me? Why are we so revolted by a chubby geek kissing a beautiful woman? Are we (am I?) really as shallow as the ad producers think we are? But the more I think about it, the more I realize his geekiness and her hotness aren't the point at all. As Lisa-Jo Baker said more eloquently than I can, "There was not even the decency of pretense. No facade of intimacy,
romance or relationship. There was just sex dressed up as a kiss that
was intended to revolt. And generate sales." In other words, the Go Daddy commercial was just another version of the half-time show -- sex dressed up for sales.
Lest you think Lisa-Jo is a football hater like me, who went into the night with a negative attitude, let me share her words: "There is an awesomeness to the spectacular of the Super Bowl. A modern
man’s arena, a Herculean struggle between athletes that have hurt and
trained and arrived to take home a piece of history. [...] I get the symbolism and the patriotism and the flat out, crazy fun of the moment."
Unlike me, Lisa-Jo is not anti-football. Her hot emotion stemmed from the embarrassment and shock of her 5-year-old and 7-year-old boys after watching all those commercials. (They were not at home, or else Lisa-Jo says she would have changed the channel.) The one that disturbed them most was the young man trying to take his favorite t-shirt off a sleeping young woman and sneak out of the house. How does a mom explain that scenario to two little boys? One day I'll have to know the answer to that question, because even if we throw away our television, I can't lock Henry in our house forever.
Until that day, I'm encouraged by this timely article, "Confessions of a 'Prude,'" from Relevantmagazine.com. See, making remarks like those I've made today isn't popular. Not even in church. Maybe especially not in church. Nobody wants to be the self-righteous goody-goody who has no fun. But that's not at all what I want to endorse. What I want to say is that it's ok to be disturbed by too much skin, too much sex for sale. It is possible to be both modest and culturally relevant.
My favorite part of the article is when Andrew Byers says, "I have no interest in promoting the trends of legalism, moralism and cultural irrelevance that the Church just can't seem to shake. My point, rather, is that innocence is precious and that preserving it is not a vice." If you have 5 minutes, read his entire article for yourself. I'll be back soon with more of my thoughts on modesty.
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