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Christian musician slammed for ‘Modest is Hottest’ song that promotes ‘purity culture’

Social media users are blasting a Christian musician after he released a music video for a song called ‘Modest is Hottest’ — in which he tells his daughters to dress ‘a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian.’

Grammy-nominated performer Matthew West, 44, released the song on Father’s Day, as well as a music video that stars his wife and two daughters, Luella, 15, and Delaney, 12.

The song’s lyrics have West urging his daughters to cover up in turtlenecks, sensible slacks, and bathing suits, while he demonstrates hiding their bodies with more layers and blankets in the music video.

But on TikTok and Instagram, commenters are calling out the singer for promoting harmful ‘purity culture,’ which ‘sexualizes and objectifies women’ and teaches girls that they are ‘sex objects that exist for the approval, pleasure, and entertainment of men.’

Covered up: Christian singer Matthew West released a music video for a song called ‘Modest is Hottest’ — in which he tells his daughters to dress ‘a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian’

No skin! The song's lyrics have West urging his daughters to cover up in turtlenecks, sensible slacks, and bathing suits, while he demonstrates hiding their bodies with more layers

No skin! The song’s lyrics have West urging his daughters to cover up in turtlenecks, sensible slacks, and bathing suits, while he demonstrates hiding their bodies with more layers

Off YouTube: Luella, 15, and Delaney, 12, look annoyed and embarrassed in the video, which Matthew, 44, released on Father's Day — but has since deleted in the face of backlash

Off YouTube: Luella, 15, and Delaney, 12, look annoyed and embarrassed in the video, which Matthew, 44, released on Father’s Day — but has since deleted in the face of backlash

Since the backlash grew to a fever pitch, West has deleted the song from YouTube — but social media clips featuring the music live on.

‘Dear daughter,’ it begins. ‘It’s me your father / I think it’s time we had a talk. / The boys are coming round ’cause you’re beautiful / And it’s all your mother’s fault.

‘And I’ve been trying hard to raise you up right / No drinking, no smoking, no swearing / But your old man’s got a little more advice / When it comes to the clothes that you’re wearing, listen.

He then gets to the chorus, which makes his message clear: He wants his tween and teen daughters to cover their bodies.

‘Modest is hottest,’ he sings. ‘The latest fashion trend / Is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian. / What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks. / Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad.’

One verse in particular has been widely shared on TikTok. West tells his daughters that if he catches them ‘doing dances on the TikTok in a crop top,’ they’ll be ‘grounded till the world stops.’

He also sings that parents pray that God make their daughters ‘more like Jesus and less like Cardi B.’

Shame: West tells his daughters that if he catches them ' doing dances on the TikTok i n a crop top,' they'll be 'grounded till the world stops'

Shame: West tells his daughters that if he catches them ‘ doing dances on the TikTok i n a crop top,’ they’ll be ‘grounded till the world stops’

Pop culture references: He also sings that parents pray that God make their daughters 'more like Jesus and less like Cardi B'

Pop culture references: He also sings that parents pray that God make their daughters ‘more like Jesus and less like Cardi B’

Ladies only: The song makes no mention of young boys, only girls — and, critics say, promotes the idea that women and girls are responsible for the thoughts and actions of men

Ladies only: The song makes no mention of young boys, only girls — and, critics say, promotes the idea that women and girls are responsible for the thoughts and actions of men

The song makes no mention of young boys, only girls — and, critics say, promotes the idea that women and girls are responsible for the thoughts and actions of men. 

‘“Modest is hottest” still centers men and their preferences in how women should look — still sets being found hot by men as the ultimate goal for women — and positions all men as creeps who can’t handle seeing a woman’s bare skin without turning into out of control monsters,’ tweeted Audrey Assad. 

‘“Modest is hottest” is a grooming narrative to get women to accept that they are sex objects that exist for the approval, pleasure, and entertainment of men. Therefore, it is also a way to normalize predatory behavior in men and avoid accountability when they abuse women,’ wrote Jo Luehmann.

A woman named Abby Baker called the ‘gross’ song a ‘perfect example of how purity culture in churches places all blame on young women.

‘I vaguely remember Jesus saying TO MEN “if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out”….but anyway,’ she added.

Others linked the language to rape culture, arguing that it promotes the idea that some girls are ‘asking for it.’ 

On TikTok, men and women alike have made videos reacting to the song, with many pulling disgusted and horrified faces

Some have laughed, while others have called it a 'hate crime'

They’re not fans: On TikTok, men and women alike have made videos reacting to the song, with many pulling disgusted and horrified faces — and others laughing

Lives on: Though the YouTube video has been deleted, people are sharing clips of the song on TikTok

Lives on: Though the YouTube video has been deleted, people are sharing clips of the song on TikTok

Critics have says it 'sounds like it was written by your creepy youth pastor' and 'is more likely to kill me' then COVID-19

Critics have says it 'sounds like it was written by your creepy youth pastor' and 'is more likely to kill me' then COVID-19

Critics have says it ‘sounds like it was written by your creepy youth pastor’ and ‘is more likely to kill me’ then COVID-19

‘It starts with “modest is hottest” and turns into “well what were you wearing? We’re you drinking? I don’t think he meant to take advantage of you.” And neither of those will be taught to my daughter,’ wrote another Twitter user 

While social media has been flooded with women criticizing the video, quite a few men have slammed West, too.

‘It’s important for men/brothers to speak up cuz women shouldn’t have to carry the burden of calling out viral misogyny in the church alone. “Modest is hottest” is a misogynistic & even toxic phrase & concept,’ wrote Kyle J. Howard.

‘It is a toxic phrase as it does the very thing it is claiming to seek to end; it sexualizes & objectifies women. The phrase & concept is still on the spectrum of sexualized objectification; it just finds itself on the far left rather than far right of spectrum,’ he added.

‘Modest is Hottest by Matthew West is a prime example of why purity culture is a flaming pile of perverted misogyny. Teach your boys not to sexualize girls instead of teaching girls to accommodate the boys,’ said another man. 

Several people have also called him out for ‘body-shaming his own daughters.’ 

Called out: Commenters are calling out the singer for promoting harmful 'purity culture,' which 'sexualizes and objectifies women' and teaches girls that they are 'sex objects that exist for the approval, pleasure, and entertainment of men'

Called out: Commenters are calling out the singer for promoting harmful ‘purity culture,’ which ‘sexualizes and objectifies women’ and teaches girls that they are ‘sex objects that exist for the approval, pleasure, and entertainment of men’

On TikTok, men and women alike have made videos reacting to the song, with many pulling disgusted and horrified faces — and others laughing.

One video came from an Oklahoma Pastor named Jeremy Coleman, who performed his own parody of West’s song.

‘If I catch you doing dances on the TikTok, wear what you want, girl just go off,’ he sand. ‘Hold your head up so your crown doesn’t fall off. / You’re a queen if you forgot, so just wear what you want. / The latest fashion trends, I probably won’t get, but it’s not for me to understand.

‘If the boys act like pigs, tell ’em I’ll gouge out their eyes / ’cause I’ve got some shovels and some alibis, so just wear what you want and I’ll love you till I die.’

Coleman, who has three daughters of his own, also blasted West’s song in an interview with Newsweek. 

‘We are telling our daughters and young women that their body image should be defined by someone else’s opinion. Women should feel confident, comfortable, and free to dress and express themselves however they want,’ he said.  

Takedown: Some linked the language to rape culture, arguing that it promotes the idea that some girls are 'asking for it.'

Takedown: Some linked the language to rape culture, arguing that it promotes the idea that some girls are ‘asking for it.’

‘Telling them to dress a certain way to be “less attractive” is reverse body shaming. We are in essence telling them that they should be uncomfortable with who they are because of what others, namely men, think of their body.’

He added that men who are ‘unable to appreciate women without sexualizing them’ are the problem.

‘Women are far too often shamed and blamed for the abhorrent behavior of men. So the idea of “Modest Is Hottest” is saying that because men can’t control their lustful desires, you have to change who you are. It’s the same mentality that inevitably produces victim blaming for sexual abuse victims,’ he said.

But West has maintained that the whole song was ‘satire’ — despite the fact that at one point he says ‘just kidding’ and then ‘no I’m not.’

‘As a dad raising daughters, this song is my ridiculously silly way of reminding them that their appearance doesn’t define them. While the world might focus on the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart. Regardless, they are beautiful inside and out! (Even in turtlenecks),’ he initially said.  

Just a joke, guys! West has maintained that the whole song was 'satire' — despite the fact that at one point he says 'just kidding' and then 'no I'm not'

Just a joke, guys! West has maintained that the whole song was ‘satire’ — despite the fact that at one point he says ‘just kidding’ and then ‘no I’m not’

'The song was created as satire, and I realize some people did not receive it as it was intended,' he said

‘The song was created as satire, and I realize some people did not receive it as it was intended,’ he said

But as the backlash grew, he addressed those who have expressed anger at the song and video.

‘I’m blessed to be the father of two amazing daughters,’ he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. 

‘I wrote a song poking fun at myself for being an over-protective dad and my family thought it was funny. The song was created as satire, and I realize some people did not receive it as it was intended.  

‘I’ve taken the feedback to heart. The last thing I want is to distract from the real reason why I make music: to spread a message of hope and love to the world,’ he concluded.

The video is no longer available on YouTube, though it is on Spotify. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk