Christian singer Matthew West has apologized for his "Modest Is Hottest" satire after critics claimed his lighthearted message contained damaging references to purity culture.
West released the "ridiculously silly" song as a way of reminding his two daughters that "their appearance doesn't define them."
But the song quickly sparked debate over "purity culture" and how West's satire seemed to perpetuate potentially harmful ideologies. West then apologized Thursday evening and removed the video from his social media accounts.
"I'm blessed to be the father of two amazing daughters," he wrote in a post on his social media accounts, including Twitter. "I wrote a song poking fun at myself for being an over-protective dad and my family thought it was funny." He wrote of the song's satirical nature and admitted that it was not received as it was intended.
June 25, 2021
"I've taken the feedback to heart," West continued. "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."
Social media users started discussions based on the long-debated message clothing sends to the world. Purity culture has become a hot-button buzz word and the basis for many a joke, but also for vulnerable and honest discussions on how to best encourage purity in the next generation.
Many criticized West, who asserted that men must take responsibility for their temptations, instead of placing it on the shoulders of young women.
"The 'age-old struggle' is actually women feeling responsible for men's sins," author and activist Sheila Wray Gregoire wrote on Twitter, echoing a line from the song. "I know many think this is cute and fun, but obsessing over girls' bodies without making reference to boys' responsibility is part of the problem.
"Let's raise girls (and boys) in a healthy way instead," she suggested.
Many also came to West's defense.
"You're the best father to our girls and husband. Let's get back to focusing on what matters most. Love you!" his wife, Emily, commented on the Instagram post.
Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury also commended West for his humorous song. "Who in the world could have a problem with that?? Stay you, Matthew!!! The song is hilarious and brilliant!!" she wrote.
What did you think of West's song? Is purity culture to blame, or is this an attempt to cancel him? Let us know in the comments of our Facebook post.
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