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Taylor Swift Ditches Purity and Embraces Feminism

By: Lisa Hallahan (guest)

A few months ago was the launch of Taylor Swift’s new and “improved” album, 1989. Girls everywhere are raving about the new pop icon’s greatest success and her amazing new style of music. I can’t help but notice that Taylor got her popularity by singing about broken relationships and whimsical love stories.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating on Taylor Swift. I used to truly respect and look up to this girl.

Taylor was my fashion icon for several years.

She wore beautifully vintage feminine dresses and adorable, chic feminine clothes. I used to be able to relate to her on several issues in life and was ecstatic to find out that she wanted to be a stay at home mom and that she loves feeling like a “1950’s housewife.”

Here is what she told an interviewer for Harpers Bazaar in 2012: “Being a mom full time, doing everything for my kids, having a bunch of them. One day. But that’s the only other thing that could be as thrilling for me as doing this.”

But I think materialism and the coldness of this modern age crept into Taylor’s beautiful vision and corroded it. As of late, Miss Swift has traded in her cute retro dresses and long hair for crop tops, miniskirts, bralettes with tight leather pants and short hair. She has told many magazines, including Rolling Stones, People Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The Huffington Post that she has recently come to “embrace feminism and her independence.”

So, what am I getting at?

All I know is that the girl who was once considered “America’s Sweetheart” is now a new pop goddess coming alongside Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry. It’s sad to see that Taylor has thrown away her innocent, sweet personality for that of a modern, sexy, pop star.

This article isn’t about Taylor Swift but about the word purity.

When someone reads or hears the word “purity” mentioned they cringe. It’s not a very popular topic these days and that shouldn’t come as a shock. Purity isn’t valued in schools, churches, governments, movies, music or among our peers; why should it be of any value to us?

Purity is a thing of the past. Or some would say.

I would like to challenge you to join me for just a few minutes as we go deeper and explore the true meaning of purity and how it can and will benefit us and those around us. Many people think that purity means being pure sexually and still having your virginity coming into a marriage. While this belief is somewhat true, it isn’t the whole summation of the word.

According to the Webster Dictionary the word “Purity” means this:

  1. Cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; as purity of heart or life.
  2. Chastity; freedom from contamination by illicit sexual connection. Purity of motives.
  3. Freedom from improper words or phrases; as purity of style or language.

Purity is a lifestyle, not a virtue or fruit of the Spirit or moral. It is a way of life. The word “Freedom” sounds amazing and we think it’s a word that belongs in the history books or in political board meetings. But did you see how many times the word freedom was used in the dictionary’s definition for the word PURITY?

Purity = Freedom.

Imagine not having the pressure to be the most popular girl around by dressing like the latest celebrity or model. Freedom! Imagine being free from the culture’s demands to be on top of everything. Freedom!

Living a life of purity brings us that freedom.

Choosing God’s way of life and having the mind of Christ frees us from the 21st century’s mindset that enslaves us to its way of thinking. Can you remember not having a care in the world when you were a little kid? Jesus wants us to return to the freedom of thinking and living in that same mindset.

Free from the ways of the world. Free from peer pressure.

Purity is having God’s thinking and mindset for yourself and for others.

It gives us an idea of what and who God says we are; NOT THE WORLD. Paul says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Knowing what God says about you and who you are is more important than listening to the culture tell you what and who you are not. Search God’s Word and learn how He thinks of you.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3

I think this quote goes along perfectly with what I’m trying to say:

“As twenty-first century women, how can we “put to death” and “put away” impurity? How can we reflect Christ outwardly? We are called to wage our war for purity in a culture where biblical femininity is no longer valued. By today’s standards, an ideal woman is independent, financially successful, sexually alluring and open-minded, and heavily invested in her outward appearance.

This ideal is foisted upon us in school, in the workplace, and in grocery store checkout lines, and it has crept into the church and into our homes. By large, we aren’t encouraged to be biblically feminine. But since biblical femininity lies at the core of a woman’s purity, we must fight for it…” – Lydia Brownback

Purity is worth fighting for!

Wage war girl!

Let’s wage war with the cliché, American, modern culture that steals our joy and femininity and begin a generation of smart, intelligent, confident, pure, femininely  beautiful women who seek to put God above the standards of today.

Purity is not a thing of the past. It can be for today. It can be for you, and it can be for me. I encourage you to search the Bible for verses that mention the word purity or pure.

But remember: it’s a lifestyle, not just a word.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it blesses you in some way. Let’s take it a little deeper and make it more personal. Ask yourself the following questions and feel free to leave your answers or thoughts in the comments below.

  • Have you been sold the world’s viewpoint on the word purity?
  • Have you felt enslaved to modern culture?
  • How will you begin to live a life of purity?
  • Will you accept who God tells you you are and make His love for you your new identity?

I would love to hear from you at any time. God bless!

You can read more from Lisa Hallahan over at A Lovely Calling .

Photo credit: /www.flickr.com | Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Taylor Swift Concert Music Singing

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  • Grace

    I think what you said is awesome! It’s sad that society chooses to idolise these sorts of things instead of looking to give praise to God through things such as being pure. Thank you for this post, it has helped me understand this topic ALLOT more.

    🙂

    -Grace

  • Elisabeth

    Yeah, I totally agree!!Have you noticed how society is pushing all the rotten fility stuff on us with just enough good to get by and calling perfect. Yet when really all the things are are wrong and depressing.It still very evedent, that deep down most people would still rather have the good and pure thing along with what they really like.Now days more then ever people are going back to more of the old things, because their the only things that are decent enough.

    • Elizabeth Williams

      So true! I totally agree! What the world is offering girls, including Taylor Swift, is something that is so temporary and not truly fulfilling. It won’t last.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I think it is sad that Taylor Swift is buying into the lies that the culture is putting out there. Especially because she used to be the one that was different. However, I understand that as far as we know, she isn’t a Christian, and I guess you can’t expect much different. I get tired of the way people like Lady Gaga,Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, etc. keep acting as if the things they do are so great. I’m thinking “Uh no, you’re just buying into the lie that so many other girls before you have bought into.” And like with Miley Cyrus and the like, they have just cheapened themselves so much. What’s sad is that they may be happy for now, but what they have is so temporary and will not last.

    • Guest

      What lie?

      • Elizabeth Williams

        The lie that sexualizing yourself is going to free you and make you happier with yourself. Undress, show off what you have. Why I understand the argument of embracing yourself for who you are, how God has made you, people that just sexualize themselves and put their bodies out there for the world to see are never going to have that respect they crave, and they will get attention, but it won’t be the good kind. And the popularity they have? It will fade away and will only leave them longing for something more.

  • Cee

    You need to reflect on why you feel the need to ostracize and criticize Taylor Swift for what she wears. Focusing on appearance rather than her character is indicative of a person who places more value on the outward than the inward. Everyone needs to be aware that they are subject to a certain level of conditioning from their dominant culture. I understand that Christianity (your dominant culture) calls you to be overly critical of women’s bodies, but just think about how perverse that is. It’s incredibly inappropriate to fixate on a woman’s body the way you have in this post. With one of your primary virtues being modesty (something that is inherently tied to and reliant upon physical appearance) you have effectively determined that the best way to determine who she is a person, is by judging what she wears.

    Just in anticipation of a comment saying this blog post was not judgmental, I’ll quote two sentences:

    “It’s sad to see that Taylor has thrown away her innocent, sweet personality for that of a modern, sexy, pop star.”

    “As of late, Miss Swift has traded in her cute retro dresses and long hair for crop tops, miniskirts, bralettes with tight leather pants and short hair.”

    Writing conveys tone. The tone within these sentences is disapproving. This is judging that she used to live a valuable life, and that she has now thrown it away and become the opposite of “innocent” and “sweet” which apparently is “sad.”

    Ultimately, I ask that you take time to seriously consider the focus of your post. Whether or not you understand, you are promoting a mindset that a person’s physical appearance is the bar by which we judge their character. This is altogether ignorant, unhelpful and inappropriate.

    • CT

      Hi Cee,

      As the author originally stated as well, “This article isn’t about Taylor Swift”. The subject of Taylor Swift is a tool the writer is using to bring up a subject that the readers can relate to once she starts talking about the focus of her post, that is, purity. And with regards to your comment, I do believe that, in American society, what type of clothing a person wears typically parallels their inner character. The trend of blatantly showing off skin (not like an accidental shirt hiking up, but purposely wearing a crop top because you purposely desire to show off your abdominal skin) exemplifies an attitude of “I want to be rebellious”. I can say that from my own life. At one point, I wore a pair of shorts that were barely long enough to pass my mom’s approval. But at school, I folded them up to make them look like short shorts. Why? I knew my mom wouldn’t approve of it, but in my heart, I had an attitude of opposing her standards and lowering my standards when I could get away with it. I praise Jesus that He has changed my attitude toward this subject of modesty since then; as I desire to dress modestly, it is because I love Him for dying on the cross for my sins so that I might have eternal life. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sins and I desire, out of love, not duty, to live in a way that brings honor to Him. I am not trying to brag, but I now live with an attitude of respect and submission toward my Savior out of love, and respect and submission to my parents because I know that God has placed this godly Christian authority in my life.

      • Cee

        She can state that it’s not about her, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s about Taylor Swift, but beyond that, it’s about all women. Taylor is meant to represent a certain kind of woman who’s life choices are deemed unacceptable by a certain culture. I understand that you think it’s reasonable to judge a person’s personality and character by their appearance, but I can assure you it’s foolish and will lead you to see the world in a very narrow way. And, I’ll say again, fixation on women’s bodies of any kind is founded in a deep societal attempt to control women’s bodies. Being part of that is an awful legacy to leave. While I have little hope that you will truly understand this, I will continue to explain so that you can at least consider the implication of this mindset.

        • Lisa Hallahan

          Hi Cee,

          I understand what you are saying and would like to simply say that I absolutely love Taylor Swift. This article wasn’t meant to bash her in any way because I can’t stand when people criticize and judge others-especially people they have never met. Taylor is a very genuinely kind hearted young woman, She cares for her friends and family and loves all of her fans and give to lots of charities.

          But I can’t help but notice that she has adopted a lot of the modern trend of a feministic lifestyle. I simply used her as an example of how some people-even some of the most beautiful well meaning girls can change due to worldly impressionism.

          I wish more than ever that God would grab a hold of Taylor’s heart and that she would fall into His loving arms. Wouldn’t that be a mighty witness?! =)

          I hope this sheds some light on why I had mentioned her in my article… God bless! <3

          • Great thoughts Lisa! Thanks for sharing so boldly 🙂

    • Hannah.

      I completely agree! Thanks for this… Also, the comment about Taylor going from long to short hair – as if that’s somehow a terrible thing to do and a sign of moral decay – is utterly ludicrous.

  • Sammie

    Thank you, Kristen and Bethany, for this post. Thank you for not shying away from Biblical truths! Sisters, we need to help encourage one another in the Truth, as the Bible says, “Ironing sharpening iron.” It’s not easy these days for Christians to stand up against the lies of our culture. Even many Christians buy the lie! They say that what you display on the outward ( unbiblical speech, actions and clothing) has nothing to do with your inward heart. Matt. 12:34- “out of the heart the mouth speaks”! Your speech and outward actions shouts loudly of what’s in your heart! Don’t buy the lie… Let’s stand together for the Truth! It may mean cleaning up and doing inventory of our hearts!
    Sisters, we need one another to help stand for biblical truth and holiness. Remember, it’s not “how close we can come to mimicking the world and call ourselves Christians”, it’s, “how close can we come to mimicking Christ and reflect His love and truth to a lost and dying world!!”

  • Gem

    I truly believe in purity! there is unexplainable joy once you stayed pure and wait until marriage which most people missed out bec of wrong perspectives.

  • Abby

    I loved thos post!! The world has really messed up our minds. They tell us that the key to happiness is basically everything impure. SO not true. Taylor Swift is not a good role model, and sadly many Christian girls haven’t realized that they are falling into a trap looking up to her.

  • Hannah.

    I love Taylor Swift and am so glad she has begun to embrace feminism. No, she isn’t a perfect role model, but girls need strong, driven, creative women to look up to. I think she’s incredibly talented but I used to have issues with the way she sometimes portrayed herself as a helpless girl who need romantic affection to be happy. That’s why I’m so glad to see her embrace feminism and show girls that women are good enough on their own.

    I do agree that it’s sad to see her image become increasingly sexualized. Unfortunately our society has so little respect for women and their art that many women feel that they need to be physically appealing in order to be recognized.

    I’m sure you would agree with me on that- but here’s a shocker: so would feminists.

    I think you people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism is. It isn’t always about destroying the family unit or shaming motherhood or giving free abortions to all. At its core, feminism is simply the notion that women are equal to men and therefore deserve the same rights, opportunities and respect. Feminism seeks to put an end to the objectification and disrespect our society has towards women. You don’t have to be a homosexual or, in my opinion, pro-abortion, to be a feminist. You can be a Christian Feminist – and I think we all should be. I think God is the biggest feminist out there. He fully believes in the dignity and worth of the women He created, and He wants us to have the opportunity to live out the unique plan He has created for us – whether it be in a domestic or non-domestic role.

    Also, she hasn’t “ditched” purity. She has never professed to be a christian or that she is remaining abstinent, so why should we expect her to adhere to the values of purity culture? ( And don’t even get me started on the destructiveness of purity culture – a blasphemous, misogynistic system that twists the Word of God in order to teach girls that their sexual experiences are the most important thing about them and that obeying and pleasing men is their sole role in life – but that’s another issue altogether)

    One other thing. The fact that you think they way she dresses tells so much about who she is – for example, when you say
    “As of late, Miss Swift has traded in her cute retro dresses and long hair for crop tops, miniskirts, bralettes with tight leather pants and short hair.”

    – seems, to me, an awful lot like you think that her changing fashion tastes are directly correlated to her morality – which is shallow and fickle. Also, are you actually criticizing her for having “short” hair? Please give me a break.

    Just my two cents worth. I pray that more Christians will see the light and begin to understand that women are people – and that it’s honourable to defend them.

    • Kat

      I felt that my up-vote just wasn’t doing enough to endorse this comment. You are so right on about everything here (including the part about the destructiveness of purity/modesty culture; in fact, I would encourage anyone scrolling through this to just take a quick moment to google search “the problem with modesty”).

      Thank you for defending women whom the Lord loves and values. This (and you, I’m sure) is wonderful.

  • caroline

    Just as purity does not have to be a thing of the past, things of the past do not always equate to purity. If God has created someone to live the life of a “fifties housewife”– that is awesome; God’s plans are truly awesome! However, not all women are created for that role. Esther and Mary Magdelene were not. Their God-given roles were no less worthy than a homemaker’s.
    Maybe Taylor Swift found that God did not create her for that role either. But she’s only 20-something, and she still has time for that, if it’s her calling. God gave her the talent, guts, and smarts that have gotten her where she is in her career right now, even if her image is becoming more sexualized.
    Faltering on your path does not necessarily mean it is the wrong path. David could have continued living the life of a shepherd boy he was born into, but instead, he became a king. He made many mistakes of a sexual nature along the way, even sending a man to his death because David lusted after his wife. In the long run, he was considered Israel’s greatest king and a man after God’s own heart.

  • DBM092015

    I am confused by this post. It seems like the author is implying that feminism is a bad thing. Am I misreading? I feel like the author is invalidly contrasting the words “purity” and “feminism” as if the two go against each other. The Webster’s dictionary defines the word “feminism” as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” I don’t see how that is even close to a bad thing as it is implied to be in this article. Feminism is not the belief that women should be more powerful than men or that women should hate men. The Bible is actually in favor of feminism. Take 1 Corinthians 11:11, for example: “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.” I think this verse speaks for itself. God created men and women equally as we see in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” The word for “man” that is used in the phrase: “So God created man in his own image…” is used when speaking of mankind, aka “people.” God created people is his own image…all people…men AND women. Don’t think that I am missing this point of this article, because I am not. I am saddened that Taylor has changed in the past few years. I still think she is a talented artist. Everyone stumbles. I think the key is to pray for Taylor. She is in front of millions and millions of people. We can’t imagine how hard it is to stay strong under those circumstances. And as far her being a feminist? Good for her! I am thankful that God gives both men and women equal rights and opportunities. The Bible does say for wives to submit to their own husbands, and that is something that we as women are commanded to do. But that doesn’t mean that God hasn’t given women the same equal rights and opportunities as men. It just means that we are to respect our husband and do what he feels God is leading the family to do. Purity and feminism are equally good, godly things. Feminism is not a negative and against the Bible, but anti-feminism is.

  • thehappygirl

    I used to LOVE Taylor Swift! She was girly, modest for the most part, very sweet, and easy to relate to (and yes, I did listen to “Teardrops on My Guitar” after my very first breakup haha). But she’s done a total 180!!! I’m sure it’s easy to become looser morally in such an evil environment (better known as Hollywood)! I’m glad I’m not under that kind of pressure. Great article, by the way 🙂

  • Emmanuelle Harris

    I can’t be both pure and a feminist? Huh. Well, I thought I was doing okay as a Christian virgin who wears modest clothes and tries to put God first, but apparently that’s not pure because I’m a feminist? I admit myself to be slightly confused…

    • Shanae Butterworth

      Hopefully by the time you graduate high school you’ll have a better understanding and knowledge of where you really stand in your relationship to the Lord! As well as to purity and modesty!

  • Anonymous987

    Well, in all honesty this is a horrible article. Way too many straw-man fallacies for my liking.


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