Have you seen the debate going on over Sydney Spies and her yearbook photo?
Apparently Sidney, a high school senior, and her mother are fighting the school yearbook committee because they think her picture is too sexy to print.
The debate goes like this: One side says a high School yearbook is not the place for sexually provocative photos, while the other says its all about self expression through art.
The debate really centers around cultural morality. Some say that it is immoral for a young girl (still a high school student, regardless of her age) to flaunt her sexuality in such a “degrading” way. Others think it is appropriate for a person to express who they are. That is all Sydney is doing, since after all, she does seem to enjoy modeling.
I am personally a huge fan of artistic self expression. It is my understanding that we live in a democratic society that holds the viewpoint that all people should be allowed the freedom of self expression.
I just think it is terribly sad that our culture has declined to the point of the debate going to these two fundamental opinions. At one time western civilization held to the fundamental understanding that humanity was beautifully sacred. While fallen and imperfect, we were nonetheless important enough to be redeemed through Jesus by the God who made us.
An underlying principle to which everyone agreed was that humanity was special. Now we live in a culture where human torture and pornography have ripped away our fundamental value of humanity, and the moralist point of view seems as evil and corrupt as the other.
One Facebook post said,
It’s school not a runway or magazine. Guess that family doesn’t have Jesus. What happen to modesty. So many young people are acting like eye candy and worried about how to look to get ahead instead of brains.
According to this person, Jesus is about modesty and morality (you might even say rudeness and hatred). It is true though, “young people are acting like eye candy.” I saw a girl at an elementary school just the other day in an outfit that intentionally displayed her unnecessary bra strap.
Girls act like eye candy because they live in a culture which tells them that their value is in their ability to be “sexy.” The degree to which a young girl can be sexy is her value. Look at the cover of any magazine in the grocery store if you doubt that.
Actually, a young girl’s value comes from the fact that she is created in the image of God. But we have not taught that, we have not modeled that, and so young girls are demonstrating exactly what their culture has taught them for two generations. Their value comes from their sexiness.
Sydney, I hope you know that you are a beautiful girl, and a valuable person – no matter what you wear or how you look. I don’t know you, but I hope that instead of learning modesty you learn to exude that beauty that comes not from your body, which will eventually fall away, but from the creator who made you in his image and died to redeem you from the failures of your culture.