Fallen Angels? Christians and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
This is not to say that we can't learn from the beautiful words of the acrostic poem in Proverbs 31 that commend the virtuous wife, but we should be mindful of her literary roots and careful not to lift up this particular literary construct as the ultimate statement on biblical womanhood. More often than not, the goal of poetry is to cultivate delight or celebrate beauty, not to prescribe.
Sarah Bessey's just-released Jesus Feminist reminds us that Christianity advocates for the personhood of all women—Victoria's Secret models included. And the reality is this: abstractions put personhood in jeopardy.
Christians must be especially careful when they teach through the lens of literary abstractions in the Bible, and not just because popular constructs like Dame Folly and Lady Wisdom are exclusively applied to women. Abstractions give us license to judge, and that's the last thing Victoria's Secret models (or any of us) need more of.
Courtney Bailey Parker is currently working on her PhD in English literature at Baylor University, where she also teaches in the first-year composition program. She and her husband happily make their home in Waco, Texas. You can read more of her writing at www.courtneybaileyparker.com or follow her on Twitter (@CourtneyBParker).
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