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How Sexy Is Your Bible?

   March 11th, 2010

Princess Bible book coverHere's another one of those coincidences with the same topic popping up in different contexts throughout the day.

On my way in to work one day last week, I heard a story on the radio (via the BBC) talking about how children are becoming more sexualized. I wouldn't have thought this was possible, but the report described how, for decades, society has told little girls that they need to be thin and pretty. But recently, society has ramped up this message, telling them they need to be thin and pretty and sexually-attractive to boys. It seemed to say that now it's not just about looks, but that sex appeal is also required.

Later at work, our Teen Librarian asked me if I'd heard of a "princess bible." I hadn't, so I looked it up, and sure enough they are for sale. Our reactions were the same, and echoed the point of the radio show earlier: isn't this an odd mixture of religion and sassy sexy self-image?

Not necessarily, of course, because I know my niece likes Disney princesses, and that is totally innocent. Perhaps I'm just being over-sensitive on the little girl sex angle. Maybe it's just the marketing gimmicky feel of it I don't like - it seems akin to using a cartoon camel to peddle cigarette to children. I guess I just question what this princess message is trying to appeal to in young girls - and whether that should be necessary to sell Bibles. It seems a bit at odds with the pious modesty of Christianity.

Interestingly, this book appears in WorldCat.

And just for a counter-point, BoingBoing reports that Campus atheists offer free porn in exchange for Bibles. I guess there's more than one way to connect religion and sex.

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4 Responses to “How Sexy Is Your Bible?”

  1. laura k Says:

    The oversexualization of young girls is definitely an increasing thing in our culture right now, and while the Princess Bible might be tied into that in some way, I do get the same impression you do, that the “princess” trend is a lot more innocent. The Princess Bible, to me, speaks to a different weird cultural trend: the commercialization of Christianity. That isn’t really new, but it certainly has taken off in a major way in the last 15-20 years. There’s a great book called “American Jesus” that touches on the topic.

    Whatever it means, it’s totally weird. But then again, I got a Precious Moments bible for my first communion 20 years ago. (It was hideous.) So yeah, I guess it’s not that new?

  2. KathyS Says:

    I don’t see the princess phenomena as a sexualization. I see it more innocently as girls liking sparkly things. But having said that, I agree w/ Laura K in that The Princess Bible is a commercialization of Christianity. It’s all marketing.

  3. Steve Says:

    I agree with Laura K – as someone who takes the Bible quite seriously, the fact that we as Americans buy any other Bible besides the alternate translations (a product of scholarship, not commercialization) means something is amiss. Come on, now. The Bible’s not so boring that it requires being “sexy” to sell.

  4. JaxRolo Says:

    Teens are not like the teens of the past. Each generation is different in their own way. I do not think is for the better but as parents that is our own fault. We seem to be afraid of the government and getting thrown in jail for child abuse if we spank our kids. Sad!