Raunch Culture and its Devastating Effects on Women

From the time I was a little girl I’ve had random people approach me and ask the same question over and over. “Are you a model?” Apparently my tall height, blonde hair and blue eyes meant that I should be on the runway instead of shopping at the grocery store with my mom.

As I grew older my curiosity for the modeling industry grew stronger. I was raised in a strong Christian home and both of my parents knew the dangers of the modeling industry. When I grew a little older I finally convinced them to let me try a “family friendly” modeling agency.

Raunch Culture and Its Effects on Women

I got the job immediately and signed a one year contract. Things seemed to be going well at first and I liked the idea of being called a model. I wasn’t pressured to lower my standards for modesty and purity until several months into the job.

One day my director called me on the phone and explained that models need to be flexible with what they wear and what they do. “If you want to join the big leagues, you need to be less picky.”

Ultimately she was telling me that in order to become a successful model, I was going to have to undress a little lot.

I walked away from the modeling scene shortly after that.

Even though my experience in the industry was brief, I got a taste for what it felt like to sell my body for profit. I remember my director telling me that my role as a model was to simply be “eye candy.” I hated being viewed as an object for others to consume. I was constantly pressured to accept jobs and wear things that were raunchy and sensual.

Sadly, the modeling industry and countless other industries have re-trained men (and women) to view the female body as a consumable object. TV shows like Girls Gone Wild, companies like Playboy, restaurants like Hooters, and magazines like Cosmo have completely destroyed America’s view of women.

Teen girls are now taught that female liberation and empowerment means illicit sex, sensual clothing and an occupation as a porn star. As Carolyn McCulley writes in her book Radical Womanhood, “Raunchy has become synonymous with liberated” (p.166).

Our overly sexualized culture has done an incredible job at making the raunchy girl the cool girl.

“We live in a culture of hyper aggressive female sexuality, which is arguably the worst ever in recorded history,” McCulley says (p.164). Modesty has become close to extinct in the new American raunch culture. In fact, modesty is now looked upon with shame and embarrassment.

Author Wendy Shalit says, “The prevailing view is that if you think sexuality should be private or special, then you must be ashamed of it. You’re a prude. Conversely, if you are ‘comfortable with your sexuality,’ then you should be cool with lifting your shirt for strangers” (Girls Gone Mild, p.26-27).

Sadly, this distorted way of thinking has poisoned the minds of young and old women alike. Women everywhere are buying into the lie and that wearing the Bunny logo is hip and cool, that dressing raunchy will gain them fulfillment and respect and that sex-without-limits is empowering.

As author Mary Kassian points out, “Nowadays, there is little difference between the appearance of a prostitute and the appearance of what the world upholds as a sexy, attractive woman” (Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, p.94).

So what has the sexual revolution accomplished for women?

Are we better off as a result? This newfound “freedom” begs us to ask this obvious question: If women are more liberated than ever before, shouldn’t they be happier than ever before?

Not surprisingly, though, a study published on the UK Daily Mail found that “Women are less happy nowadays despite 40 years of feminism. Despite having more opportunities than ever before, they have a lower sense of well-being and life satisfaction.”

The results from this study make sense from a Biblical perspective. Our raunch culture claims to be liberated…but have you ever wondered what they’re liberated from? They are liberated from this: God’s authority and His design for sexuality. At its core, our raunch culture is nothing more than a rebellious movement against God.

Our sinful world has taken what God designed to be sacred and precious and turned it into something common and cheap.

When we, as women, don’t value and protect our nakedness, we are unconsciously training men to do the same. When we expose our most intimate body parts for the general public to see, we cheapen their value.

The very thing most girls and women want is to be valued and respected, but sadly, that is the very thing we’re throwing away. As women, we will never ever be happy until we reject the lies of our culture and reclaim our identity according to God’s Word. Women are not objects to be consumed, but are precious humans designed in the image of their loving Creator.

Our raunch culture promises women excitement, fulfillment, fun and happiness, but the results are nothing less than devastating relationships, self-image issues and an overall dissatisfaction with life.

My encouragement to every woman out there is this: don’t sell yourself short.

God designed you as a beautiful masterpiece and His plans for you are far greater than anything our raunch culture has to offer. God loves you and values you more than any human ever will.

God calls you, “His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10) and says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Those are words you will never hear from mainstream society. Unlike our culture, God actually values modesty and purity and teaches us that, “women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control” (1 Timothy 2:9).

My prayer is that every woman will find her value and worth in Christ and will come to view our raunch culture as oppressive and repulsive. A truly liberated woman is one who knows her worth in God’s eyes and views her body as a handcrafted masterpiece designed by God for His glory.

Photo credit: seeminglee