New Photo Series Celebrating “Purity Balls”

Rose and Randall Smoak, Dixie, Louisiana.
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Daddy issues, anyone?

In a new photo series, David Magnusson captures images of father-daughter duos for his upcoming book Purity.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But there is something different about these outdoor photos with soft pale-blue backgrounds.

Jamie and David Clampitt, Shreveport, Louisiana.Will and Nicole Roosma, Tucson, Arizona.

If you’re feeling like there’s something creepily odd about these photos, you’d be bang on.

Magnusson is capturing images in celebration of “purity balls,” a new Christian ceremony in America that bear all the hallmarks of a wedding, including white gowns, dinners, and speeches. At the ceremony, the daughter vows to her father she won’t lose her virginity until she’s married.

Huh?

According to his website, Magnusson became intrigued with the growing trend of purity balls.

“David Magnussons compelling portraits offer a nuanced view on the Purity Ball phenomenon in America. During a Purity Ball young girls promise to live pure lives before God, and to remain virgins until marriage. In return their fathers sign a commitment promising to protect their daughters chastity. Sometimes rings are exchanged as a symbol of their vows.”

Jenna and Jeff Clark, Chandler, Arizona.

Grace and Gary Kruse, Black Forrest, Colorado.

Over the course of five months, Magnusson traveled to purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pairs.

“In Purity I wanted to create portraits so beautiful that the girls and their fathers could be proud of the pictures in the same way they are proud of their decisions – while someone from a different background might see an entirely different story in the very same photographs.”

Laila, Antonio and Maya Sa, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Miranda and Jody Heckert, Yuma, Arizona. Hope and Jay Smallwood, Haughton, Louisiana. Rose and Randall Smoak, Dixie, Louisiana.

Sorry, but this is creepy as sh*t!

While I respect peoples’ religious freedoms, this crosses the line for me. This isn’t about God, this is about control and power over females.

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These images portray fathers who feel they ‘own’ their daughters. Looking at some of these pics, it seems like the fathers want the daughters for themselves.

(I just barfed in my mouth a little bit right there).

Have these girls even considered their sexuality? Do they have any (accurate) information on sex? Are they making an informed choice here? One would assume otherwise as they pose in these pale-blue photos prior to their much anticipated purity balls.

MORE: Do Children Need Religion?

Where are the purity balls for the boys? Who’s watching over their balls, if you will? A can of beer for jerking off? Secret high fives for getting laid before marriage? Does this describe the boys’ ceremonies should they have premarital sex?

Note to these fathers: you do not own your daughter and her vagina is not your property. And take it from me, teenagers are horny — yes, even the girls! Wouldn’t it be best to educate your daughter on sexuality and birth control (with scientific facts), rather that forcing her to take a guilt-ridden oath to her controlling father?

Additionally, why not teach your daughter about her worth as a human being? This father-daughter ceremony implies that girls are only valuable if they are pure white virgins on their wedding night. This teaches girls that their value lies in their bodies and in their relationship to men.

Purity balls imply that women only exist for men. What happens when a purity ball-pledger displeases her father or her husband? One can imagine the sense of worthlessness she will feel when the men in her life reject her or disapprove of her in any way.

Call me a judgemental biatch, but purity balls are a man made Christian ceremony that have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. They actually imply that man is greater than God.

I urge these parents to see their daughters as a whole human being. When discussing sex with a young girl, a wise father would armour his daughter with facts and the tools for self-respect. I see nothing about ‘self’ in the purity ball pledge — instead, the ceremony seems to be for men and men alone.

What do you think? Are these pics beautiful or creepy?

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Filed under: Carousel,Parenting Styles,Personal Development,Pregnancy & Parenting,Spirit,Teen

Photo credit: David Magnusson

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  1. Laura

    UM, it felt gross just looking at those pictures…it totally creeps me out…

  2. Kat

    Some of these girls were to young to even understand the meaning of this vow. I am concerned for the girls self esteem, feeling of guilt and shame if they break this vow an so on. Very troubling that once again girls are being targeted for sexist ideals.

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