The counter-sexual revolution’s symbolism fails pop-culture

Jonas Brothers (Courtesy of Wikicommons)

Lauren Small

The sexual revolution rocked America in the late 1960s. That counter-culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll took the country, world and youth by storm. Sexual icons and “free love” were plastered all over movies in a way that left a lasting impression on our society today. Or has it…
Could it be that we are in the midst of the beginning stages of a counter-sexual revolution? A revolution that not only dismisses the idea of free-sex and young experimentation, but denies it all together? If you have no idea to what I am referring to, or are possibly scared to your wits, let me bring you up to speed with two words: “purity rings.”
These little boogers seem to be the talk of young Hollywood and everyone from Miley Cyrus to the Jonas Brothers is wearing them. These young celebutantes and gentlemen are declaring their chastity until marriage, and are not afraid to be public about it.
In a recent VH1 special titled “The New Virginity”, I was stunned to see just how influential and powerful this message of virginity is becoming. Celebrities like now-married Victoria’s Secret model Adrianna Lima was untouched until marriage, American Idol winner Jordan Sparks took the pledge, and the every-so-dreamy boy-band Jonas Brothers bases their whole image on their purity rings!
You have to give it to them, because it is these celebrities that have little girls screaming and crying into hysteria because they are untouchable, thus generating billion dollar empires (have you seen how little girls react to Jonas Brothers? It’s stage five panic). This image of untouchability seems to be giving these young celebrities the upper hand. Not only are we not going to be finding a leaked sex tape anytime soon, but parents can rest assured that when their kids are sitting in front of the television tuning in, they aren’t going to walk away with any inappropriate knowledge.
These “pure” celebrities aren’t just a new trend of the Disney Channel, though. Celebrities of the past such as Brooke Shields, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, and Tori Spelling’s character on 90210 have caused buzz in the main stream for years over their virgin ways. People seem to be intrigued and astonished that these young people–hormones and all–are truly saying no to sex behind closed doors.
This leaves one to think, is this new ode to purity a permanent rendering on our society, or just a short-lived trend sweeping young Hollywood until they have their first beer and make some bad decisions in front of a video camera.
I am all about great role models for young children. Realistically it is better to have a 10-year-old sibling grow up watching purity-ring-clad Demi Lovato and not-so-slutty Jonas Brothers rather than Desperate Housewives. I truly think it is great what Disney Channel is doing for the younger folks in keeping them out of each other’s pants and into more G-rated things. But is it working?
The only problem with these “pure” young celebrities is that they eventually have to grow up while the whole world is watching. At some point in their careers these actors and musical talents have to transition from child star to adult star, leaving for most often an awkward jump into a more sexual image. Let’s take Miley Cyrus for example, the leading lady of Disney’s Hannah Montana. Her image was squeaky clean until she started grinding a pole like a pro at the VMAs and pictures of her surfaced on the internet posing in her undergarments. Now if that’s virginal then I’m Barbra Streisand.
Let’s also take a look at Britney Spears who was saving herself for marriage. When it was finally time for her to reach out to an older audience, it was bye-bye clothes and hello Fred Durst.
I am beginning to think that this pledge of purity is a kiss of death for those who are not intending to follow through with it, or at least those who don’t dress or act like they are following through with it. I am in no way judging their decisions to on how to dress or how to act, I am simply pointing out the juxtaposition in what these people are preaching and what these people are doing. These young celebrities are putting themselves in this fish bowl of temptation and hormones and the whole world is looking in.
I’m not bashing on all virginal celebrities, I personally think its refreshing for people to be taking the pressure of these young kids in the world by saying “it’s okay to say no” and “not sleeping around can be cool, too”. So far, many of these Disney stars have stuck true and kept themselves out of trouble. The Jonas Brothers are staying strong, Selena Gomez is a great role model, and Demi Lovato doesn’t have a publicized nude photo.
So I ask again, is this trend of chastity a permanent rendering on our society or just a short-lived trend imposed by young Hollywood until they have their first beer and make some bad decisions in front of a video camera? I think it can work. I truly think that maybe it is time for more people to stop slutting it up around Hollywood. Though abstinence isn’t the most realistic approach to safe-sex, it is getting the message out that it’s okay to say no to  the football captain or just to hang out with your friends on Prom Night with no pressure. I think these young teens need a break.
    The theory goes that when celebrities have a leaked sex tape or nude photos, their career goes in the “toilet”.