Demi Lovato released pictures of herself in a bondage style position lying on a cross shaped mattress and writer Shakira Peronet isn’t impressed.
“Oh Demi, really?!” That was my response to seeing Demi Lovato’s new album cover, the advertising standards agency (ASA) kindly described her to us as “bound up in a bondage style outfit whilst lying on a mattress shaped like a crucifix, in a position with her legs bound to one side which was reminiscent of Christ on the cross”.
Of course, this album cover has subsequently been banned in many countries including the UK as it was “likely to cause serious offense to Christians”. Not to mention that the album is titled “Holy F***”. Though the last four letters of the second word are blocked out, it doesn’t take a genius to fill in the gaps.
When I saw the inflamatory picture I was left thinking, here we go again …. Christianity used as a marketing prop. Surely that was the whole point of the album cover? Offend some Christians, and get free marketing in the press coverage. Get people talking, and then deliver a half-hearted apology. As has happened many times before, life will continue and people will move on and Demi Lavato’s increased sale would make it all worth it. We’ve heard it said time and time again: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
Demi Lovato used the crucifixion, Jesus’ sacrifice, Christian outcry, as a pawn to garner up media attention.
In modern society our reverence for the cross has slowly diminished. In the 90s I vividly remember the symbol being used on the t-shirts and jumpers my friends and I wore. So many of the girls my age had a dainty cross in between our bosoms blissfully unaware (I think) to the distraction we caused, but that’s another topic. When we watched music videos, we saw rappers with gigantic chains with crosses covered In diamonds. And not once did I think: “Wow this rapper is wearing a cross, that must mean he has faith in Jesus”. I knew it was just “fashion”. A symbol of wealth and status rather than a proclamation of Saviour.
Demi Lovato is not the first and I am sure she won’t be the last artist to use the crucifixion, Jesus’ sacrifice, Christian outcry, as a pawn to garner up media attention. It wasn’t ok when Madonna did it (go on YouTube and see the music video for Like a Prayer), or Kanye (a man who claims to love Jesus and then stirs up anti-Semitic vitriol online. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Jesus was in fact Jewish!) There’s a fine line between creative licence and conjuring up click bait by offending a people and their Messiah, and I think all of these cases fall into the latter.