- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Cassese)
With the Grammy Awards just two months away, tis’ the season for skin as female celebrities push the scandal envelope with revealing red carpet outfits.
But the red carpet is not the only place for celebrities to bare it all. Many pop culture icons have made their birthday suit their favorite outfit with scandalous magazine spreads and CD album covers.
Although some might argue that there exists a growing need for celebrities to bare more skin to sell products, do self-proclaimed religious celebrities have more of an obligation to dress modestly than other celebrity icons?
Gospel singer turned pop icon Katy Perry, for example, is a self-proclaimed Christian, and yet does not present the most modest outfits on magazine and album covers.
She appeared on the August 2010 cover issue of Rolling Stone magazine with the headline "Sex, God and Katy Perry."
In the magazine issue, Perry "strips down" for the photo shoot, donning a bra and panties in one photo, to going completely topless in another.
"God is very much still a part of my life […] I still believe that Jesus is the son of God," she told Rolling Stone.
Entertainer Beyonce Knowles is also a self-proclaimed Christian and always thanks Jesus when accepting awards, according to June 2011 interview in The Irish Times.
In reference to her sexy dance moves and sometimes raunchy choreography, Beyonce said of God: "I honestly believe that He wants people to celebrate their bodies so long as you don’t compromise your Christianity in the process. It’s entertainment and I believe God is okay with that."
In a 2010 Larry King Live interview, Lady Gaga said that although she does not agree with the teachings of the church, she considers herself religious.
"But in terms of religion, I'm very religious. I was raised Catholic. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I'm very spiritual. I pray very much," she told Larry King.
Lady Gaga, always pushing the envelope and sparking the ire of some Catholic interest groups, has performed at shows wearing see-through mesh T-shirts, as well as posed nude for singer Tony Bennett for an edition of fashion magazine Vanity Fair.
Fox News has called GaGa "poison for the minds of our kids."
Kelly Rowland, who sang on the Christian/Gospel album "Spirit Rising: Volumes One and Two" and has discussed her faith in God, posed topless the year on the cover of Vibe magazine's August edition.
"I just wanted it to be skin, I'm so comfortable in my skin. As a woman, sometimes that takes so long to get to," she said told Vibe magazine.
"I'm not trying to sell sex. I'm just completely being myself," she said, according to the Daily Mail, which published several photos of Rowland from the Vibe issue.
"I believe that Christian celebrities have a responsibility to be Christ-like in every area of their lives. This is particularly true of how they dress. They should be representing Christ in their attitude, in their words, in their actions, and in the way that they clothe themselves,” Dr. Randy Stinson, Senior Fellow at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, told The Christian Post.
Perhaps celebrities' scandalous photo shoots are harmless and disconnected from their religious affiliation. Perhaps it is "just entertainment," as Knowles told The Irish Times.
"I believe God is OK with that," the popular singer said, according to The Irish Times.
Stinson argues that the behavior Christian celebrities exhibit affects America's youth who worship them as idols.
"I think that the way that Christian celebrities dress does impact what people in fashion design, and then that in turn impacts what is sold in stores. I think it also impacts what young girls want to wear to church and other places," he told CP.
There also exists a countercultural move to the over-sexed hype surrounding the celebrity image.
The TLC Television network will be premiering its reality show special "Virgin Diaries" this Sunday.
The show follows a group of virgins in their 20s and 30s, many of whom have chosen this life path due to their Christian faith.
"We want to show that this is something that can be celebrated," TLC's Vice President Timothy Kuryak told ABC News.
Dr. Stinson agrees that although Christian celebrities do have a responsibility to cover up on screen/film, scandal is the nature of the entertainment beast.
"I think that ultimately this is a parental responsibility in that parents ought to be making determinations about what their girls do or don’t wear and how their girls do or don’t dress, and that they should be the ones enforcing the issue of modesty in the home and outside of the home," Stinson told CP.