Thanks to a rather controversial outburst by Russell Brand and then Jordin Sparks, purity rings are in the spotlight. A purity ring, or promise ring, is a visible pledge to yourself to say “pure” or a virgin until marriage. Most often this is keeping with a religious belief, but for some who have the goal of abstinence religion has nothing to do with it.
Purity in the Spotlight
The virginal status of celebs is nothing new. Madonna sang about it (in a rather risqué way) and then we heard all about Britney
’s alleged virginal status. (This was recently dispelled by her mother’s book.) Now many of today’s pop stars including the Jonas Brothers and Jordin Sparks are touting outward signs of their goal to stay pure until marriage.
The Classic Ring
The promise or purity ring is nothing new. For decades, even centuries individuals have been choosing to wear rings or necklaces with charms or reminders of what they believe in regarding premarital sex. Most of the time the choice to wear the item was not discussed much as it is a totally personal decision. This changed, however, when Russell Brand, the imported host of the MTV VMA awards decided to discuss the rings of the Jonas brothers in crass fashion – many times over.
Standing Up for Beliefs
When you make a visible promise about anything, you immediately gain a cheering section as well as plenty of skeptics. This is certainly the case with young celebrities
and their claims to purity. After all, with all the opportunities for romance and adventure in Hollywood, how could anyone resist? If you believe the Jonas Brothers and others, it’s not especially challenging despite the number of people hoping they will fall from grace.
Making a Pledge
There are many schools of thought on purity rings and what they represent. Some who support chastity have even criticized the rings or other symbols as making a private decision public. But then, if the Jonas Brothers weren’t famous, would anyone even know about their rings?
My beliefs about the topic are my own, but I respect anyone who makes such as public pledge and then has the strength to stand behind it. For example, when responding to the comments by Brand, fifteen-year-old Kevin Jonas responded by saying, “For us, it's cool to see that he recognizes we are gentlemen." What a classy guy, right?
Stirring Up Controversy
The one area I don’t particularly care for with anything involving such a personal decision is how heated a discussion can become. Take for example, Jordin Sparks. During her time on stage, Miss Sparks reminded the audience that, “It's not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody — guy or girl — wants to be a slut."
Needless to say there were many offended parties at the awards and at home. Jordin later said she wished she had worded her response differently. Personally, I respect anyone who makes a pledge about most anything and stands by it. If you want to represent your pledge or commitment by wearing a ring, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. After all, isn’t that exactly what engagement and wedding rings are? Best friend bracelets and charm bracelets? What you vow is your business. If you want to advertise it, that’s your business, too.