No, not that kind of cross-dressing. This is about cross dressing… dressing in a style that invokes Jesus or even putting oneself upon a cross.
On one hand, I’m glad we have an open and free society in which people can express themselves however they’d like without fear. Or with little fear at least. In some other cultures, such actions and depictions would result in calls for death to the infidel. The latest flap in this society seems to be surrounding Lindsay Lohan and her pose for the cover of Purple Fashion.
OK, maybe some of you are used to seeing her in less clothing, but that’s not the point. It seems the line between the profane and the sacred are crossed (no pun intended) purely for the sake of controversy and attention—which she is getting.
When I read a few articles (1) (2) about this, what came to mind was not the sexuality of Ms Lohan, but rather the earlier affront to Christianity played out by Madonna—as if the name itself is not an affront! It was just about four years ago that the former Catholic was placed upon a cross for her concert tour, raising the ire of many church-goers.
And while I was aware of that flap, seems I had missed Kanye West’s issue that same year—seems 2006 was a year of spiritual awakening, or exploitation, for a few artists.
For his efforts, Kanye appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in a crown of thorns, partial robe, and was “blood” streaked in a play on Mel Gibson’s Passion movie. (Ironically, Lindsay is mentioned in the online article but had nothing to do with the photo. So fast forward to 2010 and the article on Lindsay relates back to the Kanye photo.)
So what’s with the invoking of Christian themes and images? Has Christianity become nothing more than a lightning rod for celebrities and a backdrop for photo shoots in an effort to find new relevancy? Is it just a cross worn around the neck as a piece of jewelry?
What should the viewer think? This is free expression? It’s nothing more than a Lady Gaga-like moment in the sun—a fashion statement for the sake of fashion? Or are they intentionally pressing hot buttons in order to stir up controversy and thereby be in the spotlight? Are they thumbing their noses at Believers and the Church?
More importantly, should this really bother us? Isn’t the next step in objecting to such displays “Censorship” and religious laws? Should we be like Islamic republics in which any portrayal of Mohammed can be punished with death?