My boyfriend wants to model. Should I be concerned?

Question

What do you think about modeling? Is it spiritually dangerous? My serious boyfriend and I are both Christians. He’s quite good looking and has been to a conference for New York model contracts. I believe that in order to make the big bucks, he’ll have to “sell the temple” for sex appeal. He assures me that I just need to keep an open mind. Am I overreacting?

Answer

One the one hand, this is a fallen world, so it would be hard to name any line of work which posed no spiritual dangers. A teacher’s line of work poses the temptation to intellectual pride; a statesman’s, the temptation to do wrong for political gain; a laborer’s, the temptation to cheat his employer by lazy or shoddy work. Moreover, modeling is not intrinsically wrong, like prostitution; it is at least possible to model without sin, for there is nothing wrong with showing potential customers how clothes look on real people.

On the other hand, I am inclined to agree with you that the spiritual dangers of modeling are greater than in most lines of work. Besides the temptation to “sell the temple,” they include the temptation to sexual vanity and the strong influence of bad associates. Nor could it be argued that the good of human life requires that some people be models, as it requires that some people be farmers and bricklayers. I am giving you only my personal judgment, and cannot pretend that there is a biblical commandment “Thou shalt not model.” But if I were counseling my own son, I would urge him to find another way to make a living.

Copyright 2000 J. Budziszewski. All rights reserved.

About the Author

J. Budziszewski

Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.