Christian singer Matthew West is trying to address a big issue in his life: his daughters dating. Because of his career, of course, he wrote a song about it, but he may not have gotten the reaction he was hoping for.
In his latest song, "Modest Is Hottest," Matthew tries to encourage girls to dress modestly because that's what boys really want in a woman. His own daughters and his wife Emily star in the music video. But people aren't happy with the song's message, to say the least.
Matthew West's kids star in his latest music video.
Matthew and his wife Emily have two daughters named Delaney Ruth West and Luella "Lulu" Jane West. They have grown up with their father being the music star that he is, but he's been open about how it's affected the family. He told The Tennessean that it's the reason that he started homeschooling his daughters.
When his daughters asked, Matthew would say that he goes on tour to tell people about Jesus. But when they wanted someone else to spread the word, he made a change. He said he wanted to be more present and engaged with his family, and that was the inspiration behind his album, "All In."
Matthew West's new song has sparked backlash online.
Now, Matthew is a Christian singer, so his music is all about his faith and beliefs. But that hasn't stopped people from being outraged by his latest song. "Modest Is Hottest" is all about him telling his daughters that dressing modestly is the best when it comes to dating.
The music video and song start off with Matthew wanting to have a conversation with his daughters. He says he understands that they're getting older and are beautiful, but that also means that boys will start giving them attention. Because of this, they should cover up because, according to the song, "What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks."
As the video continues, we see Matthew talking to his girls in front of a display with a bunch of different kinds of clothes on it. He crosses out things like crop tops and yoga pants and circles "approved" things like mom jeans and raincoats. He says he'd rather them dress like Mother Teresa, Amish women, or "any librarian" instead of Cardi B and the Kardashians.
Many people don't believe "modest is hottest," at least not in this context.
Obviously, this didn't go over well online. Many people, both fellow Christians and others, are calling him out for lyrics that clearly make it a girl's responsibility to keep boys in check. The top comment on the music video at the time of publication says, "Mom of boys here. I’m writing a song called 'Pluck Your Eyes Out' because that’s what Jesus actually said."
But Matthew himself has said that he doesn't take the song that seriously. In a tweet, he said that "Modest Is Hottest" is his "ridiculously silly way" of letting his daughters know that they are more than their appearance. "While the world might focus on the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart. Regardless, they are beautiful inside and out!"
But many responded saying he missed the mark with this one and that by saying "modest is hottest," he's still putting too much emphasis on his daughters' physical appearances, sexualizing them, and tying their worth to how they're perceived by men.
Matthew's whole family is involved in his music.
It may just be part of the act, but Delaney and Lulu don't look happy to be in the "Modest Is Hottest" music video. Emily, on the other hand, looks to be having the best time. She's totally on board with the message of the song (or she understands the whole thing is meant to be a joke) and dances alongside Matthew while their daughters stand there.
This isn't the first time Matthew has had his family involved in his music. Lulu is even featured on the song "Becoming Me" and appears in the music video.
It looks like "Modest Is Hottest" has completely missed the mark, though. Here's hoping that Matthew and Emily hear the criticism and understand what their "jokey" song is really saying.