by Haley Ashworth
Inspired by the recent article A Black and White Choice NOT to Read 50 Shades of Grey, I decided to share my opinion on the new movie Magic Mike in hopes that it gets people to think twice about the kinds of entertainment we are allowing, and not allowing, into our lives. The R-rated film, which seems to be a sort of dramatic/romantic comedy, follows the life of male stripper Mike, played by Channing Tatum. According to Warner Bros., “The film follows Mike as he takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.”
With this synopsis in mind, I wonder why anyone, Christian or not, would want to see Magic Mike. Admittedly, I suppose it’s possible for it to have a redemptive ending or a moral lesson tucked into the plot, but according to the multiple reviews I read, it’s not likely. Even if it did, I’m not seeing it, and here’s why:
- It romanticizes and normalizes the sex industry. For a ten dollar movie ticket, ordinary people get to see multiple strip scenes full of mostly naked men, all without the stigma or nuisance of going to a real live strip club. If this is widely accepted by society, then how much longer will it be before “XXX” films are deemed as everyday entertainment and being shown in the neighborhood movie theatre? That may seem like a drastic jump, but there’s really only a thin G-string separating the two.
- It objectifies people. It’s common knowledge that the importance of superficial beauty is elevated in today’s culture and especially in Hollywood. But we have to recognize that there’s an issue when people are willing to buy overpriced movie tickets for no reason other than shirtless men. And that’s pretty much all the audience should expect, according to movie reviews from The Chicago Tribune, CNN, and Movie Web.
- It hinders my personal pursuit of purity. In Galatians we are advised, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” We should be pursuing whatever is pure, lovely, good, and righteous and avoiding the temptations of the flesh—in this case, literally. I know that Magic Mike is not going to further my pursuit of purity or relationship with God, so why should I invest time in it?
I encourage everyone, every day, to think about the kind of entertainment we are supporting with our time and our money. You may not come to the same conclusions as me about this particular movie, but the old adage rings true—trash in, trash out. We should always be striving to guard our hearts, minds, and eyes.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Haley Ashworth is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University and is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern.