Remember that time when Jesus is talking about how we humans, even though our hearts are hardly pure and devoid of self-interest, are capable of giving good gifts when we are asked. And then He says, well then “how much more will the heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him!” Then all the disciples become topless Caucasian women with perfectly firm bottoms, photoshopped waistlines (well, let’s be honest, photoshopped everything), adorned with fishnet stockings and silk panties. And Jesus says “now, go make disciples of all nations through lap dances and sexual favours”.
So reads the Gospel according to Ann Summers. Here is the brains behind the advertising campaign ‘Tis The Season To Be Seen, kindly unlocking this highly coded series of images for us:
“The campaign […] uses a strong female lead, to convey the message that the brand wants all women to feel like ‘God’s Gift’, be the centre of everything, and be in control. Each phase showcases key products in the Ann Summers range, matching the changing needs of the consumer over the festive period.”
Except, not so much the centre of, or with positions of control in, the business or political world- because who could take a woman seriously if she was actually clothed? Who could trust her authority if she was not brandishing a whip and handcuffs? Of course, when we talk about women’s strength, we have in mind her thighs, and for “all women”, read women under 25, sizes 6-8, 5”3 and over. Although once upon a time, “the festive period” was about our need for a Saviour, a way out of the hopeless rut of greed and selfishness we had got into, thankfully in the twenty-first century, we have come to realise that our truest need at this time of year is to be seen as a sexual plaything (and wedgies). What is with all the fuss about the Son of God being bandaged by swaddling cloths, by humanity, by everyone’s prejudices about how a Messiah should look and act? The real question is why Mary wasn’t bandaged in latex.
Jesus’ argument is that our giving reflects our character. So a God who would give perky female physiques, a God who would count as a blessing the white able-bodied, perfectly toned sexual gymnasts among us, would essentially be a pimp. Fortunately, Jesus also tells us that He gives not as the world gives – because, quite frankly, we don’t need any more common or garden misogynists, let alone an omnipotent one.
Praise be to the God whose gift to us is not a sex kitten but Himself. Praise be to the God who is willing to commit Himself to us for all eternity and not just for one night. Praise be to the God who does not compare us unfavourably with digital fantasies, but sees in His Children the reflection of His Son.
And as for Ann Summers, perhaps it is your lack of scruples by which I should be most offended. But really, it is your utter lack of imagination and your lack of higher expectations for the tastes and ambitions of both men and women.