Christian singer Matthew West’s latest song, “Modest Is Hottest,” sparked outrage from angry parents.
The song was released June 18, and it begins with West telling his two daughters, featured in the music video, “it’s time to have a talk.”
“The boys are coming round ‘cause you’re beautiful. And it’s all your mother’s fault,” he sings while the camera pans to wife Emily standing in the kitchen.
He continues, “Modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian. What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks. Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad.”
Later in the song, West shares his true feelings for popular social media platform, TikTok, with the entire family dressed in black turtlenecks and khaki pants.
“If I catching you doing dances on the TikTok, in a crop top, so help me God, you’ll be grounded ‘til the world stops,” West sings.
West wrote that it’s a “light-hearted take on an age-old struggle.”
According to “TODAY,” West’s promotion on Instagram for the song’s debut received support from listeners who found the singer’s lyrics comical, while others were more critical.
“How do you think your daughters feel?” one commenter wrote. “The start of the song says that boys are looking at your daughters only because they’re beautiful. What about their love of Jesus? Or their personality? I’m saying that you have told your daughters that the only reason that boys want them is because of their bodies.”
Another commenter wrote, “This is triggering for me. Purity/modesty culture is toxic in so many ways.”
In an interview with “TODAY Parents,” Colorado mom Lyssa Creutzinger told the outlet that she grew up listening to Christian music and enjoyed it, but the narrative of the song is not something she would want her daughter, Audrey Belle, to hear.
“What a girl wears does not equal her worth,” Creutzinger said. “Girls don’t wear clothes because it’s what ‘the boys really love.’ If you’re comfortable in modest clothing, rock it, and if you want to dance on TikTok in the clothes you love, don’t let people like Matthew West tell you that’s ‘bad.’”
Another parent, Oklahoma worship pastor Jeremy Coleman, created his own rendition of West’s song on TikTok.
“Well if I catch you doing dances on the TikTok, wear what you want. Girl just go off! Hold your head up so your crown doesn’t fall off. You’re a queen if you forgot!” Coleman sings. “Just wear what you want! The latest fashion trends. I probably won’t get it, but it’s not for me to understand.”
In response to the backlash, West said on Twitter the song served as a reminder to his daughters that “their appearance doesn’t define them.”
The tweet, which has been deleted, said, “As a dad raising daughters, this song is my ridiculously silly way of reminding them that their appearance doesn’t define them. While the world might focus on the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart. Regardless, they are beautiful inside and out! (Even in turtlenecks).”
In another tweet, the singer shared the intent of the song was to be a satire.