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I recycled this post from my old
pre-Beliefnet blog, but it was one of my favorites from last year
and I thought it might be worth revisiting.
Some days I enter into my local Christian bookstore/knick-knackery, and — looking over the vast shelves of Purpose-Driven products, Beth Moore Bible studies, Veggie Tales merchandise, Precious Moments figurines, dumb Christian parody t-shirts, inspirational artwork and home decor, and books about the End Times — I think to myself: the Christian subculture just doesn’t quite have enough consumer items.
Something is missing, I ponder. Something like…Christian cosmetics!
Which is why, to me, the Christian bookstore always smells a little like despair. It’s not the candles. It’s the lack of Jesus-based grooming products.
Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered this wonderful line of cosmetics, courtesy of my cousin-in-law Lance and his link to Michael Kelley Ministries’ site. Behold! A life-affirming brand of Jesus-glorifying toiletries!
That’s right: Lookin’ Good for Jesus brand bath and cosmetic items.
I’ve never seen them on shelves, but apparently these products are sold in various retail outlets by an American makeup company called Blue Q, which seems to specialize in snarky and irreverent stuff. (I haven’t heard of any reaction to them in the U.S., though the Jesus cosmetic brand been met with some controversy among local Catholics in Singapore.)
Anyway, encouraging users to “Get Tight with Christ,” Lookin’ Good for Jesus products include…
Lookin’ Good for Jesus Bubble Bath:
(Product description: Take the plunge with a soak in everlasting Citrus and Juniper suds that make you feel like you’re walking on water.)
Lookin’ Good for Jesus Sparkle Cream:
(Product description: Now, easier to be redeemed in his eyes with a handy travel size 2 oz. tube!)
The mini-kit contains vanilla nectar lip balm, Easter-Lily hand & body cream (with sparkle!) and a folding mirror compact. Also a mirrored Jesus statuette.
I’m sure you can find these products in boutique stores in the U.S., though I haven’t exactly been on the lookout for them. If you want, you can certainly order them from the Blue Q website.
Now, for the reaction: I’m sure there are Christians who will find these products offensive. After all, hotsy blondes making come-hither eyes to a handsome Son of God isn’t the kind of thing you see in stained-glass church windows, even the ones depicting Mary Magdalene. It’s a bit irreverent.
Why? Because it uses Jesus as a blatant, right-out-in-front pitchman. And using Jesus as a brand…why, that’s just wrong.
Real Christians know better than to demean the Christ by attaching him to common consumer items. Wait–no. You’re bringing up Christian bookstore stuff? Like frames, posters, greeting cards, books, music, stuffed toys, coloring books, jewelry, conferences, artwork, clothing, breath-fresheners? No. Stop that, right this instant. See, that’s where you’re wrong. Sure, maybe we have attached Christ to those things, too, but there’s a difference. WE do it more subtly.
And that makes it OK. Because we know that Jesus sells. Everyone knows that. We just know better than to put a goofy picture of Jesus front-and-center on the product (except on, um, t-shirts).
We’d rather hide Jesus in a Bible verse, or a little fish symbol, or by securing placement in a Christian bookstore.
Our Jesus junk is subtle, and we figure God’s OK with that, because look at the profit margin!
But when you stoop to overt, ironic uses of Jesus to sell stuff…well, that’s offensive. Am I right, people?
Can I get a witness? Amen? Anyone?