This week, I came home tomy sister watching a show On Demand, Preachers’ Daughters, that followed the lives of three different daughters who had one or both parents as pastors. As someone who grew up in a family that regularly attended a Pentecostal church, I was interested in seeing how Lifetime would choose to portray several families that are–presumably–very religious. Fully aware of the many shortfalls of reality TV in regards to sensationalism, sexism, race, etc., I still found myself watching the show long after my sister had left the room. Instead of a series showing different facets of the trials and tribulations teenagers face as the child of a pastor, I found myself watching nearly 10 hours of purity culture in action. Over the course of the binge watching session, my feelings morphed from genuine curiosity to a strange mixture of disgust and disbelief.
While there is just way too much to unpack about the show’s first season that could fit into one post, there is one overwhelming point that rang clear: Preachers’ Daughters provides an accurate if unintended summary of what is wrong with purity culture (a culture that is centered on the belief that sexual abstinence until marriage is the only way for women to remain good and “pure”) in hour-long bites. Here are some points that really stood out to me during my private