“Purity Ball” Photos Document Virginity Pacts Between Fathers and Daughters
“When I first heard about the Purity Balls I imagined American fathers terrified of anything that might hurt their daughters or their families honor. But as I learnt more, I understood that the fathers, like all parents, simply wanted to protect the ones that they love – in the best way they know how. It was also often the girls themselves that had taken the initiative to attend the balls. They had made their decisions out of their own conviction and faith, in many cases with fathers who didn’t know what a Purity Ball was before first being invited by their daughters.
The more I learned, the more I was surprised that I had been so quick to judge people I knew so little about. I was struck by the idea that what set us apart wasn’t anything more than how we had been influenced by the culture we grew up in and the values it had instilled in us. In Purity I wanted to create portraits so beautiful that the girls and their fathers could be proud of the pictures in the same way they are proud of their decisions – while someone from a different background might see an entirely different story in the very same photographs.
To me, Purity is about how we are shaped by the society in which we grow up and how we interpret the world through the values we incorporate as our own.”
I wanted to make the vows of purity because God asks us to
in the Bible. He tells us to stay pure until you’re married for
a reason. It’s important to me because if you have kids before
you’re married you don’t really have a way to take care of them.
When my parents asked me to go to the Purity Ball,
I thought it’s going to be pretty fun and I bet it’s going to be
really cool. I was really glad going there seeing all those girls
making the vows of purity. It strengthened my relationship
with my dad and my dad really means a lot to me. He is my
protector and my best friend.
Purity goes well beyond the physical, sexual, abstinence, that
most people think it’s only about. It goes into the emotional
aspect of it as well, the purity of heart. It’s a lot more broad
than just the physical aspect of the word.
I think purity is incredibly important, and first and foremost
is to be pure at heart, following God’s commandments
about abstinence until marriage. In today’s society, you just
see bad example after bad example that is the result of not
staying pure, and that is second to what God commands us
to do. For my family and me faith is first and foremost. We
absolutely, undoubtedly, believe in Jesus. We try to practice
His examples and try to set an example in this world that we
live in, to be a light in this world for Him.
Swedish, b. 1983, based in Stockholm, Sweden