I wanted to hate Lifetime television’s reality show Preachers’ Daughters without reserve. I wanted to hate it for its exploitation of a cheap dichotomy: Is she a virgin or a whore? For its all-too common presumption that the point of Christianity is the policing of young women’s sexuality. For the faux Gothic font and the papering of vague religious imagery over the lives of people who stand in a particular American Protestant strand of the Christian tradition.
Unquestionably, I do hate the promotional images of the show’s three teenagers—Taylor Coleman, Kolby Koloff and Olivia Perry—for reducing complicated lives to a hunger to escape a white choir robe for a mirror, lipstick and a cell phone. (Does anyone really think that the choir robe is incompatible with lipstick? Or that access to lipstick equals freedom and prosperity?)