On Father's Day, Matthew West shared a new song "Modest is Hottest" via Instagram. The song was directed to his daughters hoping to remind them that human beings are not defined by their appearance. Moreover, West reminds her daughters that women need not dress to impressed their men because guys love "a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks."
"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," West sang.
The song has since been heavily criticized by many. One of the critics is singer and songwriter Audrey Assad. Assad says the song is demeaning to both men and women. She wrotes, "`Modest is hottest' still entirely centers men and their preferences in the way a woman should dress - sets up being "hot" as the ultimate goal for women - and positions all men as creeps who can't handle seeing a woman's skin without becoming out of control monsters. It's demeaning to men AND women. I really hate this phrase and yet it is the one cockroach that survives literally everything."
Oklahoma-based Pastor Jeremy Coleman created a TikTok video to bash the song. Coleman wrote,"We are telling our daughters and young women that their body image should be defined by someone else's opinion. Women should feel confident, comfortable, and free to dress and express themselves however they want. Telling them to dress a certain way to be 'less attractive' is reverse body shaming.
Women are far too often shamed and blamed for the abhorrent behavior of men," Coleman continued. "So the idea of 'Modest Is Hottest' is saying that, because men can't control their lustful desires, you have to change who you are. It's the same mentality that inevitably produces victim-blaming for sexual abuse victims. We need men to take responsibility for their eyes, thoughts and actions."
West has removed the song and has offered his apology. "I'm blessed to be the father of two amazing daughters," he shared in an Instagram post. "I wrote a song poking fun at myself for being an over-protective dad and my family thought it was funny. The song was created as satire, and I realize some people did not receive it as it was intended."
"I've taken the feedback to heart," West added. "The last thing I want is to distract from the real reason why I make music: to spread a message of hope and love to the world."