8 Photos Of Fathers And Daughters At Their “Purity Balls”

“Purity Balls” are a new Christian ceremony in America that bear all the hallmarks of a wedding, including white gowns, dinners, and speeches. But at the ceremony the daughter vows to her father she won’t lose her virginity until she’s married. Here, the photographer provides some background to the project. (HT Featureshoot via Flavorwire).

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David Magnusson

Swedish photographer David Magnusson took these photos for his series Purity.

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David Magnusson

Magnusson traveled to purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, over the course of five months. On each occasion, he spent an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair.

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David Magnusson

In his artistic statement, he says: “When I first heard about the Purity Balls I imagined angry American fathers terrified of anything that might hurt their daughters or their honour.”

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David Magnusson

“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.”

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David Magnusson

“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 being invited by their daughters.”

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David Magnusson

“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.”

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David Magnusson

“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.”

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David Magnusson

“To me, Purity is a project about trying to understand how we are shaped by the society we grow up in and how we interpret the world through the values we incorporate as our own.”

David Magnusson

The book Purity was published by Bokförlaget Max Ström in 2014 while the photos were exhibited at Fotografiska – The Swedish Museum of Photography in Stockholm.

David Magnusson

You can find out more about David by visiting his website.

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