A California-based clothing company is targeting professing Christian girls who seek to be provocative and “playful” in the way that they dress, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
The company Heart OMG says that its line of clothing for girls is “heavenly inspired” and is “a delightful mix of fun, fashion, faith and love.”
“At Heart OMG, we believe in sharing our faith and love through fashion, while embracing our fun and characteristic lifestyle, as well as giving back to the ones in need,” the clothing company’s website states. “Every single irresistible Heart OMG piece is wonderfully made to complement those playful and fashion forward individuals who celebrate life, and are eager to make their faith and love a true influence to the world.”
Founded in 2010, Heart OMG sells a variety of t-shirts with Christian themes, such as “God Knows My Secrets,” “Church Rocks” and “A Date with JC,” both locally and via its website. The models pictured in the “shop” section of its site are dressed in very short shorts that at times are covered by the shirts so that one does not know whether the girl is wearing any bottoms at all. Other photos demonstrate the models draping the t-shirts off of one shoulder, or wearing a tank that cuts deeply into the underarm area.
In clicking on the section of the website called “Collections,” the clothing line outlines a story of “true love.”
“Once upon a time, three lovely girls found a new love in Jesus Christ,” the site reads in storybook layout. “God had gifted each girl with a special talent. They gathered their gifts and became the worship crew at church.”
“Through music, they express their faith and love. This love grows stronger every moment,” it continues. “The girls soon realize that this new love is ‘definitely’ what they were looking for.”
As readers then flip through the pages, they see a variety of photos of their models wearing the shirts in very suggestive poses. One photo shows three girls walking into church with their Bibles, donning thigh-high shorts and high heels, and draping their shirts off their shoulders. Another photograph shows the girls on the church platform as if they were leading worship, as one of the women provocatively lifts her bare leg up in the air as she holds an electric guitar. The girl to her left, who is playing the keyboard, barely covers her breast as she pulls her shirt down nearly halfway off of her arm.
Christian News Network traced the clothing company back to a Paul Shih, who has offices in Bell Gardens, California. It was also reportedly founded by a woman who identifies as Stacy.
“One day in early 2010, God put the name ‘OMG’ to Stacy’s heart,” the site explains. “Soon after, God spoke to Stacy, ‘Share with the world how I love you & how you feel about Me!’ Therefore, OMG was born.”
As Christians are now becoming aware of the clothing line and its website, some are reacting in horror.
“Christians have a long, ignoble history of trading in all manner of religious tchotchkes, but OMG, with its Second Commandment-bending name, takes this bad habit of ours in a new direction, with its products’ odd syncretism between pop religion and hyper-sexualized pop culture,” writes Michelle Loon of Christianity Today.
“Today’s fans might ask, ‘Does that OMG ‘Worship Crew’ tee come in a small?’ I’d suggest that a follower [of Christ] will have a different set of questions,” she continues. “Does this T-shirt trivialize Jesus’ message? Has it been manufactured in an ethical manner? Is this a wise use of the money I’ve been given? It is modest?”
Others wonder whether the clothing line is for real.
“I can’t really believe that this fashion line is being produced by, or marketed to, evangelical youths when its promotional video wouldn’t be permitted to be shown in any evangelical youth group,” writes Fred Clark of Patheos. “And there’s the fact that this video was shot in a mainline church rather than in the kind of Orange County evangelical mega-church this would trace back to if it were for real.”
However, Heart OMG’s Facebook page has a number of statuses that insinuate that it is not joking, including its references to Scripture.
“Thank you for every shirt & everyone we got to pray for!” it wrote on December 7th.
“A book a day keep[s] the evil ones away,” the company posted earlier this summer next to photos of its leggy models reading their Bibles.
“A cure for your Monday Syndrome: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” it wrote on another status.
Heart OMG says that it donates part of its profits to LOVE TOGO, a West African ministry that helps women obtain life skills so that they can support themselves financially. It states that it teamed up with the ministry last year as it is “sending love to West Africa.”
Calls to Heart OMG were not returned by press time.