Back in the late 1990s it quickly became clear that the best way for teen stars to dress and act as sexy as possible, without alarming the parents of their typically pre-teen fans, was to declare that they were virgins and saving sex for marriage.
Teen stars could pose in just their underwear on the cover of Rolling Stone or dance on top of an ice cream cart like it’s a stripper pole, as long as they publicly announced that they were abstaining from sex until they had tied the knot.
Was it a coincidence that stars began declaring they were against premarital sex at the same time President George W. Bush’s administration implemented abstinence-only sex education in schools? Or was it the result of clever PR strategies tapping into a more conservative national mentality, tired of the oversexed, Lewinsky drama of the Clinton era?
Regardless, with the proliferation of Disney stars in the mid-2000s, being a famous virgin was a full-time job with its own accessory — a purity ring. The House of Mouse could boast some of its biggest stars wearing rings that represented their commitment to God and to their parents to stay pure. Advertisers and parents alike rejoiced at the rings, but they didn’t stay on for long. We can’t say we’re too surprised — it’s easy to reject the notions of premarital sex when you’re 13, but much harder when you’re 18 and in a relationship.
Check out these celebrities who spoke openly about being virgins:
For years, Britney Spears claimed she was a virgin and planned on remaining one until marriage; however, her mother revealed in a memoir that Britney lost her virginity at the age of 14 to a football player at her high school
Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima was often dubbed the “world’s sexiest virgin.” She had no problem strutting her stuff in bikinis and lingerie, but decided she wasn’t having sex until after she was married.
“Sex is for after marriage. [Men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there’s no respect, that means they don’t want me. When we’re traveling together for the first time, we sleep in different rooms. That’s the number one thing,” she told GQ in 2008.
“American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks has spoken openly about her decision to wear a purity ring and came to the defense of the Jonas Brothers after Russell Brand poked fun at them during the 2008 MTV VMAs.
The Jonas Brothers
For years the Jonas Brothers were all about their purity rings, and in 2008 they spoke to Details about why they wear them.
Then 18-year-old Joe explained that the rings symbolized “promises to ourselves and to God that we’ll stay pure till marriage.”
But the Jonas Brothers aren’t teens anymore and they’ve since decided to nix their rings.
Selena Gomez, like many other Disney stars, once wore a purity ring. In 2008 she told “Extra”:
“I said, ‘Dad, I want a promise ring.’ He went to the church and got it blessed. He actually used me as an example for other kids. I’m going to keep my promise to myself, to my family and to God.”
Gomez, now 20, has since stopped wearing the ring and reportedly ditched it once she started dating fellow pop star Justin BIeber.
In an interview with Yahoo in 2008, the former Disney star admitted that she had a purity ring and a necklace that says “True Love Waits.”
Former Disney star Hilary Duff was quoted by Elle magazine in 2006 as saying that her virginity was something she liked about herself.
“It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in. It’s harder having a boyfriend who’s older because people just assume,” she said.
It seemed pretty clear where Duff stood; however she denied making the comment to Elle in an interview with Maxim in 2008.
“You know what? I was quoted saying I was a virgin, but I absolutely did not say that. That’s nobody’s business but my own. Somehow it turned into a bad thing!” she explained.
Former “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus used to wear a purity ring, and in 2008, she told TV Guide:
“I like to think of myself as the girl that no one can get, that no one can keep in their hand. Even at my age, a lot of girls are starting to fall, and I think if (abstaining) is a commitment girls make, that’s great.”
Miley’s feeling about her virginity changed as they tend to when you grow up, and in May 2012 she called sex a “beautiful and magical thing” and encouraged parents to engage in open communication with their kids about it.
Conservative Christian football player Tim Tebow says he’s a virgin at the age of 24.
Jessica Simpson received a purity ring from her father at age 12, and says she didn’t lose her virginity until she married Nick Lachey in 2002. The couple divorced in 2005 and her attitudes toward sex between unmarried adults has definitely changed.
Simpson is now engaged to Eric Johnson, with whom she has a daughter.
Taylor Swift is more concerned with puppies and rainbows to even discuss her thoughts on premarital sex, but she has insinuated she was a virgin.
After she was brutally dumped by fellow proclaimed virgin Joe Jonas in 2008, Swift took to her MySpace page and addressed rumors that she was pregnant, writing:
“I read a very creative rumor this morning saying I’m pregnant, which is the most impossible thing on the planet. Take my word for it. Impossible.”
Yep, that sounds like a declaration of virginity to us. Of course she went on to date John Mayer so all bets are off.