Katie Bates celebrated her 16th birthday tonight on Bringing Up Bates – so naturally, seeing that it's a family tradition, Gil and Kelly presented Katie with a purity ring. The little ceremony was so beautiful it made me want to give rings to my unborn children one day.
The idea behind it is to encourage their girls to stay pure until marriage. Just to be clear, when you are pure you are "not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material." Like sex. At least, that's what the internet says and the internet is always right. Anyways, the boys are expected to do the same (no sexism here), they just don't get the fancy bling. I think they should renegotiate those terms. Rules without rings? Boo. The Jonas brothers got rings. Why shouldn't the Bates brothers? But that's neither here nor there and in the end, purity rings are about the meaning behind them.
While I don't consider myself as conservative as the Bates family, I think a purity ring is a beautiful idea and the symbolism behind it likely differs from family to family. The Bates family expects their girls to wear it until marriage – only swapping it out for a wedding ring. But for me – when I gift them to my unborn children – the purity ring will be a sentimental way to have the sex talk and encourage them to wait until they're ready.
"This is valuable," Gil said as he presented Katie with her ring. "But your purity and your life is way more valuable than any ring or trinket or anything in the whole world."
Every girl in the Bates family agreed that time with their parents, in which they were presented with their ring, was really special because it meant that they got to have that deeper discussion with their parents.
"It's a commitment," Kelly Jo said of the ring.
Katie, for her part, brought the jokes for the evening, "Hey, no worries," she assured her parents. "I'm only 16. No worries. Twenty-five's a great age."
Watch out, Katie — 25 will come quicker than you think.
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