Purity rings are worn as a sign of chastity by those who have taken a vow of abstinence until marriage, as they believe the only way to have safe sex is by not having it. Worn on their left-hand ring finger, they are waiting for it to be replaced by a wedding ring once they meet their soulmate. Originating from the United States, the practice has become popular in the 1990s among Christians and in the 2000s among celebrities that used to be known as good role models for teenagers.
However, things have changed since they have made their promise. Many of them got rid of their purity ring before marriage when they realized what they have been missing during all this time. Have they become bad role models because of that? Maybe doing whatever they want with their body is finally a better example of self-respect than letting some beliefs keep you from doing what you really want to do.
Some chose to keep their promise and many others realized they didn’t have to keep themselves from doing what they want to do. Here are the 10 most unexpected celebrities who’ve worn purity rings and what happened to their promise.
10 Teyana Taylor
The rapper and actress said to Hello Beautiful in 2009: "The one thing people can never say is that I'm a h*e. I have a purity ring ... If you're lying up on a boy, then something is going to happen. So I just keep my legs closed until I am ready for that. I can’t have a boyfriend because the only thing they want to do is have sex. I don’t want no fingers up there, no penis, nothing!” She held bible study classes to tell girls to keep their legs closed and she wanted to be a good example, so people respect her even if she doesn’t respect them. After appearing in Black Men magazine in her “sexiest shoot ever,” she even tweeted she was “The Sexiest Virgin You Know, Shit if I was u I’d hate on me too! :)” However, she is certainly not a virgin anymore as she had a child. Funny thing is, even though she said all those things, she had sex before marriage as she only got engaged after the pregnancy announcement.
9 Hilary Duff
The singer and actress said to Elle: "But (virginity) is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in.” However, things remained unclear as she told Maxim: "I was quoted saying I was a virgin, but I absolutely did not say that. That's nobody's business but my own.” She also told Cosmopolitan that it was difficult to stay virgin when you are dating an older guy, which could insinuate she had sex with Joel Madden, from Good Charlotte. However, things are clear now that Hilary has a baby and has been married to Mike Comrie, even though they recently divorced. She told E! News she might not get married again as she doesn’t feel like she has to if she wants another child. Hilary finally admitted to Cosmopolitan when asked if she ever had a friend with benefits: “I’ve enjoyed myself. (…) I think everyone should have something where you know it’s not exactly what you’re looking for but you just have a wicked good time. That was freeing for me and a bit of an awakening. It’s fun to have a secret.”
8 Jordin Sparks
American Idol winner and actress Jordin Sparks has been wearing a purity ring as a promise not to have sex before marriage. She even said while presenting an award to the 2008 VMAs: “I just have one thing to say about promise rings. It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody — guy or girl — wants to be a slut,” insulting everyone who didn’t make the same choice as her. However, it seems like she couldn’t resist as she did not have sex, but pressured her ex-boyfriend Jason Derulo to marry her, as he explained to Ryan Seacrest. Either if she is virgin or not remains a mystery. If she lost it, it would be to Jason as he claims she was virgin when they started dating on Hot 97 and Jordin stopped wearing her ring everyday at that time. Was she pressuring him because she wanted to have sex or because she wanted to correct the mistake she made by breaking her promise? The situation is still unclear as he said about sex on Power 105.1 FM: "It wasn't a problem in that area at all” and she said about her ring: ”I can't say what's gonna happen a couple of months from now. People grow."
7 Julianne Hough
The actress and two-time champion of Dancing with the Stars was raised in a strict Mormon community she describes as: “No sex before marriage, no drinking, no caffeine, no smoking, no swear words, no R-rated movies.” At that time, she herself said, “I want to be with that special person. (…) if you’re just with one person, it’s only for one good reason, and [waiting to have sex] will strengthen that relationship.” When she left, she wanted to let go of her conservative past, moving in with her (former) boyfriend Ryan Seacrest, drinking and not being ashamed of showing her body, while her dad stated only one condition: that she doesn’t do Maxim. The situation is quite similar to the one her character, Lamb, is experiencing in the movie Paradise: turning her back on religion and traveling to Las Vegas with a checklist of sins to do, as losing her virginity. However, the daredevil is not the kind of girl who would end up in rehab or not knowing what happened the last night she was partying. Julianne claims she is still a virgin, saving herself for marriage. Who will be the lucky one? For now, it seems to be pro hockey player Brooks Laich, who she is now engaged with.
6 The Jonas Brothers
The three members of the former boy band used to all wear purity rings as “promises to ourselves and to God that we’ll stay pure till marriage” while Nick was 15, Joe 18 and Kevin 20, as reported in the Huffington Post in 2008. Even if he is not wearing the ring anymore, Nick says he believes in a relation between sex and God and claims the ring shaped his view on the importance of sex even though he said to Wendy Williams in 2015: "Am I still a virgin? No. As I said, I'm an adult in all ways. I'm comfortable with who I am.” Joe lost his virginity at 20 and is glad he waited for the right person as: “because you look back and you go, "that girl was batshit crazy. I’m glad I didn’t go there." Kevin is the only one who respected his promise and had sex for the first time on his wedding night with his wife Danielle and now simply said in a press conference in 2011: “to be honest about it, sex was not worth the wait. After we did it, I was kind of like, that's it?"
5 Demi Lovato
The Disney star used to wear a necklace that stated “True Love Waits” and a purity ring, but now Maxim magazine states she said, "Sex is a part of life.” After releasing her song "Cool for the Summer" with lyrics alluding to lesbianism, she talked about her own bisexuality on Alan Carr: Chatty Man: “I am not confirming and I’m definitely not denying (…) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with experimentation at all.” She used to avoid that subject, but she feels more liberated now that she is not ashamed of her sexuality: “Being able to sing about things that I’ve always wanted to sing about, but just always was worried about being the role model, but now if I want to sing about sex or this or that, I’m going to sing about it,” as she said to MTV. Demi is becoming more and more confident with her look and don’t mind showing more skin. However, you won’t hear much about her sex life has she said that she doesn’t want her parents and little sister to hear about it.
4 Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson received a purity ring from her father at age 12 and kept her promise of staying a virgin until her marriage to Nick Lachey in 2002. However, after years of starring in the reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, they divorced and what she thought about sex changed completely. She now considers she has a healthy sex life as she had two kids and is now married to Eric Johnson. As a friend reported to Radar Online: “Jessica and Eric have an incredibly hot sex life and it just keeps getting better. (…) She tells us that their ‘through the roof’ sex alone will keep them together” and John Mayer also claimed to have experienced ‘crazy’ sex with her: “That girl, for me, is a drug. And drugs aren't good for you if you do lots of them. Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me…” Even if she gained weight during her pregnancy, she told Ryan Seacrest that: “I'm kind of unstoppable right now. The Big O is, like, the biggest O ever!” and she also feels her sexiest ever. The singer, actress and fashion designer clearly proves it in the awful movie Dukes of Hazzard and with a lot of sexy pictures on Instagram and in magazines.
3 Britney Spears
The singer once made us believe she would remain a virgin until marriage, but it seems like she couldn’t resist Justin Timberlake when they started dating in 2002, as he admitted when the two broke up on 20/20. She warned us by singing “I’m not that innocent,” but her story seemed to be more about love and another one should be to blame: “It was two years into my relationship with Justin. And I thought he was the one. But I was wrong. I didn’t think he was gonna go on Barbara Walters and sell me out,” as she said in W magazine. However, according to some rumours, the singer would have actually lost her virginity at 14 with her boyfriend, Reg Jones, before she dumped him for Justin. As she said in an interview for Perez Hilton: “A LOT of sex goes into what I do,” as noted in her songs and music videos including "Gimme More," "I Wanna Go" and "I’m a Slave 4 U." She even claims: “I loved being pregnant for so many reasons, not to mention the sex is awesome then.” However, we will see a little less of her now as she said in her documentary: “I love sex. I think sex is great, but I feel a little different about it now that I am older,” covering more during the sexy scenes, because she was being pushed too far sexually, and also because her father is there.
2 Selena Gomez
She made the promise at 13 when dating Nick Jonas who also used to wear a purity ring. She asked her dad to get her one, he went to the church, got it blessed and used her as an example. However, Selena took that ring off when she started dating Justin Bieber in 2010 and became the sexy singer and actress we now know. She openly talked about her choice for The Sunday Times saying: “I'm also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off. I got it when I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone.” She now believes there isn’t anything bad with falling in love, but she is not ashamed of what she thought then, even though she received a lot of criticism. Religion is still important for her, but in a different way, as the tattoo on her hip reads: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Selena changed and she wants people to know about who she is now. Her music now goes straight to the point as she clearly admits wanting sex and claims: “I think I have a very healthy perspective on my sexuality. It's part of being an adult, and I'm still figuring out how to be one of those, too,” as reported by Refinery 29. It seems like the lyrics from "Hands to Myself" meant more than we thought: “Can't keep my hands to myself/ No matter how hard I'm trying to/ I want you all to myself/ Your metaphorical gin and juice.”
1 Miley Cyrus
As the former Disney star of Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus used to say to 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.” She even said the Bible was her ‘how to’ guide for life. However, things changed as she called sex a “beautiful and magical thing” in 2012 and realized being with someone doesn’t mean they own you, and that falling in love doesn’t mean falling into a trap. Now she proudly claims: “Going out doesn’t make you a bad person, just like going to church doesn’t make you a good person” and encourage parents to talk about sex with their kids so they can understand that it is not a bad thing as long as they take some precautions. She feels better now that she feels freer and more accepted as she said in an interview for Paper: “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age (…) “Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 — who is down to love me.” In fact, she admitted her bisexuality a long time ago at 14 and had serious relationships with women the media never knew about. She now supports the "Free the Nipple" campaign and believes women should have the right to be topless, just like men do.