Who would have thought that Addison Rae, perpetual ray of sunshine that she is, would ever offend conservative Christian morality? Well, the impossible happened: the unlikely trio of Rae, adidas and Praying became the center of a biblical storm.
What happened with Addison Rae, adidas, Pray and Christianity? Let’s start at the top.
On August 3, Rae uploaded an image to her Instagram page promoting Praying’s upcoming adidas collab. In the photo, Rae wore Praying’s signature “Holy Trinity” bikini, which is exactly what it looks like: “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit” printed on the top and bottom of the bikini.
I wonder who is the father, son and holy spirit in the union of Addison Rae, adidas and Praying, but it’s neither here nor there.
The photo was apparently a quick promotion for Praying’s adidas Supernova Cushion 7 sneaker collaboration, but it turned into so much more.
Almost immediately, Christian commentators began mimicking the exaggerated indignation typical of majority groups provoked by a single item of clothing – the cough, Satan Shoe, the cough.
The comments section of Rae’s post immediately erupted in furious outrage.
Rae deleted the adidas and Praying images from her Instagram page but, rather than turn the other cheek, people let the biblical bile spit on other posts.
Especially on Praying’s Instagram page, where the indie brand continues to promote its tongue-in-cheek graphic t-shirts and bags, people have come to groan in droves.
“It’s so wrong,” some said. “This is definitely blasphemy” and, on another post highlighting the Holy Trinity bikini, “This is REALLY irrelevant and extremely disrespectful!”
The vitriol even spilled over to adidas PageInstagramwhere the comments range from “never wear yall again” and “no wonder Kanye wants to quit adidas” – there are probably other reasons but yes of course – to inarticulate cries in all caps.
“THIS WHY YALL ON YALL DOWNFALL NOW WHOM WHO GOT THE IDEA MUST BE FIRED ASAP BECAUSE HE DEFINITELY JUST BANKRUPTTED THE COMPANY,” someone yelled, assuming the ad Praying x Addison Rae’s adidas alone would be enough to fuel a multi-billion dollar business.
Highsnobiety has reached out to adidas for comment.
Rae, meanwhile, escaped much of Instagram’s bloated assault, but her TikTok page was full of grunts.
There, people offered insightful tidbits like, “Jesus is king,” “Just sad bro,” and “we were all rooting for you, how dare you,” as if Rae hadn’t just been wearing a bikini. but had actually announced his new role as the High Priest of Satanism.
The weight of the backlash appears to be impacting Rae IRL, who was snapped by paparazzi as she returned from daily pilates a day after the controversy.
The TikTok star, normally beaming in a sunny workout outfit, wore a dark outfit instead with a matching Balenciaga hat pulled down low.
Even a week after the controversy, Rae still hasn’t posted anything on her Instagram or TikTok accounts.
The funny thing is that all this moral panic only heightens the visibility of everyone involved.
With drama, especially moral panic, comes more attention and with more visibility usually comes more money. Hey, that didn’t hurt Travis Scott.
Like, I don’t know if the Holy Trinity bikini made it to the front page of The Pray website before the drama or if the brand revamped the setting in an enterprising move to capitalize on the drama, but it’s very good timing either way.
Pray had trolls boiling on August 4 with a cheeky Bible quote. He also continued to upload Instagram stories of people wearing the Holy Trinity bikini throughout the day.
The comments section was as dire as expected. Some people have retained a sense of humor though, including Praying pal Josh Madden of Good Charlotte fame.
Praying later nudged pearl lovers again by uploading another image of the Holy Trinity bikini captioned with a line from The Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again”: “Now I know how Jeanne felt. Bow.”
While Praying may be up to the task of coping with the fury, controversy is rare for sunny Addison Rae, whose entire brand rests on her divine charm.
She still has some experience in the face of firestormsshe overcame them head on and came out the other side almost unscathed.
“One thing about me that surprises people is that I’m as happy as the pictures are,” she recently told Highsnobiety.
“I try to always be positive, and people think it’s not real. No matter what situation I’ve been in all my life, good or bad, I always [known] that things pass and improve.
The same approach is probably applicable here.
Like any moral affront that invades social media, this too will pass. Rae, adidas and Praying will ultimately be fine. These widespread harassment campaigns always run out of steam as promoters find something else to complain about.
Really, the part that surprises me the most is the sheer volume of complaints that have flooded the internet. Not to get into a theological debate or anything, but it’s weird.
People acting like they’re personally persecuted for retaining their Christian identity, in particular (note that Rae hasn’t commented much publicly on religion, but various celebrity stats websites report that her family is Christian).
About 63% of Americans identify as a Christian according to a 2020 poll, which is a lot of people. In fact, it’s not unfair to say that Christianity is, by and large, the dominant religion in America and still informs much of this country’s legislation.
Yet there are still people who complain that it was unfair for Rae to “target” Christians, as if it were some sort of specific attack on an often maligned or minority religious belief.
The commodification Christian imagery isn’t inherently blasphemous, so it can’t be right that they’re mad to see the Holy Trinity bikini itself, can it?
Or, at least, those people should be just as crazy about Praying’s printed swimsuit, Kanye and Justin Bieber merchandise. “Holy” t-shirt.
Instead, it was probably the context of Praying’s Holy Trinity bikini that triggered people. Are some familiar words imprinted on the parts of a woman’s body that society both objects and shames?
But few people are really upset by people who wear tongue-in-cheek “Jesus Loves Me” t-shirts, are they?
This, in particular, feels less like outright sacrilege and more like social media-obsessed individuals seizing the opportunity to feign hurt for a taste of delicious righteous indignation.
Maybe people should ask themselves, WWJD? Would the big man be really cool with a bunch of randos chasing a 21-year-old through hate comments on Instagram and TikTok?