'Hot Mormon Muffins' Calendar Pokes Fun at Mormon Mom Stereotype
SALT LAKE CITY – The latest installment of a calendar series that pokes fun at Mormon stereotypes is putting a twist on motherhood.
The "Hot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood" calendar features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in vintage pinup picture poses. Each month also has a muffin recipe.
It's a companion piece to "Men on a Mission," the three-year series of calendars that featured 12 male church missionaries who doffed their signature white shirts.
Last year, a dustup over the calendar ultimately cost its creator, Las Vegas entrepreneur Chad Hardy, his membership in the church and his diploma from the church-owned Brigham Young University.
Hardy said the projects are designed to shake up stereotypes that paint Mormons in general as stuffy or hyper-conservative and mothers in particular as homemakers from another era.
"For Mormons, the most holy calling next to missionary work is motherhood," said Hardy. "But they're not all the subservient housewives that people think they are."
Church spokeswoman Kim Farah declined to comment on the calendar Monday.
On paper, Miss May and cover model Tami Roberts seems like she might fit the stereotype.
A lifetime Mormon, the 35-year-old woman from Idaho Falls, Idaho, has been married 17 years to a Mormon man and has three daughters, ages 11, 9 and 4. The family attends church, and Roberts said she's raising her kids with Mormon values.
"I also want them to be open, accepting of other people, know that everybody is not the same and that it's OK to make your own choices," said Roberts, who works as a restaurant server and confessed to having a few tattoos, generally considered taboo among Mormons.
Robert said her turn as a calendar model was an accident. Last year, she read news reports about Hardy and his disciplinary problems with the church and BYU.
"That made mad, I did not agree with that," said Roberts, who applied for the job on a whim after she heard a women's version of the calendar was in the works.
Roberts said the $15.95 calendar's pinup poses and slightly revealing outfits aren't in keeping with the message of modesty promoted by the church, but she's not ashamed of the pictures.
"The pictures are tasteful, and it's fun. I don't see why people can't have a sense of humor," she said. "I just don't think it's a big deal."
The women featured in the calendar range in age from 26 to 53. Some have as many as four children. Several are stay-at-home moms, while others are students, real estate agents, cosmetologists and dance instructors. One is a former Miss Utah and another is a breast cancer survivor, according to biographies on the calendar Web site.
Hardy and a business partner created the first "Men on a Mission" calendar for 2008. The 2009 version drew the attention of the church, and Hardy was excommunicated in July 2008 after a church court.
Hardy participated in graduation ceremonies at BYU in Provo a month later, but his diploma was withheld. He lost an appeal of the decision in March.
Leaders in Las Vegas and a dean of students at BYU said the calendar was not in keeping with the values espoused by the Mormon church.