Thursday, January 20, 2011
Is "16 and Pregnant" Glamorized?
If you look it up the meaning of the word "celebrity" on wikipedia you will see the definition is as follows:
"A person who is easily recognized by a society or a culture."
..hm...in that case by that definition the cast of MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" are celebrities in their own right. Both shows document the lives, struggles, births, relationships, and the after math of teen pregnancy. It can be argued that the show is more informative than anything. MTV takes great pride in releasing statements that they do not want to sugar coat or encourage teen pregnancy. Throughout every episode there is a small message that says "to find out more information on how to avoid teen pregnancy go to (insert website)" There is even an after show where Dr. Drew talks to each girl and drops more information and statistics on teen pregnancy and how to avoid it.
If you have ever watched the show, the results of teen pregnancy are very real and are not sugarcoated. For many of the girls, the stress of caring for a child at such a young age results in broken family relationships, the end of their relationship with the baby's father, countless conversations about economic struggles, and hard decisions like adoption. In many cases, dreams of education and careers also go on the back burner. I would agree, MTV does a great job of showcasing that being a teen mom is no cake walk. So how do people get the concept that these shows "glamorize" teen pregnancy? We just read an article today about an all girls school in which 90% of the population is a pregnant and yet another article about teenage girls getting pregnant on purpose with the hopes of being on the show?
The answer is not MTV, it is other media outlets that glamorize the concept of teen pregnancy.
Cast members of "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" are showcased on the front of major magazines and getting once in a lifetime offers to do things such as "Dancing with the Stars," getting interviews by major TV personalities, and offers to do Play Boy spreads. To make matters worse, the interviewer for these major magazines does not take such liberties and care as MTV to not glamorize teen pregnancy. Instead of being asked piercing questions such as "What is your greatest struggle? How are you paying for college? How do you get along with your estranged baby's father?" the interviews are conducted in the same style of an interview that would be held with Beyonce Knowles. These articles are laden with questions begging the cast members to tell stories of how they ate lunch and went baby clothes shopping with Bristol Palin, all their upcoming "projects" and how much they are being paid for them, and selling pictures of their baby showers and child's 1st birthday parties for big bucks. It is easy to see why a 16 year old girl with lack of maturity could be led astray into believing a belly full of baby is her meal ticket to stardom.
What do you all think? Comment and vote!