Maybe it's because I'm sweating. Maybe it's because I'm a little stressed at work with THE BIG TEST coming up. Remember last night when I mentioned 16 and Pregnant was on in the background and that it was irritating me? Well, it continued to irritate me for quite awhile. Hubs was watching it as I halfway listened in disgust.
In a nutshell, here's what I think of these shows: they are glorification of teen pregnancy at its best and exploitation of children at its worst. When I say children, I mean baby AND mother.
I got into Teen Mom when I was pregnant with Toph and quickly found it to be a show of what not to do with your child. I felt sorry for the girls but since I had no experience as a parent, I watched the show with rapt interest.
Toph is born. I continue to watch the show but this time, I start to feel a little icky about it. Watching Amber beat the ever-loving snot out of her boyfriend in front of her child made me squirm on the inside: what was I being a party to by watching this?
New season of Teen Mom comes on with all new moms. Toph is about the age of the babies on this show. My ickyness quickly turns into a range of emotions, from disgust, to sadness, to anger, to disbelief and finally, to tears. A television program should not make me feel these emotions in the range of an hour. I quit watching but sometimes hubs puts it on in the background when there's nothing else on; I don't blame him, it's like watching a train wreck. This proverbial train wreck involved tiny, innocent children and I can't get behind watching that.
My worry is (and I'm sure this is the worry of many) is this: when do teenage girls start finding this as "cool"? You see these girls during prime time on MTV (the go to station for this demographic), you see these girls on the cover of magazines and you hear that these girls are making a sizeable amount of money for exploiting their children. I mean, why NOT get pregnant as a teenager if you could be famous?
I'll leave you with something I saw today with my very eyes, the thing that spawned this little ranty rant: today, after a long day, I rushed out the door to go pick my baby up from daycare. It's my favorite part of the day, I will never get over the smile on his face when he sees me in the doorway, ready to take him home. As I'm driving to the daycare, I am behind a school bus. I quietly pray that it does not stop and hold up traffic while the kids get out, I'm in a hurry (I'm always in a hurry, I would fit into New York City perfectly). This bus, which is an ISD bus, paid for with our tax dollars, drives into the driveway of the day care. I find this odd as I think, "surely, they don't let high schoolers in for after school care??" I get out of my car, try not to sprint to the door to pick up my child. The three 17 year old high school girls walk in with me. As I go to the infant room to get Toph, the girls go to the two year old room to get their children. Yes, one girl had more than one. I watch as they walk back outside with their babies, get on the school bus with their children in their arms, and leave. In the school bus.
We've got a problem in this country folks. And I don't think MTV has found the answer.
I have nothing, not one thing against teen moms. Most teen moms (incidentally, the ones not shown on MTV) are wonderful, hard working mothers. My MIL was a teen mom (but not single) and my husband is the kindest, most caring and compassionate person I know. My problem is with promoting it in this manner. It's one thing to show how hard motherhood as a teen is, but it's another to not address misbehaviors by these young women. No one is telling teenage viewers that what these girls are doing is wrong or innappropriate, and my fear is that teenage viewers with think it's right or okay.