So I recently got into watching MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I’m not big on MTV programming ever since the “music” television station ceased to have anything to do with music, but i digress… I started to watch mostly because there was nothing on tv one night, but also to see what all the former raucous was about. Even before I started watching the show I heard the bad rap about it promoting/glorifying teen pregnancy. People argued that by giving pregnant teens their own show MTV was making it seem “cool” to get knocked up. I pretty much agreed despite the fact I had never really watched the show in detail. However, after tuning in, I perceived the show very differently. Now I’m wondering if all the people who badmouth it ever watched it to begin with.
Most of the girls in the show (at least when I started watching it) deal with some real issues. Dating violence, verbal abuse, health issues and financial struggles are just a few of the obvious issues you will see in the show. All of the teens deal with different issues and have different outcomes and consequences for their actions. There are some couples like Teen Mom’s Leah and Corey who take the struggles head on and handle the stress fairly well for their age. Then there are others like Jenelle who need a reality check on what it means to be a parent. If anything the show emphasizes how teens are certainly not ready for pregnancy or parenthood.
If you want to complain about a show that glorifies teen pregnancy look no further than The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Now, let me say first off that I love the show. I’ve watched from the very beginning so I have that strange television addiction where you just have to see it out until the end. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the secret life world is majorly warped. When you watch you don’t feel bad for the actors. One girl on the show is pregnant and another is a mother. They don’t seem to have any major struggles or obstacles. They are still leading fairly normal teenage lives, and even talking about marriage constantly. It’s the furthest thing from reality.
As I said before, I like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I also enjoy The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I’m also mature enough to know the difference between reality and television. I think the most important thing is to teach your kids what’s real and what’s not. After all, they see and hear plenty of things in the media that aren’t necessarily true.