Research

A social issue that I am noticing is teenage pregnancy. Shows like MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant help contribute to the “glamorization” of teen pregnancy. Celebrities that are young moms also add to the glamorization of this issue. These shows and celebs could make teens even think it’s ok to become pregnant young. 16 and Pregnant follows young expecting mothers during their pregnancies and a few months after their babies are born. From the first season of 16 and Pregnant, four teenage mothers were chosen to be featured on the spin off series Teen Mom (Maci, Catelynn, Amber, and Farrah). Their life after their babies were born was documented in this series. It showed the ups and downs of teen motherhood, like getting to celebrate their babies’ birthdays and struggling to try and get along with their baby’s fathers. Soon after the MTV shows aired on television, the girls that starred in them were now plastered on the covers of various weekly magazines and being interviewed on talk shows. They’ve turned into celebrities for having babies at a young age and letting MTV document the experience. “They look like any other celebrity--stalked by paparazzi while doing everyday chores, babies slung on the hip in one frame, bikini-clad in the quintessential beach-comber shot in the next. There's the requisite drama with the familiar bold-letter headlines, the words interchangeable: police, custody battle, diet, plastic surgery, wedding, party, sex.” (Vlahos, 2011). Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol Palin gave birth to her son, Tripp in December 2008. Since then, she has gotten tons of media attention and has been on the cover of magazines with her son. She had her own Lifetime television show called Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp that follows her life with Tripp and the rest of the Palin family. Bristol gets paid a lot of money for all of her appearances. She gives the impression that if a girl becomes a teenage mother, it’s possible she can get her own show, become famous, and be in the public eye.“‘The media here is being extremely irresponsible by glamorizing teen pregnancy,’” (Iwrin, 2010). If America decides to keep making young motherhood look “fun”, then the teen pregnancy rates are sure to go up.

 

References

McKay, Hollie. "Tabloids Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy By Putting Teen Moms on Covers?" Newsgroup. Fox News. N.p., 10 Sept. 2010. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.

 

Vlahos, Kelley Beaucar. "Born to consume: For MTV, teen pregnancy is big business." The American Conservative 10.7 (2011): 22+.Academic OneFile. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.