Mom Before Prom

Teen Pregnancy seems to be a hot topic in today’s media, especially since there’s many television shows about it. But is it really that glamorous life the media makes it out to be? Does everybody have a happy ending? Television shows such as ABC Family’s The Secret Life Of an American Teenager or MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant make the high school pregnant life not so bad, when, in reality, it IS.

In today’s society, a teen getting pregnant is close to being normal. You see it on TV, in movies, music videos, books, and on the streets. You hear it from friends, siblings, parents, talking about how girls at school are pregnant and family friends have a pregnant daughter. It really has become a NORMAL thing. The media makes it seem like an amazing and glamorous thing. On Secret Life, the main character, Amy, is a pregnant teen coping with the struggles of high school. As soon as she gets pregnant, everything goes away, all the drama, her parents are proud, people start to love her, she gets married and has a very happy life with her son. In real life, you’ll lose almost all of your friends, you might lose your parents respect, you could get married but chances are, it’s going to end. Why would they make a show about all the lovely things that come from getting pregnant? Is this having an effect on people? Since the show aired in 2009, the rate of teen mothers has risen a bit, going from 67 in 1000 to 143 in 1000. Other teen pregnancy shows such as 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and High School Moms aired in 2009 as well. TV shows like this make teen pregnancy seem like a trend, having teens around the country wanting to “join in” on this trend. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But there are some people out there that have tried to “join this trend.” I remember once I was watching Dr. Phil, and a young girl and her boyfriend came on. They were talking about how they purposely got pregnant so they could be famous on MTV. And she’s not the only one who’s done it. Creator of Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, Lauren Dolgen, says she, “made the show to prevent teens from getting pregnant. Not to go out and get pregnant.” But, that’s just what these shows have done, gotten kids pregnant.

Some shows, such as Degrassi: The Next Generation, show the negative sides of getting pregnant in high school. In season 10, one of the characters, Jenna Middleton, gets pregnant as a sophomore. She loses a lot of friends, and she tries to raise it with her boyfriend. Things get really complicated and he abandons her alone. She ends up just giving the baby away, because it’s too hard for her to handle. She grieves upon the adoption of her baby and wishes to take it back, but she can’t. That’s reality, that’s what REALLY happens to a pregnant teen. This isn’t the only case of teen mothers on Degrassi, there is also Liberty’s story, who got pregnant and broke up with her boyfriend for it. He became depressed because he couldn’t be with his baby. And the adopted parents move really far away from Liberty, causing her to act out. Another charater, Mia, has a child. It’s hard for her to do all the in-school activites while raising a kid, so she gets kicked off of the cheerleading team and loses most of her friends. This is an example of the media’s good effects on teen pregnancy. But this seems to be one of the only ones.

Washingon High School’s Gaby Rodriguez did a school project where she faked her pregnancy for 6 months straight, keeping track of all the effects It had on her reputation. She lost all of her friends, her boyfriend’s mother “banished” her, and teachers started losing faith in her and purposely lowered her grades. A story like this proves that on television, shows such as Teen Mom, Secret Life, and High School Mothers leave out most of the bad stuff, just showing the drama in a normal teenagers life. 61% of people say shows like these glamorize teen mothers too much.

The media encourages sex in television, movies, music, books, online videos, magazines, and everything else in the world. Teens are thinking it’s okay, hence, getting pregnant. Teen pregnancy is a big issue, and the media adds to it. Teen mothers don’t have the glamorous life television shows and movies make it out to be, it really is a big struggle in health, emotions, social life and money. Everything in your life gets worse once you become a teen mother. If you’re confused by the messages coming out of the media’s mouth, just remember one thing. IT’S NEVER GOOD. Don’t trust everything you see on MTV and ABC Family. Listen to your parents, kids. ?

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