I have a confession to make…. I’m totally addicted to trash reality TV. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2. The biggest pile of crap on the box but I can’t switch off now. I’ve even started watching Teen Mom UK, not because I want to watch it, but purely for continuity.
I have to wonder are programs like these glamorising teen pregnancy. The American versions of the show definitely are not a reflection on real life and I feel this is quite irresponsible on MTV’S part.
The cast all seem to be living the high life regardless of being Teen Mom’s, There all living in the big house and driving the flash cars, but what viewers at home (especially young impressionable women) probably don’t realise is that I imagine this is all funded by MTV.
I had a look on the internet to find out some facts about teenage pregnancy in the UK:
- 1 in every 25 teenage girls in the UK will fall pregnant.
- There is a 63 % chance of the child of a teenager to be born into poverty.
- 40% of teenage mums will leave school with no qualifications.
- The UK has the highest teenage rate in western Europe.
- Teenage pregnancy is higher in more economically deprived areas.
What effect do programs like Teen Mom have on teenagers?
In my opinion programs like these are totally glamorising teen pregnancy. Its cast and storylines do not reflect real life. What we do see mainly is young mothers who do not do much other than be part of these shows driving new cars and living in big houses (mainly provided for by MTV).
I wanted to get feedback from a “real” teen mum:
Lisa from http://thatbritishbetty.com/
The night my eldest was born (I had a traumatic birth and ended up really poorly) I heard a nurse sneer: ‘Look at the state of that, she’s barely out of school!’ which was obviously hurtful. I also felt that people assumed I was incompetent, perhaps a single mum on benefits etc. Nothing wrong with that of course but the truth was, I was in a relationship, working and had a home of my own! We had a supportive family and my girl wanted for nothing. The irony, now that my own daughter is almost 17, I’m actively encouraging her to go and live her life before starting a family. I do regret missing out on going to university with my friends, first girls holidays etc. If I had my time again, I would never have had my children so young – I resented losing my freedom. Controversial perhaps but true.
I asked Lisa how she felt about programs like Teen Mom:
I think they glorify it. My youngest (now 13) keeps talking about a girl in Year 11 at school who’s currently pregnant and I can almost sense that she thinks it’s ‘cool’ and exciting. Maybe it is for a while but the reality of raising babies with little life experience is tough.
So what’s your opinion are these tv show’s portatraying the reality of being a teen mum?
Were you a teen mum? How did you cope, did you have the support needed?