What You See vs. Reality: Teen Mom

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Christine Jacoub
Mrs. Kostelich
English 10803.040
April 20, 2012

What You See VS. Reality
Authors Note: This is my last draft. I feel like I covered ethos, pathos, and logos throughout my paper, however, I was having a really hard time making my three reasons obvious. Could you see them? Also, I think I stayed on topic with my reasons all to prove that Teen Mom is unrealistic. Although I didn’t have a visual, I asked fellow students at TCU, boys and girls, if they watch the show, and why, trying to prove MTV’s defense wrong, does that make sense? For some reason, this paper was one of the more difficult ones for me, and I look forward to reading your comments to see where I strayed and lost the main focus.

There have been many experiences during my high school period that have made me question certain aspects of life, like whether things are right or wrong, or whether things are realistic or not. By overcoming these conflicts, I have been shaped into the person I am today, and as an individual, I enjoy thinking about people’s true intentions, and whether certain situations are impactful or valuable. As I grow and see the world around me, I begin to question the ethics of the media more and more every day. However, there was one particular moment that hit me like nothing I had ever experienced; the TV show, ‘Teem Mom’. It was an ordinary Saturday morning; I woke up, brushed my teeth, made my breakfast, and went straight to the TV room to find something interesting to watch. As I was flipping through channels, I came across the MTV station, where I saw a 16-year-old girl carrying a baby, while yelling at what appeared to be a 16-year-old boy about not truly “loving” her. I continued to watch, and by the end of the 30-minute segment, my stomach had completely dropped. I felt an emotion of disgust and betrayal. What kind of image had that TV show just presented to me? Was I really just watching a TV show that made it “cool” to be a teen mom? I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I still don’t. There are many reasons as to why the hit TV show, Teen Mom, is unrealistic. Such reasoning boils down to three main arguments: my second hand experience on a teen pregnancy through my best friend, the way the hit TV show glamorizes each teen’s life, never showing the true hardships and obstacles teen moms go through, and instead showing scenes that only appeal for the entertainment and ratings, and the “coincidences” between the old and new life of each teen and their families that link the show to a purpose surrounding fame and money.

When I was in 5th grade, I became very close friends with a girl named Tara. As years passed, we had issues that strained our friendship from time to time, but we always knew we had each other’s backs and nothing would change that. When it came time to graduate middle school, we both were set on different high schools, but we promised to always try to stay in touch and remain friends. As life took it’s toll, it became harder and harder for us to keep in touch, but one day changed all of that. During my senior year of high school, my friend Tara Tepe became pregnant. “It was the roughest 9 months of my life”(Tepe), Tara said as we sat together reminiscing life’s vulnerability. I was with Tara throughout the months of her pregnancy, and saw the pain and pressure she had to endure every single day. She told me “every morning brought a new struggle, whether it was the different looks I would get, the fact that I had to miss school events like prom and homecomings, OR just the pain of carrying an 11 pound baby”(Tepe). I saw what my friend Tara had to go through, and it was definitely nowhere near what MTV’s Teen Mom portrayed. The 30-minute segment showed lies and deceit, making it look easy and normal to be a teen mom, which filled me with anger and pain, for in reality, being a teen mom is extremely difficult. For Tara, she was asked to attend school online while pregnant, but was welcome to come back...
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