Reality television is a massive hit in todays’ pop culture. Every Tuesday at ten o’clock on MTV, you will find up to three million viewers tuning in to watch the show Teen Mom, which is a spinoff of the reality show 16 and Pregnant that started in 2009. The girls on the show have volunteered themselves to put their lives on television and have people across the nation watch them struggle to survive as a teenager with a child right by their side. Today's pop culture celebrates teen pregnancy by having shows on television like MTV's Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, not to mention, the stars on the show being glamourized on the cover of magazines. This reality show is raising the questions, “Do we support and glorify teen pregnancy?” Or, “If I’m a teenager in America, and I get knocked up, there is a chance that I might end up on television?” The show has created a large controversy between whether the show aids viewers or harms them.
Having a baby should be looked upon as something special. It can change someone’s life and make it better or worse. The reality show started off to prevent teenage pregnancy and use it as a teaching tool. Lately, though, things have changed. The teen moms are no longer just teen moms. Perhaps, inevitably, they are celebrities, with a seeming lock on the covers of tabloids. Ashley Majeski, TODAY contributor, states, “As the popularity of “Teen Mom” and “Teen Mom 2” grew, so did the media’s interest in the stars. Soon the girls were appearing on tabloid magazine covers, discussing who they were dating or divorcing, and in the cases of Amber Portwood and Jenelle Evans, their latest legal troubles. As the media’s obsession with the moms grew, so did the young women’s paychecks. No longer were they struggling to find money to buy diapers, they were buying houses, breast implants and more, all thanks to their MTV salaries” (Majeski). The intriguing show is simply exemplifying to the viewers that they are getting by just fine. The girls on the show likely had issues that existed before they appeared on television, but there is little doubt that the rewards the show has given them has had an impact.
An unplanned teen pregnancy will bring heartache and make getting an education extremely difficult, if not impossible. Nowadays, having a college degree, let alone a high school diploma, is something that is required for most jobs. Philip McGraw, best known as Dr. Phil stated, “Teen pregnancy is the number one reason why teen girls drop out of school” (McGraw). The educational challenges brought up by teen pregnancy do not just affect the teen parents but others as well. Sure, it makes the parents goal to get a good paying career difficult, but it makes life harder on the child of the teen parents. The children could have issues in school and harder time learning since they could not have all the resources other children have. Leah Messer, in Teen Mom found out by the second season of the hit show, that keeping up with a full-time school schedule soon ended up being way too much for her to handle as a mother. Messer found herself struggling and falling behind with so many other responsibilities to tend to, like her adorable twin daughters, Aliannah and Aleeah. Messer is not the only one who had to drop out of school from the show. Another girl is represented in the article “Get the Facts on Teen Mom Drop-Out Rates.” The author Lauren Mann states, “Amber dropped out of high school when she found out she was pregnant, and three years later, she still doesn’t have her GED. She says she deeply regrets dropping out” (Mann). The Teen Mom cast members are ideal examples of how difficult it is to maintain grades and raise a child, or children at the same time. It isn’t easy to watch these children living with the consequences of the choices their parents made. It’s even harder watching the parents act unfledged when they should be making mature adult choices not only for themselves, but also...
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