Reality or Gloss–Teen Pregnancy and the Media
At the grocery store, I am confronted by front page pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears and her new baby while waiting to checkout. I might not even be inclined to notice too much except for the fact that my teenage daughter points the magazine out. The headline proclaims how being a mom is the best thing in the world.
I agree that being a mom is a great thing. I love children, which is why I have 5 of them. I?m thrilled for Jamie Lynn that she is happy being a mom. I?m not sure I?m happy about the message this article is sending to my teenage daughters though.
My daughters never expressed an interest in Jamie Lynn?s TV show on Nickelodeon until after the pregnancy news broke. It seemed all of their friends were speaking about it and they were curious to see what all the drama was about. A teenage star who was pregnant! They asked to watch the show and I have to say that I said no because their motives concerned me.
I had my first child when I was 22. Unlike Jamie Lynn, I worried about how I was going to pay the electric bill and buy diapers. I bought most of my nursery items at the second hand store, or people gave me what they were done using. My daughter wore a lot of hand me downs. I learned a lot about priorities and parenthood during my child?s early years?as do most parents.
The reality is that while being a mom is great, it is hard work. Mothering means putting aside your selfish ways and putting the needs of another human being before yours. It means sacrificing. These are tough concepts for adults, let alone a teenager. I wonder if the magazine article addressed the difficult issues of parenting, or did it just gloss over this?
What do you think? Did this magazine cover story and article glamorize teen pregnancy? Does this concern you?