There’s a slew of arguments to be made for and against the show Teen Mom, but many of them circulate around the fact that it’s been a big cash cow for MTV and the feeling is that they won’t be letting it go anytime soon. Well of course they won’t, that would be insane from a business standpoint when one really looks at it. But from a moral and ethical standpoint a lot of people tend to think that showcasing young, pregnant mothers and letting people watch them go through the motions of being pregnant while their lives ‘fall down around them’ is not only irresponsible, it’s reprehensible for the amount of damage it can do by showing these images to those that might watch and think to either take pity on these young women or inspire other young women to think that they too might be able to depend on such a program if they decide to get pregnant at a young age. The issue with any and all arguments for and against this show is that too many of them are based off emotion and not the stark facts that might end up getting this show taken off the air if they were ever brought to light.
Want to know a few?
There’s a lot of heavy editing.
TV has become more drama than it’s worth, and in some cases the drama is fine if it’s scripted to be that way and isn’t leaving anything out. But reality TV is rarely anything truly real, and this show proves it along with several others. Entire chunks of conversations have been edited out, either vilifying those on the show or allowing others to act like victims when in reality their roles are quite different. The idea of the young women being good mothers to their children isn’t an alien one since even a teen can care for kids, but the practice of cutting out certain parts of the show to increase the drama and lessen the idea that these are thinking, rational people has become a habit that draws in more viewers since conflict is something that people love to see on a continual basis, especially if it allows them to judge others based on what they see rather than what they don’t.
There is a very real risk of being pregnant as a teen.
This gets touched upon now and then as though it’s a footnote, but the danger of not exploring it further is that teens still continue to act in a rather foolish manner by trying to get pregnant or not taking the necessary steps to not get pregnant. Lower birth weight, anemia, a higher infant mortality rate, and even various birth defects from lack of proper care can come from a teen getting pregnant. There isn’t a 100 percent chance that it will happen to every last teen that gets pregnant, but showcasing that life is somewhat hard but not downright scary during the pregnancy is a bit irresponsible, not to mention unethical. If there was any reason why this show would need to exist it would be to showcase why teens SHOULDN’T get pregnant, rather than the other way around.
It’s a paycheck for making a mistake they can’t take back.
That might sound overly cynical but it’s there and I’m not taking it back. Things look so happy and shiny at times on this show that it makes people forget that having a kid is not always sunshine and rainbows. As an adult it’s hard enough since you have work and possibly school to deal with along with another life that you have to nurture and take care of. But as a teen that seems to want to enjoy their lives and have fun while raising a kid it becomes more difficult. But when a corporation like MTV sweeps in and offers several young women a paycheck to detail their life experiences things suddenly become okay since they can now do what they want and act like model mothers. In the real world it doesn’t work this way, teen mothers are not granted an automatic paycheck the moment they become pregnant, and cannot live in style as several of these mothers have. In other words the show is severely misleading and gyrates wildly around the fact that these women are being paid to act like model mothers, when in truth if they didn’t have this paycheck a few of them would be quite destitute.
All in all this show is kind of a joke since the real world, you know, the world beyond ‘reality TV’ is far more unkind and less forgiving than anything you’ll see on the small screen. The one reason why this show needs to end finally is that it glorifies teen pregnancy, when in truth the moment a teen becomes pregnant their lives will change in ways they can’t possibly fathom.
Tell us what's wrong with this post? How could we improve it? :)
Let us improve this post!