An Open Letter To The Tabloids About “Teen Mom”
Dear Us Weekly, Life & Style, OK!, People and the rest of the tabloid mags out there:
We love that we can solidly rely on you for coverage of Jen Aniston’s sex life, Brangelina’s oversized brood, or anything to do with Kim Kardashian’s butt. But for the love of God, please stop covering the girls of “Teen Mom.” Why shouldn’t you cover Maci, Farrah, Catelynn and Amber? Well, for one (very big reason): writing about these girls muddies the line between highlighting their stories and turning them into bonafide pop celebrities. It’s great that shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” exist, because they show the stark reality of what it’s like to be a teen parent. We love that MTV chose to tackle such a serious and heart-wrenching subject, and in the girls it’s chosen to follow we see how truly hardscrabble, challenging and, at times, excruciatingly painful teen parenting is. MTV should be applauded for exposing its viewers to an uncensored look at teen motherhood. But when you stick them on the cover of a magazine, you glamorize their stories and make teen motherhood seem suddenly cool.
Cover stories featuring Catelynn and the gang convey the message that teen pregnancy will be rewarded with attention. It seems as if these girls are now being rewarded — with fame and notoriety — for getting knocked up.
While we certainly aren’t here to judge these girls or their decisions, putting them on the cover of magazines alongside celebs like Jen Aniston and Angelina Jolie sends a dangerous and confusing message to teen girls. Get pregnant, and it could make you famous. Get pregnant, and you’ll get all the attention you’d ever want. As we head into a third season of “16 and Pregnant,” it’s clear that teen pregnancy isn’t going to abate unless we make every effort to let girls know there are other options. So we’re calling on you to stop treating these girls like they’re celebrities by updating us constantly on their romantic entanglements and scandalous brawls with baby daddies, and let them focus on being parents instead.
And please, get back to telling us who Kim Kardashian will date next.