We’ve grown used to seeing irresponsible teens and bad parenting on the MTV show “16 And Pregnant,” and that’s part of what makes it such a compelling and powerful watch. It teaches cocky adolescents that having a baby is more than just dressing infants in cute clothes and parading a kid around in a stroller at the park. But on last night’s special 1.5-hour long episode of the show, featuring anorexic pregnant teen Kayla, Kayla’s mother Deb was the truly horrific parent.
Kayla’s anorexia and struggle with her eating disorder made her pregnancy doubly difficult. Her complex and uncomfortable feelings about her body had her skipping meals and unwilling and unable to eat food, even though she knew taking in nutrients was absolutely necessary for the health of her child. But despite several close calls, and a complete lack of support from her mother, Kayla gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Over and over, we see Kayla express — in an articulate and nuanced way — how her eating disorder has skewed her brain’s ability to do what’s right for her baby. But then, just weeks after giving birth, and knowing that her daughter had long-struggled with anorexia, Deb asks her daughter to go on a diet with her. Keep reading »
Tonight at 11:30 EST, MTV will air the special “No Easy Decision,” in which teen mom Markai Durham of “16 & Pregnant” has an abortion. As first reported by Crushable, Markai got pregnant by her boyfriend James shortly after giving birth to baby Za’karia and decided to end the pregnancy. Two other young women who chose to have abortions will be depicted in “No Easy Decision” as well. According to Jennifer Armstrong at Entertainment Weekly, who exclusively viewed the special, “While pro-life critics will likely find fault with the show just for existing, no one can accuse the documentarians of making abortion look easy or fun.” Keep reading »
That took long enough: Amber Portwood, the star of MTV‘s “Teen Mom,” was arrested yesterday for a domestic violence assault on her daughter Leah’s father, Gary Shirley. As you can see from her mug shots, her skin is 90 percent less orange in the clink. Keep reading »
It’s about time! MTV will air a special called “No Easy Decision” in which Markai Durham, a teen on the latest season of “16 And Pregnant,” has an abortion. As first reported by Crushable, Markai got pregnant by her boyfriend James shortly after giving birth to baby Za’karia and decided to end the pregnancy. The special will air on December 28.
Keep reading »
I remember when gossip columns devoted space to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Now we’ve got Amber Portwood, the young woman on “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” who Star magazine says is pregnant with her second baby. Amber is already the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Leah, with ex-fiance Gary Shirley. Star says she’s dating a cage fighter named Clinton Yunker and “is hoping that the child is Shirley’s nonetheless.”
There’s no escaping the “Teen Mom” girls now. Just admit it: it’s dirt cheap for paparazzi to photograph them, so they are claiming tabloid domination. And while Catelynn and Tyler (who gave their kid up for adoption) are the couple who tug our heart strings, you couldn’t avoid Amber if you tried.
And that worries me. Keep reading »
When I read that our blogger friends at Jezebel.com started a PayPal account for a “college fund” to help Catelynn and Tyler, the teens who gave their daughter up for adoption on “16 and Pregnant,” my heart melted a little bit. “Catelynn and Tyler have won us over, exhibiting strength and maturity in the face of hardship, and they’ve expressed a desire to continue their schooling,” wrote blogger Tracie Egan Morrissey. “So we’ve decided to raise some cash for their college education.” Who doesn’t watch those kids’ awful parents — Tyler’s dad, Butch, who is in and out of prison; Catelynn’s mom, who is nasty to Catelynn for not keeping her baby — without wanting to get them outta there? Anyone whose left their own family drama behind them knows it takes a certain amount of money for a young person to extricate himself or herself from their parents. I don’t know how much they’re paid by MTV to appear on “Teen Mom.” So, hell, if Jezebel wants to help these kids out some more, show me where I can donate.
But my colleague Julie couldn’t disagree more. Julie’s also a “16 & Pregnant”/”Teen Mom” fan and her soft spot for Catelynn and Tyler is just as big as mine. But she questions Jezebel.com’s motives for starting a PayPal college fund in the first place. Not to mention the fact that they’re just doing it for Catelynn and Tyler—not the others on the show.
So Julie and I did what we always do around The Frisky when we disagree: we had a catfight! After the jump, the hair will fly! Keep reading »
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.” Keep reading »
Before the sexual revolution happened in the ’60s and ’70s, life got bleak for pregnant teen girls really fast. You could be cast from your home and sent away to give birth in seclusion, or risk an illegal and dangerous back-alley abortion. In 2010, the pendulum has swung entirely in the opposite direction — but not necessarily in a good way. MTV allegedly pitched “Teen Mom” as a program after Jamie-Lynn Spears (Brit-Brit’s little sis) became pregnant at 16; last year, Bristol Palin made the cover of People magazine and soon she’ll be dancing with the stars, while Maci Bookout and Farah Abraham from “16 & Pregnant” grace the covers of OK! and Us Weekly with their babies as props. So it’s fair to ask if our social attitudes have swung entirely in the opposite direction, too: Does putting girls whose only claim to fame is getting knocked up while they still had a learner’s permit “glamorize” teen pregnancy? Keep reading »