‘Teen Mom’ has some benefits

By Jamie Santoro
February 1, 2011

Thank you Jamie-Lynn Spears. Thank you Sarah Palin’s daughter. Thank you for contributing to our society in a way I can never truly express.

Thank you for pushing teen pregnancy to the forefront of American curiosity.

Teen pregnancy has two roles in my life. First and foremost, entertainment. Maybe it’s politically incorrect to point and laugh at pregnant teens. Well if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

It is no accident that the teens on MTV’s hit show “Teen Mom,” is also what some may call trashy. Just as the “Real World” is more likely to cast a choir girl turned stripper than a honor student.  It makes better television.

Although a pregnant honor student sounds interesting.

Since “Teen Mom” has come into my life I have found myself enamoured with the lives of these trailer-park teens and their respective buns.

First we have Farrah. Most of the drama is between her and her abusive mother who she sometimes got along with but usually just called the cops on.

Maci is kind of boring. I’m a fan of how she says Bently. That’s all I remember about her.

Design by Lauren Sliva / Photo credit: -MCT-

Then there’s the gold mine that is Amber. Where to start with her. She’s honestly a national treasure. When she yells “Gary!” I can’t help but yelp in joy.

So many quotes I find slipping out of my mouth at many an inappropriate occasion.

For example when I am meeting with Amber LaJeunesse, CAP Board Advisor, I can’t help but hear Gary screaming and slamming the door. Makes things awkward.

This show is approaching “Real Housewives of New York” level of reverence in my book. Amber equals Kelly, and that is the highest compliment I can give.

On the other hand, this show is also incredibly educational. This show makes me want to put a condom on and not take it off until I’m 27. “Teen Mom” shows the physical, financial and emotional ramifications of pregnancy at any age.

Enter the final girl that made up the first cycle of young moms, Catelynn.

Catelynn is worth separating from the rest of the group because she made the most difficult decision anyone, especially someone aged only 16, can make. She was pregnant and decided to give up the baby for adoption.

On “16 and Pregnant,” the series from which “Teen Mom” sprouted, you saw the entire process of Catelynn’s decision.

You saw her meeting with the adoption agency and the process of choosing a family to raise her child.

I remember her actually giving birth. The decision whether or not to even see the baby after it was born seemed to hold the weight of the world.

The raw emotion of these scenes made me realize why reality TV still has some clout.

In some ways “Teen Mom” does many things at the same time.

It is pure guilty pleasure. Something about getting your mom arrested and taking paternity tests really attracts Americans.

It is also a moral to the story. Many romanticized versions of teen pregnancy seem to leave out the part about the baby that comes with it. It’s not pretty. It’s not glamorous.

The one pitfall of this show is that these girls are becoming famous; not just well known, full blown celebrities. Amber is the Lindsay Lohan of teen mom’s and unfortunately for a lot of young girls, that’s appealing.

Read the opposing view by Allie Rodolico, Teen pregnancy glamorized on tv

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Jamie Santoro

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