16 and Pregnant

When it comes to TV shows, an interesting thing happens to me.  I will watch a show if it is good, OR if it is so bad.    As I was skimming through channels, I came across this new MTV show, “16 and Pregnant”.   Immediately, I got hooked, not because I wanted to see what was going to happen.  For an hour, the show features the tale of a 16 year old girl who is pregnant and has chosen to keep the child.

The episode I was watching really blew my mind.   In this episode, a 16 year old, Ebony, was pregnant and facing several obstacles including the biggie, whether or not to continue with her education.  The father of child was also in school, but was failing to show up to school, skipping class (268 classes from what I remember them saying) and had a little more fun with his social life.   Both had no driver’s licenses and were dependent on the roof, food, and transportation of their parents.

As I kept watching, the girl stated this quote that really stuck with me: “I had many dreams but everything depends on Josh (father) graduation”.  Huh?   I could not register what I was hearing.   Her dreams, her goals, her life suddenly became dependent on this dud (sorry Dad) who had no interest in continuing his education and instead hanging out at a mall.  Overwhelming, really.  Why does this still happen?  Is it lack of guidance?  Society? Geographical location?  Religious influences?  Probably all of these factors.   The question I ask when I see this is: Is society failing young girls?

Thank you MTV for providing a vision and one of many roads which a pregnant teenager will follow.  I’m saddened as I see females placed in this situation, where they toss aside their beliefs.  Yet, I’m also touched by this one girl’s sacrifice for a child.  It’s conflicting really.  Most of the time, I’m so quick to jump the boat and yell, “what a stupid stupid stupid decision”, yet this girl will put it aside for a child.  It’s beautiful.    I wouldn’t support this, and I still don’t support, but it’s the act of giving that really caught me.

As the episode lead up to the climatic birth of the child, I grew rather irritated.  Suddenly, all of these obstacles (important ones, I think?) evaporated into the air, like they never existed.  I noticed my irritation with it, and then felt guilty.  It is hard to be angry and irritable when a child is being brought into the world – it is a beautiful thing no matter what or who is involved.   After the child was born, the show continued to document their lives which were clearly unsuitable for raising a child.  This is where I give MTV the creds.   The arguments, their inadequacies of being a parent heightened,  and their lack of development as an adult were highlighted.  The child was born, and the father moved out of his own house with his family because he got into an argument with his parents, so he was living with Ebony.  He began to skip classes again and hang out with friends, while this poor girl was at home with a newborn.  Another striking quote was stated by the mom, “I can watch her while Josh (the father) is at school.”

Instead of continuing my bashfest toward teen pregnancies, I am going to choose to see another side of it.

Thank you, Ebony, for sacrificing your youth for a beautiful life, and thank you for presenting your life on television (your reality) that is at times, not seen by young girls.

I’m so haunted.  Her happiness is hinged on his success.  Her success as a mother is latched on his success.

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