16 and Pregnant skyrockets young mothers into instant fame. Some claim that the show helps to prevent teen pregnancy, while reports have also stated that girls have gotten pregnant in hopes of appearing on the MTV reality show.
If your daughter found herself underage and pregnant, would you allow her to appear on 16 and Pregnant, and subsequently, Teen Mom? I'm a bit torn on the issue.
On one side of the issue, 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom pay participants for their appearances. That money can go a long way for teen moms, who have lots of expensive bills to pay. Plus, the show documents a time in their life that would not otherwise be captured, which can be great to have in the future.
Also, if you believe 16 and Pregnant helps prevent teen pregnancies, you're doing a good thing by helping a cause. If your story can help others, that's a positive thing.
16 and Pregnant can provide stories of hope - for example, like season 2's Leah. She and boyfriend Corey had a rough start, but their marriage and achievements have shown that being a teen mom doesn't mean that your life is over. This can be very encouraging to other teen moms who feel like hope is lost.
On the other side of the coin, being on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom rewards irresponsible behavior with fame and money. It also turns someone who had a baby while still in high school into an icon, showing that inappropriate actions can have very positive consequences.
In addition, being on the shows makes your life very public. Everyone knows your business - they learn about your child's pregnancy, struggles and bad decisions. Yes, the shows aim to have a positive twist in some areas, but it's harder to do with some participants, especially when the participant continues as part of the Teen Mom series.
Appearing on these shows can have long term consequences. Future job offers and opportunities can be affected. Fame seekers may enter your child's life just to get a few moments on MTV. Mistakes are advertised and magnified, and are broadcast to the world. People around the world will write about and critique your child, and the words people write and say can be painful.
What do you think? Would you let your child be on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom?