Dear Future President,
In the summer of 2009, MTV created 16 and Pregnant, a reality show that follows young girls’ lives of getting pregnant in high school. Then later in the year 2009, MTV created the first spin off of 16 and Pregnant called Teen Mom. From years on they have created two more spin offs, Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom 3.
MTV created all these shows to show how hard life is for young teens to have babies. They were intended to show teenagers that having a baby isn’t supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be a challenge. But they don’t show that all the time. At first they did in 16 and Pregnant because it followed their pregnancy, labor and delivery, and a month or two after the baby was born. They focused on the struggles of having a newborn and how expensive it is to raise them. Also, when Teen Mom started, it showed that life wasn’t that glamorous. They fought with their families, their significant others, and were sleep deprived.
By now, the show has been renamed Teen Mom OG, and it’s no longer showing the really hard part of their lives. The girls have huge houses, nice cars, and better lives than an average teenage mother would have. In the real world, young teenage girls don’t get paid to show their pregnancies. They struggle with paying for their children and trying to finish school.
In an article from Wetpaint.com they explained, “According to widespread reports, the Teen Mom 2 girls have each earned about $75,000 per season, plus another $20K or so in bonuses. That equates to about $100,000 per season.”It also talks about how they make $5,000 from being on 16 and Pregnant. These shows have been on TV for 7 years now, which means they've made roughly $700,000 from being on these shows.
We need to show teenagers that this isn't what teenage motherhood is actually like. Not everyone gets nice houses and fancy cars by having a child at 16. They get sleepless nights and financial struggles, especially if parents aren't willing to help. They need to realize that yes, babies are adorable and fun, but they’re not easy. So we need to show them to wait until they get older to have them when they’re financially stable, not at 16 just to get on a TV show and be like some reality star.
How might you address the counterargument that these shows give voice to the thousands of young mothers in the nation and shed light on an issue that’s typically not openly discussed?