More of a Bad Thing Is...Good?

A friend of mine urged me to watch Teen Mom 2.  Having seen some episodes of the original Teen Mom, I was definitely hesitant.  But the Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant series are praised as cautionary tales against teen sex, so maybe there's some merit to these shows?  No.  Like many reality shows, the attraction to Teen Mom 2, and it's popularity, is being able to watch people that are worse off than you and make fun of them in the anonymity of your own home.  If you think about it, it's actually quite depressing that these teens have to grow up so fast and be role models for their own children.  What makes things even worse is that the fathers of these babies rarely stick around.  So these teens girls, and often their parents, are stuck with the bulk of the responsibility of raising these babies alone.  Not cool.

Basically, this show is not for me.  I don't enjoy reveling in others' hardships.  That's not to say that everyone who watches this show watches to feel better about themselves in comparison to these teens; this is just how I view this particular show, and many others like it.  If I want to watch a reality show, I'll stick to Millionaire Matchmaker and Top Chef.

1 comment:

  1. Does Millionaire Matchmaker really send a better message?

    While shows like Teen Mom may, as you suggest, permit people to "watch people that are worse off than [the viewer] and make fun of them in the anonymity of [the viewer's] own home," these programs also can send a sobering message about the consequences of sexual activity to teens who may not otherwise have access to information about reproductive health.

    Watching shows like 16 And Pregnant and Teen Mom has really opened my eyes to the startling lack of education and awareness of sexual health issues among some populations of American teens. If MTV reeducates even a few teens who believe that "the pull out" is an effective method of birth control, or that "there's just no way to prevent pregnancy," (both are real examples from teens featured on 16 And Pregnant) then I say it's serving a useful social function.

    In my opinion, shows like Millionaire Matchmaker just seem to perpetuate gender stereotypes and encourage superficiality. Not that I don't watch it, though.