Monday, January 17, 2011

‘TEEN MOM’ Reality Show – Really?


By Kate Collins

‘Teen Mom,’ on MTV, has become a major hit, drawing 5.5 million viewers for last season’s finale. The show is supposed to portray the hardships of life as a teen mom and, as I understand it, should discourage teens from wanting to endure similar circumstances. But does it really?

Here are a few facts I learned by searching on line:

Paparazzi follow the teen moms everywhere, turning them into minor celebrities.
Teen magazines put their photos on the cover and write about them in their gossip columns, further creating the “celebrity” image.
Amber Portwood, one of the show’s four “star moms,” made $280,000 for being on the show and now wants to be a model.
Amber has been arrested for the domestic abuse of her baby’s father, spent time in jail, then later partied with her cellmate and paparazzi until she was drunk, all of which were covered in detail by most Internet news websites. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Seriously, is that supposed to discourage teens?

What this show, and other reality shows of the same genre, seem to do is to portray dysfunction in a way that makes it seem glamorous. But it’s still dysfunction, and it’s sending out the wrong message. That’s my opinion anyway.

What message do you think teenagers are getting from this show? Do you know teens who watch it? Are you a reality show junkie? (I’m not judging. My kids are, too.)