According to MSN News, MTV is making a reality show called 16 and Pregnant. The programme was apparently inspired by the popularity of Juno (a film I hated) and will feature pregnant teenagers whose experiences are documented on camera and aired on MTV.
As any mother who takes her job seriously will explain, getting and being pregnant are the easiest parts of being a mom. The real challenges (and rewards) come afterward, along with late-night feedings, diaper changes, fevers, diarrhoea, trips to the emergency room, headaches, tears, frustration, a thousand tiny betrayals and reconciliations, frequent disagreements with one's partner (if he's around), disruption, improvisation, constant second-guessing, and, most of all, an often crushing and nearly overwhelming sense of total responsibility for the life of another human being.
A better idea for a show would be to send cameras to document the lives of 19 year old single parents of toddlers, who work all day at dead end service sector jobs while mouth-breathing daycare staff raise their kids for them, or their conversations with patronizing social workers who don't have an iota of genuine feeling for these women or their children. Maybe the show could also interview young fathers who have abandoned their kids and ask them how it feels to know that their children will grow up wondering why their fathers didn't love them, or that they are unlikely to ever meet their grandchildren, who also stand a decent chance of growing up fatherless.
Of course, MTV would never encourage today's teens, pregnant or otherwise, to grow up and take life seriously. Teenagers and childish twentysomethings can be persuaded to buy all kinds of crap they don't need, while hard-nosed adults who actually have to think about where their money goes probably give far less of it to the vacuous, opportunistic fashion peddlers at MTV.
I wonder if we'll see 16 year old girls getting pregnant in order to have a shot at making it onto national television. Let's hope today's young women are smarter than that.
(Image from Jupiter Images)