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"Teen Mom" trend good or bad?

MTV has always been a pioneer in testing the limits of television. The “Real World” series as well as “Jersey Shore” have helped open the doors into a type of television show that digs into the raw underbelly of young people. Lately, however, some claim that the station has gone too far. MTV’s most recent show, “Teen Mom”, follows four young ladies on their journey of motherhood. The show records each girl’s relationship drama as well as often painful encounters with their parents.

Though “Teen Mom” seeks to follow these young women through their struggles and difficulties, the publicity has launched them into instant celebrity. They have appeared on the covers of nearly every grocery store tabloid from US Weekly to People, balancing their babies on their hips. And some parents are highly offended at the attention these girls are receiving from their show.

It’s not because they are bothered by yet another person being followed around by paparazzi. They are concerned because these young mothers became famous simply by having children at a younger age. What kind of message does this send to teenage viewers?

And what does this say about our society’s values? Celebrities used to be people who did something remarkable, or possessed a special talent which made them famous. But these days, celebrities are formed by YouTube videos and by those with outrageous lifestyles such as how many kids they have (think Octomom) or how young they are when they have them.

Show is a realistic glimpse of the struggles of teen motherhood

During the summer, I did have the chance to watch “Teen mom” but I felt that it was more of a reality check than a ticket to fame. One by one, I watched the pain and the ache most of the girls experienced because their child’s father is absent from their lives. The parents were less than supportive of their young-mother daughters and it was clearly shown that loneliness was a significant part of everyday life.

It broke my heart to see these young mothers outcast by those whom they thought they could trust. There were so many times where I wished I could be there with them and help them. As I continued to watch the show, I realized how important it is to encourage and support those around me who are having the same struggles as these young girls. More than ever, it is an opportunity to not judge but instead to show them the love of Christ.

For any teenager who watches the show, I highly doubt that the trials and life lessons these girls are learning are something the viewers want to experience. The show depicts the reality of what it is like to have your innocence stripped away over an act that most teenagers fail to remember has long-lasting consequences.

Teen Mom airs on MTV Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

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