Wednesday, February 24, 2010

our society & teen pregnancy

We all know how much more prevalent (or maybe just more talked about) teen pregnancy has become over the past few years and how our generation has been put under much scrutiny because of it. The media has taken a huge part in this debacle with the huge coverage on the pregnancy pact girls from Massachusetts that is now a Lifetime movie and the much watched television shows on MTV, 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. I've watched the shows and follwed the stories, but it never seemed to effect me until the other day. I nanny a family a couple of days a week by picking the girls up from school and watching them until their mother gets home. One particular day last week I just had the 4 year old and like any awesome babysitter, I took her to get an Ice-e (sp?) at the circle K by her house. In line to pay I was holding her hand and we were discussing how we got the exact same flavor and how cool that was. Then the older woman behind us (in her40s!) proceeds to say "Aww, how sweet! Matching mother-daughter slushies!" Insinuating I was young enough too to drink a slushie. EXCUSE ME!!? Given Barrett, my 4 year old little FRIEND, does look a lot like me... same exact hair, eyes, and skin color and when I went on vaction with their family this summer as a nanny many thought I was a third daughter but, still, I was shocked! I just politely laughed and said "Oh no I'm just the sitter." The woman obviously a little embarrassed (but looked almost relieved) just apologized and made some LIE of a comment how I looked so old... obviously just to avoid awkwardness. Oh yes of course my 19 year old self in my messy ponytail, no make-up, and running clothes definitely looked like a woman old enough to have a 3 year old. I think not. She thought I was a teen mother and felt the need to make a comment about us BOTH getting slushies. She seemed so much nicer when she realized I wasn't actually Barrett's mother. I left the store surprised. I was way more upset about the way she treated me when she thought I was a teen mother than the fact that she thought I was one. It just finally hit me that teen pregnancy and teen motherhood have become something our society still views as unconventional and many still condemn it, but it is also viewed as a normal occurance. I just thought of those girls on Teen Mom and how I would judge and laugh at the show's content and outlandish situtations. Needless to say... Guilt ensued. I was judged by a upper-class snooty woman in public for being what she thought was a teen mom. It wasn't earth shatteringly horrific but it was, however, enlightening. Just maybe think about this next time we see a young mother...

"if you judge people, you have no time to love them." - mother teresa

our society & teen pregnancy

1 comment:

Ramage, what? said...

i think the same things! Thos shows are like a catch-22 they educate but they also make it socially acceptable for teens (getting younger every year) to just have torn about all this..i dont even know what to say!