The MTV shows 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 have been challenged for glamorizing teen pregnancy. But some studies have shown that these TV hits may serve as cautionary tales—that teens are actually dissuaded from getting pregnant by the difficulties they see teen moms going through.
This may be the case for teens in general, but the behavior of the teen moms’ friends seems to be telling a different story. According to a new report, there’s a copycat phenomenon going on: an alarming number of teenage girls who are close to the shows stars are getting pregnant, and sources say they’re doing it to try to emulate their famous friends.
Apparently, three of Jenelle Evans’ friends are currently expecting babies. The three girls initially discouraged Jenelle from becoming a teen mom, but have reportedly changed their tune about teen pregnancy since seeing Jenelle’s experience on the show. “Although Keely Sanders, Amber Painter and Lauren Pruitt are said to have initially lectured against Evans becoming a teen mom, “I think all the girls idolized Jenelle,” said another friend, Kristina Collins, in InTouch Weekly. “Lauren has even mentioned how cool it would be if she got her own spinoff show.”
Also pregnant: Megan Nelson, Chelsea Houska’s roommate. Friends are suggesting that she got pregnant on purpose in hopes of securing more screen time on the show. Nelson claims her pregnancy was an accident.
The desire for fame is pretty powerful. And teenagers aren’t always so great at putting that desire into perspective. It’s one thing to make the mental leap while you’re watching the show at home. I think maybe the TV audience is able to see that what the stars of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are going through is not necessarily desirable. Their distance from the scene helps them see that they’re unlikely to achieve fame and fortune by getting pregnant. But these friends of the stars are a lot closer to the action, and the lure of the limelight. I imagine this might make it a lot harder for them to put that desire aside and think about how this decision is going to affect the rest of their lives.
[via NY Post]