Recently found myself watching Real World DC because even though I know that every Real World is the exact same crap, I like watching these tools run around some of my favorite (and least favorite) DC haunts. Plus, all that time passing by their house in Dupont and wondering “what does it look like inside there?!” Well now I know. And yeah, it’s pretty cool.
Between Real World & the outrageous Jersey Shore show that profiles Staten Island’s finest to the entire country in a light that has embarrassed Italian-Americans to no end, I didn’t think MTV could get much worse. Then I saw the preview for, and subsequently watched about 20 minutes of, Teen Mom, a show about being one, which my Facebook friends would later tell me was based on a UK show called “16 and Pregnant.”
First let me call something out: MTV is supposed to stand for “Music Television.” It no longer does, nor has it resembled such for years. That aside, I really can’t believe that they’d stoop so low as to create a reality TV drama documenting the lives of teenage girls with babies. Sure, there’s the “if you show the trials and tribulations of teenage motherhood, you’ll prevent others from making that mistake” argument, but let’s be honest, in order to keep it interesting, MTV has to glorify it a little bit, and their target demographic probably doesn’t gap into the whole “i shouldn’t do this” thing. Regardless, in the 20 minutes I watched, one of the girls goes to the doctor, baby in tow, to get birth control so she can keep having sex!!! I mean, hooray for safe sex but isn’t the first bundle of joy enough to keep you from risking another?
I tend to be pretty conservative in a lot of my views around the topic, but I don’t think I’m nuts here… people emulate what they see on TV, especially impressionable teenagers. Whether the intent of the show is to show teens the downside to teen pregnancy/parenthood or not, I’ve got to imagine that the opposite interpretation is just as likely whereby viewers say, “well if it’s okay for the girls who get to be on TV as a result, it’s okay for me too!”