An unsettling segment called “Mothers of Unplanned Consequences” was recently on abc.

The media is doing quite a pronatalist number on young women, and the young moms are the ones who end up paying quite the price.

Groups of young women agree to get pregnant together and then compete to get on reality tv. Or just a teen does it on her own after seeing her friend become teen mom star on MTV’s “Teen Mom” or “16 and Pregnant.”  They get paid a lot of money to be on television, appear on magazine covers–fame has stuck.

But not for long. After their “15 minutes of fame” they have the real reality–they have to go home and raise the child.  Pregnancy is glorified; fame is glorified.

The consequence–young women don’t realize how much they gave to become a celebrity mother until after they become a real, day-to-day  mother. They give up their youth, and many things they wanted to do with their lives.

There are lots of great efforts out there to help prevent unplanned pregnancy, and yes, we need to do more.  But the teen celebrity phenom goes beyond lack of information or access to contraception. It’s the lure of fame with help of the media promising it that wins over the reproductive sensibilities the teen may have.

Theories of the psychology of fame tell us that it’s motivated by the desire for recognition, to be loved and wanted.  Becoming a celebrity teen mom is a way for young women to get it.

All of this I find upsetting. It’s sad, really.  Is it that they are so sorely lacking the recognition they deserve at home and at school? Or are these ways just not enough in today’s celebrity crazed culture of ours–to be “truly” recognized? What does it say about our society that young women get convinced that the only way they will be seen as special, of value or worthy of  notice is to become pregnant so young in life?

It is a painful example of pronatalism and the media working to the detriment of many young women.

What’s your take on teens’ pursuit of fame through pregnancy?

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