Teen Mom and Effects on American Culture
American teenagers take a lot of things for granted, but what we don’t take into consideration is what would happen if these things suddenly disappeared. Teenage life consists of school, jobs, driving, friends, sports, and going out with friends. We never consider others’ way of life.
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In some cultures, they are just fighting to stay alive, while others don’t have the freedom to go out with friends, or play a certain sport. They are so consumed in family life or their future jobs that they have no social life. No one ever thinks what would happen if their way of life was completely turned around.
This concept is shown on a reality television show called 16 and Pregnant. It follows a group of teenage girls throughout their pregnancy and a few weeks after. It shows the trials, worries, and changes in these girls’ lives. There is also a follow up show called Teen Mom that follows 4 girls from the first season of the show. I will be expanding on these girls’ lives from the beginning of their pregnancy to their lives now. Maci Bookout was just your ordinary teenage girl. She was an excellent student, played softball, and was very popular.
She had big plans to go away for college and be a typical college student.This is the way the typical American is viewed. But things suddenly changed for Maci when she discovered she was pregnant. All her dreams and aspirations soon faded away and she had to consider her life with a baby. Maci comes from a middle upper class family, so concerns for money were minimal, and she didn’t have much of a struggle, other than with her baby’s dad, Ryan. But she couldn’t go away to college; she was just worried about graduating high school. She had to quit softball, and her friends soon turned on her.
Her life was completely changed with just one decision.She took her teenage years for granted, but once she became a teen mom, that was all she wanted back. Amber Portwood was a big party girl, who didn’t care what others thought of her. She would party instead of doing homework, and didn’t have many friends that truly cared about her. She viewed life as a big party, and didn’t take it seriously, until she had to. She became pregnant at 16 and her whole life was changed. She dropped out of high school, and moved in with her boyfriend, Gary.
They were from a lower class family, so they struggled with money. Gary and Amber soon both were working, and had to leave their aughter with Gary’s mother. It was obvious from the start that Amber and Gary were not meant for each other, because they would often get into fights. Fights started to get physical and Amber soon saw herself sitting home alone while Gary took their daughter and left, after many months of physical abuse. Amber knew she had a problem, and needed help, but she realized it too late. Gary broke up with her and she was alone, and without her daughter. She took her teen years for granted, and instead of living life to the best of her ability, she tried to grow up too fast, and got what she wanted.
Farrah Abrams was the popular cheerleader in high school. She had great friends and an amazing boyfriend. She had big dreams of going to culinary school, becoming a chef, and opening her own restaurant. All those dreams were put on hold when she discovered she was pregnant. Things became even worse when the father of her baby, and boyfriend of 1 year, was killed in a car accident. 2 months later, her daughter, Sophia, was born. She had to go through the loss of her boyfriend, and the birth of her daughter.
Soon after Sophia’s birth, Farrah began to miss her boyfriend and saw herself going out more, and leaving her baby with her mother.Farrah’s mom constantly had to remind her daughter that she was now a mother and couldn’t just go out with friends anymore. She was from a very wealthy family and had no problems with money, but all her other problems took the place of money problems. Farrah and her mother did not get along very well at all. She was constantly disrespecting her mom, and her mom was constantly nagging her about everything. When Sophia was almost 1 year old, Farrah’s mother punched Farrah. Cops came to the house and arrested her mother, and Farrah didn’t see or speak to her mom for months.
Farrah had a successful life planned out for herself, but now she’s unsure of whether or not she’ll ever reach her goals. Catelynn Lowell is an ordinary girl. She doesn’t have any special gifts or talents, she’s just a teenager. She and her boyfriend, Tyler, were dating 3 years when she discovered she was pregnant. Ironically this was a good thing for her. She had no plans or goals for her life, because her mother and step-father (which is Tyler’s real dad) are both drug addicts and have never been strict on Catelynn about anything. Being pregnant made Catelynn realize she needed to do something with her life and not turn into her mother.
She and Tyler talked for months, and both decided that they needed to give their daughter, Carly, up for adoption, because there was no way they could raise their daughter in the living situation they were in. Catelynn and Tyler are both from very low class families, and could barely provide for themselves, so they knew their daughter would be very unhappy. While it was a difficult decision, they also knew it was the best one. Catelynn and Tyler will be graduating from high school this year, and have many goals they’re eager to achieve. The similarities and differences between these girls are many.Amber dropped out of high school, and missed out on graduating. Will she ever get her GED? Farrah is the only one who does not have a father in her baby’s life; will her baby ever have a father figure? Maci seems to have it all together, but does is she really happy not being with her first love? Catelynn and Tyler gave their daughter up for adoption, and while it was a smart decision, will they later regret it? All these girls’ lives will be affected forever because of the decisions they’ve made.
I believe this show takes the concept of the average American teenager, and adds some reality into it.While not all teen girls become pregnant, it’s amazing to see that this is what it take to make some teens grow up. Other cultures would think that this is just crazy because these girls took for granted the fact that they had people who loved them, a house to live in, and a chance for education. American culture is very different from other cultures, just in the fact that we don’t value things that should be valued, such as family, morals, and God. If we viewed life a little more seriously, and not as a game, then we may be a much stronger, happier nation.