'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Does 'Teen Mom' glamorize teen pregnancy?
December 15th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Does 'Teen Mom' glamorize teen pregnancy?

It's A.J. here, and I am just blown away by the idea that teens may be getting pregnant to get on reality TV!

There are brand new reports out today that say the stars of MTV’s “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” are garnering so much fame off-camera, that there are concerns young girls are actually running out to get pregnant so they can audition for the shows!

I think it’s insane that anyone would go to such lengths to be famous or even suggest such a thing. What does that say about the state of our reality TV obsessed society that people would actually get pregnant just to be on TV?

I turn it over to you, because I want to know what you think! We’re asking in our "Showbiz" Flashpoint today: Do you think “Teen Mom” glamorizes teen pregnancy? Post your comments here.

Some other big stories I’ve got today on "Showbiz Tonight":

Sandra Bullock has been named People Magazine’s “Woman Of The Year”! Plus, Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson’s Shocking Split! What the heck happened?

See you on "Showbiz Tonight" at 5 p.m. ET and again at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HLN today!

Watch Showbiz Tonight Weekdays Exclusively at 11PM ET on HLN.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Rosemary

    I wish the producers would talk to us Teen Mom's that went through this years ago when it wasn't Glamorized. I am now 61 and my son is 44. I WISH I had producers etc. to pay me to share my life with the world. I worked three jobs, but, still managed to spend time, and by the way, loved every minute of it, with my child. I never complained. never beat up anyone, never went to jail or did anything STUPID just to get media attention. I had a widowed Mom that babysat when I worked and took jobs that worked around her schedule as well as finding jobs I could bring him with me. I would Love to tell the world what my life was like. But, I did it and have no regrets. My son is the BEST thing that ever happened to me.

    January 9, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marsha

    Ive watched this show, and what are the producers really saying here? 'Get pregnant, have a baby and we will make you a reality star!" I think the whole series is pointless, the parents of these kids are just as ignorant as the pregnant teens, I dont think that this series is showing a realistic view of the true problems of being pregnant and a teen.....I think the show is hyping up too much of the fact that they are making it cool to be a teen mom. This show needs to be yanked off the air, its a waste of airtime.

    December 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Timmy

    All reality TV shares this same issue. They don't necessarily glamorize the lifestyle portrayed on the show, but if you are able to land on one of these shows, you can skyrocket to instant fame and wealth.
    What do you think kids are thinking watching 'The Situation' pulling in millions and starring on several TV shows?
    As long as consumer continue to watch the crap, TV producers will continue to make it.
    If you are concerned about the effects of this "TV" and what the American youth will do to be on there, STOP WATCHING IT.

    December 28, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Adrienne

    i'm 26 years old and I don't really want kids so even if I was 16, I wouldn't want to find myself pregnant. If girls are trying to get pregnant to be on the show, they are thinking in the first place. It's not like some of the contestant shows where you win something, a baby is here for life. And if girls are doing this I feel sorry for the sucker that they talk into not using protection and for the child that will suffer from young parents mistakes. I understand that having a child is a gift and a precious thing but not when a girl is in her teens. For the sake of sanity I hope that girls in America don't think becoming a teen mom is glamorous. Had I myself gotten pregnant as a teenager I sure as heck would not have put myself on tv no matter how much money I got paid.

    December 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      "A baby is here for life..."

      True, but it's not your problem if you give it up for adoption. I wish more of the girls on the show would consider this option. Many adults would love to have children but can't conceive or have difficult pregnancies. In the wild we would reproduce beginning in our teens and ending in our twenties (then die in our thirties or forties); teen bodies are actually designed to withstand pregnancy better than their thirty-something counterparts. However, civilized living requires a lot more preparation than living in the wild, hence why reproducing young makes things so difficult: it takes mature parents to give the children everything they need to succeed, and parents can only succeed if they've set up their lives before having kids.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cheryl

    With the logic behind this statement about girls running out and getting pregnant just to get on TV, I wonder if they are studying if people are getting fat to get on the Biggest Loser. At least that way you get to get skinny and win $250,000. I don't see the teen moms getting anything but a screaming baby and diapers to change.

    December 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hope

    I am a teenage girl, and I am slightly offended by some of the remarks made above. I have watched these teen pregnancy shows, and it really helps me to see what I'm not missing. This show makes me very thankful for my decision to practice abstinence! I'm telling you getting paid isn't worth a screaming baby. Not at all! Also, If I did get pregnant, why would I want my business and who I've been sleeping with all on TV?!?!? I would be ashamed of even leaving my house!

    December 16, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      Good for you, Hope! Abstinence needs to be considered more seriously by more young people. Not that kids shouldn't know about birth control, but I am appalled at how much they are doing so young when they are just children, especially with no place to do it other than in public or their parents' houses! I'm married and I don't feel comfortable "canoodling" with my husband while visiting my parents. You also make a good point about airing your business in public. Most teens are too immature to realize the value of privacy.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. karla

    Kids are for life, even after the glitter of the show is gone.

    December 16, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. JoAnn Johnson

    what in the world is reality TV coming to .these show is telling our teens it’s a cool thing to get pregnant and become a reality show star ,I am sorry but I was a teen mom and it is not a easy road this is the message they should be getting out to these kids .its not cool you give up your life for the responsibility of another small lil child .your childhood is over you’re a mom.

    December 16, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jen

    I think it does, unfortunately...they are getting A LOT of press and A LOT of money (to them).For many of them, 60k looks like more than they'd make had they not gotten pregnant...


    December 16, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. SMH

    I agree with alot of you here, yes the show does portray how hard it is for these teen parents but on the flip side I also agree that it is being glamorized. Perhaps if it just wouldve stayed with just the first group of girls and followed them I wouldve understood, however it has become a business because of the ratings. If you wanna do something STOP WATCHING!

    December 16, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. AlphaD

    Yes, I do think that it glamorizes teen pregnancy, and for the following reasons:

    Teenage girls are fascinated with the idea of being "on TV". They see all these reality shows, and they think being on TV is exciting–they all want to be famous.

    They don't look at this as "Wow, I never want to go thru what those girls are going thru"–instead, they see it as a way to get special attention. They say, "Well, she's managing it, and look, she's getting all this attention, and she's on TV, she's famous, I wish I could be on TV."

    Teenagers do not understand the huge, life-long responsibility of becoming a parent. They tend to look at having a baby they same way as they do about adopting a puppy. They really do not have the ability to see the "long term"–they live for the moment, without thinking about the consequences of their decisions. If they did, they would all use birth control or practice abstinence, and we wouldn't have to worry about shows like "Teen Mom".

    If the show's producers wanted to have a positive effect on the teen pregnancy, and teen mother, problem, they should show girls giving up their babies for adoption. That would take the "glamour" out of being a teen mom in a hurry.

    December 16, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • teenmomonce

      Very Nicely written and it is totally true. Having been "in a bad way" in a earlier generation.. I am so disgusted by that show. Not only does it glorify these children's "Motherhood" but really it does encourage girls to choose pregnancy and to choose to keep the baby because somehow, struggling teenage mother is more nobel better than someone who gives the child away to a better 2 parent life. The stupidity of getting pregnant is something that can haunt you forever.

      December 16, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      Do you even watch the show because it follows one girl who did have to give her child up and how she breaks down every holiday and birthday because she can't raise her baby. And one of the girls is having her rights taken away and given to the father because of her behavior on the show. And it shows how one girl can't move out of the state with her son because the father is taking her to court, and because of that she can't go to college or work or live where she wants to. Sounds really glamorized.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KrissyStar

    I think that you should have to pass a IQ test in order to reproduce...

    December 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mah

    Yeah those Teen Moms work "dead end jobs" and their existence is lousy and they're struggling, and MTV just happens to pay them 60K a year... That's a middle class life right there!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Viewer

    These couples/girls get paid quite well for their appearances on the show, none of them are "struggling to make ends meet". There were several stories on the amount. Way more than I make in a year!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlphaD

      You are absolutely right–teenagers do not see "Teen Mom" as a warning against teen pregnancy, they see it as an opportunity to get on TV, be famous, and be "rich" (remember, $60K sounds like a fortune to a 16-year-old.)

      December 16, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Godsmack Rules

    Never watched the show or plan on watching. Stupid kids want to grow up too fast. Aren't they all white trash kids? Instead of them going to school and learn something, they are out there spreading their legs, not even using birth control then they drop out of school and go on welfare which we have to pay for because they are a bunch of idiots.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  16. WLM

    I do think this show does give slightly a false sense that life can be easy being pregnant especially if there are camera's following you, they pay for your hospital bills and pretty much pay you to be on the show, however, it does make it really real about life with a "Baby Mother or Father". But really these teenagers appear to be slightly trashy along with their families so really most ppl that watch think they are trailer trash anyways... Either way the show is dumb I am sure MTV can find something more usful to fill their time slot with.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  17. IAm17

    I am 17 and if anything this show makes me even more religious about taking my birth control and being sure my boyfriend wears condoms... although every girl is from a different background and has a different family situation, baby daddy situation etc they ALL struggle. Even Maci who seems to have it together the best is struggling to go through community college when she wanted to go to a 4 year school, and that's with full support from her family and the baby daddy's family...

    December 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JENNY

      But thats her fault. If she ihad all these goals for herself and has a great family then she should have known to use protection or chose to be celibate. They all made their decisions. This show is silly and a waste of air space

      December 16, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      Abstinence never occur to you, IAm17? I never got how teens could be having intercourse while still living with their parents. Either you're doing it in uncomfortable semi-public locations or you're doing it right under your parents' noses. Yuck and ew! My husband and I started dating in high school but didn't even kiss until college.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  18. Emily

    Teen Mom absolutely does not promote teen pregnancy, and anyone who has actually seen the show would know that. These kids do not have easy, glamorous lives. They are struggling to make ends meet, clashing with absent fathers, dealing with the massive odds that are stacked against you when you are young and trying to establish yourself in life while raising a child. Watch a few episodes of the show. The only couple who seem remotely happy and who any sane person would want to be like is the couple who gave their daughter up for adoption.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kristen

    Do the words "Octomom" mean anything to any of you? She is mentally incompetent but got pregnant with EIGHT babies just to become famous. I believe firmly in the right of mentally competent people to reproduce without interference from the government. That leaves out wacko chicks and teenagers. There are studies that show that the teen mind is similar to the schizophrenic mind. This does not make for good parenting but helps for reality TV.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • dx2718

      I don't think Octumom did it to be famous. The doctor gave her reason to believe she would only have one or two babies from the IVF treatment, and she believed all the embryos were already her children and deserved to live. Obviously both her judgment and her doctor's are questionable but it's pretty clear fame wasn't on her mind when she did her IVF. After she had the octuplets, yes, since she needed a way to support them.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
    • lilly

      she is an idiot. and that doctor needs his license suspended. how did she pay for that anyway??? invitro is sooo expensive.

      January 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mormon

    No, but the big cans probably do.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Texas Mom

    Yes I do think that it glamourizes it. I think that like you said more teens are getting pregnant hoping they can be just as famous. It is really sad.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Karen

    I don't think the people who say "Teen Mom" glamourizes teen pregnancy has never seen the show. This show is brutally honest and makes it very clear it's a hard road to hoe. I think Teen pregnancy is up but I don't believe this show is the cause. If anything it's a deterrent. I am a Mom of two teens and both (boy and girl) watch it with me.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • kiki

      I think the show started out to give a real perspective on how hard it is to be "16 & Pregnant". However, I do think MTV's "Teen Mom" spin-off show sends mixed signals. The teen moms got a lot of press this summer.....it seems to send the message "Hey don't get pregnant at 16 but, if you do you can be on the cover of US Weekly" and be offered other TV show deals.

      December 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • IAm17

      @Kiki... how dumb do you think teenagers ARE?! Yes, they get covers on magazines, but their lives are otherwise completely lousy and they are stuck working dead end jobs and barely completing school. Young people are not as stupid as you seem to think we are.

      December 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • loriey

      I agree Karen, it shows how the teen girls bear the brunt of the pregnancy & delivery, missing their Junior/Senior HS months to deliver & raise a baby. The father of the child manages to attend school & hang out with his friends, comes & goes as he pleases choosing when to visit the baby if at all. The teen mom & her parents are the ones caring for the baby 24/7 with little responsibiilty falling on the "teen dad". Seems like few of the teen dad's parents are slightly involved at times in co-parenting.
      Since they are "teens" & can work only part time iat minim um wage or have no employment, who ends up supporting the baby, usually the Welfare System.
      Some of the teen moms will move on to other "guys" as did Maci & Amber Portwood.
      If anything good is said..at the end of each show it does say "Pregnancy can be prevented"..Do teens listen to that???

      December 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • lilly

      @ iam17. i think teenagers are as stupid as i think they are. its not their fault, however, just the way it is. they ARE NOT mature enough to make life choices. and they are not supposed to. but because of the situation they have put themselves in they have to. it is entirely THEIR FAULT. they did not have to get pregnant, chose not to use birth control or make any of the foolish mistakes they have made – because they are teenagers and are, by nature, stupid.

      January 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |

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