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Is reality TV realistic?

March 28, 2013



News Editor


At 19-years-old, I’m a sophomore double major participating in different organizations on campus, working a part-time job and managing my responsibilities.


In the midst of the craziness that is the life of a college student, I could not imagine having to be a parent too.  Not just being a college student, but being a teenager in general, there is no time, or want for that matter, to be a parent right now.


According to an article on TeenHelp, 820,000 teens become pregnant each year, which means 34 percent of teens become pregnant before they turn 20.


Teen motherhood is affecting the lives of teenage girls across the country.


Instead of working to promote teen pregnancy prevention, there are TV shows such as Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, 16 & Pregnant and even True Life that are all but directly saying “have sex, get pregnant and be a mom.”


As if the shows’ promotion is not bad enough, they are not even portraying responsible parenthood.


According to Teen Mom News, one of the original teen moms, Farrah Abraham, was arrested for a DUI on Monday, March 18. With her arrest, Abraham was uncooperative with police officers and threw a tantrum after she was placed in the backseat.


Jenelle Evans, one of the moms from Teen Mom 2, has been admitted into rehabilitation twice for two different drugs—marijuana and heroin.


After completing her first rehab and being released from court restrictions, Evans immediately began to smoke weed again which led to her addiction to heroin.


So, you have one teen mom drinking and driving, and another addicted to drugs and this is what MTV is airing for their teen viewers.


I know the purpose of the shows is for entertainment purposes, and they could make people feel better about their lives during stressful times however the message being sent to younger adolescents is just inappropriate and unacceptable.


Substance abuse is not the only negative behavior the shows are condoning by airing on public television. Domestic abuse and relationship drama are popular occurrences as well.


Yes, all of these actions fall back on the decisions of the individual, but that does not make it okay for it to be advertised nationwide.


Another original teen mom, Amber Portwood, was charged with domestic abuse toward then fiancé Gary Shirley on three different accounts and was arrested for those charges. Portwood was released on bail then re-sentenced to five years for multiple violations.


Teen Mom 2 co-star, Leah Messer, although not dabbling in legality issues, has had a third child after her first pregnancy of twins, and is juggling men.


After divorcing Corey Simms, the father of her first pregnancy, Messer met Jeremy Calvert who she eventually got engaged to then broke it off due to pending feelings toward Simms.


Currently, Messer is stringing Calvert along while she tries to sort out her situation with Simms, all the while weaving a very intricately tangled weave of broken-heartedness and emotional instability.


This is just providing yet another example of the negative light being shed on teens across the country.


Shows such as Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 fall under the category of reality television, so occurrences on the show are considered reality.  Therefore, teen girls are being led to believe that such behaviors are just that…reality.


Yes, situations like the aforementioned do occur, but not to the dramatic extent to which the shows portray nor are they anywhere close to acceptable. I think it is time reality TV gets a reality check.


Kelsy Kershaw is a sophomore journalism and merchandising consumer sciences major from Jennings who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to kjk...@latech.edu.



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