Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Okay, people, I know I pick on OK! Magazine a lot but honestly, how can I help it? This rag deserves it like no other and gives me plenty of fodder for this blog. Just check out their latest installment of celebrity baby/mommy obsessing featuring the deliriously happy, beautiful and glowing, unmarried, 17-year-old Jamie Spears with her new bastard child. As you read the article, ask yourself these questions: what message does this article (and photos) send to teenage girls about unmarried, teenage pregnancy? How is pregnancy and childbirth portrayed? Do you think it's a realistic portrayal? (Pay particular attention to the sections I highlighted in blue italics).


Since giving birth on June 19 to baby girl Maddie Briann Aldridge, Jamie Lynn Spears has taken to doing what any good first time mom would do — making sure her brand new daughter has everything she needs.

And, in an exclusive interview and photoshoot, the younger sister of Britney Spears tells OK! that being away from the shining lights of Hollywood is making it all easier to learn the ins and outs of first-time motherhood. "Around here, everyone has the same focus," Jamie Lynn tells OK!. "The focus is family, and that's a good way to live."

The 17-year-old actress opens up to OK! about everything — from taking parenting classes to life inside the new home she shares with Maddie and boyfriend Casey Aldridge, to her first experience with labor pains."They'd told me it would be an eight- to 12-hour labor, and I was ready to have the baby in three to four hours," Jamie Lynn tells OK!. "I had a perfect pregnancy and a perfect delivery. I was very blessed."

While the former Zoey 101 star and her fiancé have not yet set a date for their wedding, the couple remains closer than ever. Jamie Lynn, who tells OK! that while her labor was induced, she gave birth naturally and without complications, says that Casey was the one person she wanted in the delivery room with her.

"Once I got in there, my doctor was just so calm and so good it was not bad at all," she says. "I was just talking to Casey. And you know what's so weird? I was asking him if he was okay. He was like, 'Yeah.' We were both so excited."

A baby nursery is set up for little Maddie at the other end of the house, but for now her proud parents like having her next to them at night, so she sleeps in a bassinet in the same room as Jamie Lynn and Casey.

"She is very good," says Jamie Lynn. "She'll feed every two or three hours. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, I'll feed her and she goes right back to sleep. There's no screaming and crying."

The proud mama continues, "We get up in the morning, and she gets her little bath. Then I get my bath. We have a routine, and I love routines. I've worked one out with her, and we're happy going about our little life."

So by way of summary: Jamie Lynn, despite being an unmarried teenager - essentially a child herself - is a "good mom", whose focus is exactly where it should be - on family. Her life is the picture of perfection - a perfect pregancy, and childbirth was a piece of cake - a real breeze with no complications and - an "exciting" affair with no drugs required! Best of all, she is gloriously happy with the baby's father and having a child has brought them closer together than ever. Most amazingly, she has one of the only babies known to man that never screams or cries! It's almost as though Jamie Lynne has a fairy godmother who waved a magic wand over her head and sprinkled her with fairy dust!

Fairy dust indeed! The editors of this rag should be thrown in prison for the messages they are conveying to young girls and for spinning such a disgrace into an exciting "world exclusive". It is exactly these messages that result in a society where young girls are making pregnancy pacts and becoming pregnant in droves - celebrating unwed, underaged motherhood. Maybe I am showing my age, but it wasn't that long ago that it was a disgrace for an unwed teen to become pregnant and it was something one tried to avoid at all costs. Pregnancy was something to fear and worry about. It was the enemy. Becoming of age, getting an education and getting married were the normal order of events before considering having children. Now, unmarried, pregnant teens like Jamie Spears are held up as examples of perfection in girlhood!

Well, all I can say is - THANK GOD I don't have any children. Especially girls.


pamelli said...

It's really all so ridiculous and irresponsible.
The worst thing , is that it's the same everywhere you go - different countries, cultures...( except perhaps for China...)
What's all this obsession with pregnancies and babies all about?
Are people just worried that if people don't breed enough there won't be enough money for their retirement pensions in the future??
Since when has this absurd concept that 'breeding is great and noble' started?? In the past that was a natural , common occurence in people's lives wasn't it? Did people boast about this then, as if it was a MAJOR accomplishment in their lives , like we see them doing today???

Stepher said...

We discussed this in a CF group to which I belong and everyone agreed.
It's just so ridiculous. Oh, and sad.

CF-PC Me! said...

Yeah, I found out that I was Childfree when I was seventeen. I saw this one girl who told me she wanted four kids and a hummer... And I was like... What? She asked me how many I was going to have and I thought about it for a second and I said "no one really has to have children." ever since that day I started doing research about why everyone was pedaling motherhood to me. And I realized that I don't have to. The moment the word Childfree existed in my mind, I dropped all sources of pressure to have kids. I refuse to succumb.

But yeah that's my story, I wanted to tell it because I'm relatively new to this blog. It is absolutely fantastic, a breath of fresh air after relentless suffocation. But yeah, about the reason I'm commenting about this particular post is that one of my friends has recently gotten his girlfriend pregnant on accident and teen pregnancy just disgusts me to the core. I mean don't get me wrong, pregnancy in itself is gross, my mother was the first one to tell me. But I've been trying to cope with this. He's 19, she's SIXTEEN, yes, you read right SIXTEEN. I'm 20 and I'm no stranger to sexual anything, but as soon as I heard that I seriously wanted to vomit my uterus out. It's so gross and I can't believe that people nowadays pedal this like its even remotely acceptable.

So many teen parents tell me that they are fantastic parents, and you know, that may be the case. But i can guarantee that it would better for them and the child if they didn't mindlessly pop out children. It makes me sick, but then I start praising god that he build me without the "urge", "LBP genes", or anything of the like. I'm also happy that my mother supports my decision.

I talked about my disgust for teen parents online and people had the balls to tell me I was jealous. And I just sat there.. so sad.. Looking at my almost completed psychology degree, my full ride scholarship to OSU, and all my free time and money. I felt the urge to go out and trade it all for halted social mobility, halted education, social demotion in the light of "blissful" motherhood, and inescapable poverty. I would be SSOOOOOO happy if I could destroy my life like that. (sarcasm out the waz). This Jamie Lynn Spears thing totally attempts to pass teen parenthood as bliss. Bull

DowagerLadyUrsula said...

Besides the fact that I find the interest we have in celebrities lives disgusting, this article was just nonsense. Though, seriously, why is it okay for us to be asking this stranger about her personal life? Am I the only one who finds this creepy?

ALL new parents talk the way she did. Watch TLC in the morning (a huge chunk of the morning shows are about newborns). They follow the parents for like the first week, which is akin to the honeymoon effect. They ALL talk about their "new lives" as though it's bliss, and they ALL say how good their babies are. "He/She is such a good baby, never cries at all". I understand why, they're still punch-drunk with the new baby, and that's natural. But for people to think that that is how it is the entire time you have the child is laughable.

Of course, this just reminds me of how superficial we are when it comes to parenting. We're interested in the pregnancy, the showers, and the delivery, but we don't give the important things much thought. No, it's only the exciting new parts that we enjoy.

I have known a lot of dumbass teens/young adults who have babies they weren't/aren't ready for, and none of them are still with the fathers. Also, isn't it wonderful how the father gets no share of the responsibility or derision? They just slink off, and no one cares. And, if they do as little as show up once a month to see the baby, they're lauded as noble gentlemen who deserves every bit of praise you can throw at him.