Monday, September 17, 2012
Am I wrong to be offended?
I have seen this image swirling around Facebook and Pinterest. It seems like every time I log on, some other page has posted it.
If you are on my Facebook friend's list, then you may have seen that I kindly reply to each one of these that is posted explaining my issue with the picture. I have yet to get a reply from the posters, and it continues to spread like wildfire.
Let me start by saying, I understand what this is saying. It is intending to take a stab at MTV's 16 and Pregnant because these girls are making money simply because they got pregnant as teenagers. I know there are mix feelings about the show. I personally like 16 and Pregnant because I feel that it shows the truth. They don't get paid until after, so I believe their struggles are real... Teen Mom is a different story.
Regardless, this image offends me. It is very obvious that this picture was made by someone who has never been in a teen mother's shoes. The way that this is worded insinuates that someone who was 16 and pregnant cannot be in the same category as someone who was 18 and graduated, or someone who is 22 and successful. That is what offends me. The person who made this has no idea how hard someone who was a teen mom has to work to beat the statistics. I was a pregnant teen. I worked my butt off. I woke up every two hours to a screaming baby who would only go back to sleep after an hour of pacing the bedroom. I went to the school to complete projects while I was supposed to be homebound. Every time I pumped, I also did school work (that is NOT easy). I lost almost all of my friends. I gave up my social life. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, did I bring all of that on myself when I got pregnant? Yes, I certainly did. However, when facing these things, it is very easy for someone to give up. I refused to. I became someone who was a pregnant teen AND graduated at 18.
And then, even knowing that college was going to be much more difficult than high school, I continued on. I may not be exactly 22 and successful, but I am hoping to be successful by the time I am 24, if not 23.
Again, I have worked my butt off to remain in school, even adding another baby to the mix, I still have not given up.
I have worked harder than anyone not in my shoes could ever imagine so that I could not only be a pregnant teen, but a graduated teen, and a successful adult as well. For this image to insinuate that this is not possible is like a stab in the chest.
So, if you come across this image, and you think about reposting it, please remember that it has more meaning than just what it says on the surface. And, if you have thought about making an image like this, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are taking a stab at. Becoming pregnant as a teen is certainly not the most responsible thing to do, but when that pregnant teen steps up and takes responsibility for her actions, works hard, and puts her child first, she deserves to be commended, not condemned.