Monday, January 17, 2011

what's the deal, yo?

Something has been bothering me. I finally, after consulting with a couple of close IF ladies, have decided to write about it... mostly because I want answers!

Without further discussion, here it goes:

WHAT on EARTH is the obsession in the IF community with shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant?

Don't get me wrong: I watch some trashy TV. I'm admittedly in love with shows like The Bachelor and Gossip Girl. But I've never been able to understand the infatuation with Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant - by the very same women who get irritated when 16 year olds have babies while they can't. (This is the exact reason why I can't watch these shows. They infuriate me.)

So, please. Can someone enlighten me on this? I'm in no way, shape, or form trying to judge. I just would love some insight as to why you watch.

Now excuse me while I go look for the latest episode recap from Jersey Shore...

42 comments:

Jenna said...

That's a really good question! I'm not sure.

I can personally say I've watched it a few times, and even though I am part of the IF community, it didn't infuriate me to watch because they have children and I can't.

The few times I did watch it, it was interesting to see the perspective of a teen mom. Each of the girls has their own unique problems and lives in raising their child.

I have no idea, maybe I should have been pissed off that they have children and I don't. I guess I didn't watch it with that intent.

I hope that those who do get upset with that show post on here because I'm interested in their responses.

S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S said...

Oh, I'm DEFINITELY going to be following the comments on this post! I don't get it either. Shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom would have infuriated and annoyed me even *before* IF; I can't imagine watching them now.

(To be fair, though, I dislike any reality TV show where the "entertainment" comes from watching dumb people do/say dumb things. Which is why I don't watch Jersey Shore either.)

S said...

P.S. I know I am in the minority in my dislike of most reality TV shows. My husband tells me so all the time. ;-)

Secret Sloper said...

I have no idea. I have ZERO desire to watch those shows, as well.

But Bachelor and Gossip Girl? You are a lady after my own heart.

Jennifer @ What Would Jen Do said...

i have no idea why I watch them, i just do. I don't get all riled up by the fact that they can have kids and i can't, i mean that's just my life. plenty of people can have kids. i'm very picky about my reality shows and i've been watchng that one since the beginning.

Ashley said...

I will meet you in the middle--I can't stand those 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom shows either. I don't watch them! I feel like giving that show better ratings by watching it, gives 16 year old girls the thought that "hey--if I get pregnant as a young teenager, I can be on tv and famous". It's a moral thing, I suppose. But I am not above trashy tv--I love Desperate Housewives.

But Jersey shore makes me want to pluck my eyelashes out one by one as well! Haha
My favorite reality tv shows--Biggest Loser & American Idol. :)

Alex said...

I have no idea! I hate those shows! But I do love me some reality tv...

TeamBabyCEO said...

I've watched the teen mom shows, but mainly as part of my ongoing obsession with reality television. I don't have anything against them, and I find their stories to be somewhat heart-wrenching, as you could most likely predict them to experience challenges.

Honestly, it annoys me more to hear people post on facebook about how you can only know/experience something if you are a parent, or complain that they are having another baby of the same sex as children they already have.

unaffected said...

I, proudly, have not watched MTV for 10 years or so. I have no interest watching people who have yet to even graduate from high school get knocked up. There is always too much drama on those type of shows for me.

I can barely even stand the adult versions of those shows, like "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and "I'm Pregnant and...".

Yes, I'm bitter. :/

Anna said...

I can't STAND those shows! I do, however, watch A Baby Story on TLC, which is torture sometimes in itself. Why? Wishful thinking I guess.

Josey said...

Ugh, I'm with ya on this one. Totally don't understand. I used to watch "I didn't know I was pregnant" BEFORE we had TTC issues (one of my best friends in high school went into labor without knowing she was pregnant - she was a tiny size 6 thing and was on birth control the whole pregnancy, so yes, it's creepy weird, but it can happen!). That being said, I REFUSE to watch all of the stupid teen pregnancy shows. Ridiculous.

However, I love The Bachelor, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, etc... except for the fact that so many of them have IF storylines lately. ICK.

AL said...

I can't stand those shows either!

missohkay said...

I used to watch 16 & Pregnant *before* I was TTC because I read an article about how it protrayed teen motherhood pretty realistically (well, you know, for "reality" tv). I don't watch them anymore because a baby that would be such a miracle to me is such a burden to these moms. I find it difficult to stomach things like, for example, leaving the baby to cry in its crib for long periods instead of getting up and feeding it.

Jessica said...

Thank you for checking in on me...I am doing well just haven't felt like reading blogs or writing on mine.

I love trashy TV too, but I will NOT watch those 2 shows. I don't understand why someone in our situation would either???

Rebecca said...

I really don't like those shows. I don't think it is entirely IF related, though.

Jin said...

I've always watched them, and still do. It's nothing IF related, and never has been. It's more of trying to figure out the mindset of these teens, which I find fascinating. And it's also figuring out what NOT to tell my future kids about safe sex. Same with "you're cut off" on vh1 and the spoiled 20 somethings. Just trying to figure out the mindset. And I think since we have a family member who got KU'd as a teen...and her baby is the same age as Amelia.

I think I get more irritated at the shows about people who know better - adults - not saying that the teens don't know better, they do, but you also have to remember the invincible feeling we all had in high school. Shows like "I'm pregnant and... A drug dealer, a convict, a crack head etc drive me crazy.

But the other reality shows - I can't stand to watch. Unless it's the hoarder shows.

Princess Andy said...

i think every woman, regardless of whether they have children or not, judge other women based on what they themselves would or would not do.

that was a run on sentence. whatever.

i get a good laugh from jersey shore, can't stand the bachelor, and cringe at the real housewives of wherever.

when it comes to 16 and pregnant, it makes me sad to watch it...but i certainly don't think it encourages teenage girls to go out and get knocked up. pretty sure the show gives a good depiction of how much it sucks ass to be a mom at such a young age.

the big picture is that "we" can't fix the icky in the world:
-murder
-abuse
-death
-pain
etc.

so i just take it as it is:
a glimpse into someone else's troubles and hope that myself and others will take away some kind of awareness from it...and not just judgment.

and no, it doesn't stop me from wanting to slap some of those girls upside the head because they're idiots. but what else should society expect when children are having children?

sigh.

<3 andrea...the rambler

The Steffens said...

I am one of those people you're talking about. My husband asks me on a regular basis why I love it so much. I have no explanation for it. Often times it makes me cry because these trashy hussies got pregnant, many times I want to call DCFS and have their children taken away. But, gosh, I CAN'T LOOK AWAY. Totally obsessed.

Beth said...

so I'm an infertile who likes those shows...yes, I do have one child and am currently pregnant but was watching while we were TTC. I even wrote a post about it over the summer.
For me, it is really hard to watch shows where people have babies and live happily ever after. I can't stand the happy gushiness of those shows. WHile I was watching these shows and TTC, it would remind me that having a baby doesn't make your life perfect and I would much rather be in my position waiting for a baby at the age of 30 than struggling with a baby, a boyfriend or ex boyfriend who is out all hours of the night and parents who can't get their own lives together to even think about supporting me. It just made me feel a little better about my own life...but I felt REALLY bad for them! It's probably messed up but it was totally a coping mechanism for me.

Michelle said...

I can't watch. I can't even watch the commercials. and I love crap reality TV..I just can't do pregnancy shows, teen or not.

Jem said...

I can't stand those shows. They depress me, not that I've even been able to watch more than about 30 seconds while channel surfing.

Bleh! Yuck!

Denise said...

Sorry cannot watch. I cannot stand the ignorance of the teens towards something that is very sensitive to me. Programs like this make me angry & nervous!

someday-soon said...

I didn't (and couldn't) watch any of these when I was TTC either...

Adele said...

I don't know. I can't stand those shows myself (and like you I don't mind some nice trashy television). But I actually can't even stand the of-age, grown up versions like Baby Story... maybe I'm just the Grinch of Infertility:)

suchagoodegg said...

I don't get it either, I immediately turn the channel when those shows come on. However, I am happy as a clam watching GG and the rest of the non-preggo related trash out there. Ha!

T said...

Amen sista! I do not like and will not watch those shows! That would be like torture! Just like going to yet another baby shower. I also think it sends the wrong message to young women. It's ok to get pregnant young...you will get on TV.

Now other reality shows...The Bachelor...bring it :O)

rebecca said...

Good question, I definitely do NOT watch those shows either for the very reason you mentioned. Those types of shows would just upset me further about the unfairness of it all.

amiracle4us said...

i watched one episode a few months back and I could feel my pulse quicken. It is one thing to see a teen mom in passing, it is another to see them 'play' mom or lack their of. I don't know how some continually watch it. Now Gossip girl on the other hand... :)

One Cycle at a Time said...

I'm with you - I don't go ANYWHERE near those shows!!!! I have absolutely no desire to make myself even crazier with jealousy or bitterness.

Now if its grown ups being scandalous, I can't turn away.... Especially Big Brother!!! I can't stay away from it! :-)

Trisha said...

I got hooked on the first episode because of the adoption story. My husband hates that I watch it but it was really enlightening to see both sides of the story.

CS said...

hahah - Who knows? I LOVED Teen Mom. I particularly loved it when they would neglect their kids - it was just too over the top!

Will I go to real-life baby showers? No. Does even seeing a preggo in real life bother me? Hells yeah.

Maybe it is part torture, part really feeling that when I do have a baby (adoption or not) I will have EARNED it and APPRECIATE it!

M3MU said...

I've watched some episodes but the only ones I've watched the entire episode of were the adoption ones. Hehe. And yes. I sobbed. I think those episodes were great since they showed how great the birth parents were doing despite the pain of placing their daughter. Also it was great to see the adoptive family doing so well.
I do love me some Jersey Shore as well as some Gossip Girl (btw anyone know when that comes back on? I'm feeling deprived.)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I watch together and it's like a train wreck we can't look away from. Does it make me sad when I think about my miscarriages? Yes. Does it give me hope that I can be a good parent? Hopefully a better parent? Yes. And it shows us something we have absolutely no clue about: a baby is hard work no matter if you're 16 and poor or 35 and rich.

nobabyruth said...

I admit it. I watch them and love them. I can only get them online here in Spain and it infuriates me to now end when they block them from "my region." I have no excuse and no legitimate reason for loving them as I do. I think it's my inherent voyuerism. I've always loved reality tv shows - particularly those focusing on babies and weddings: A Baby Story, Say Yes to the Dress, etc. And I've been watching 16 & Pregnant since the first season and all through TTC.

I definitely don't get mad at the shows. They can be really sad sometimes - most of those girls grew up in some pretty crappy family situations and are a product of their environment. I don't judge them for that.

I do, however, understand why some people might not want to watch those shows. They can be painful reminders of what we all want. And if you are watching TV you are looking for entertainment. No point in choosing to watch a show that will only bring you down.

Rita said...

Yuck, I hate those shows. I tried watching Teen Mom recently, thinking that I would be ok watching it now. Wrong. What broke my heart was seeing a beautiful, innocent baby born to wretched parents, a dirty house, with screaming and cursing and just all manner of unpleasantness. It made me sad thinking about that baby's future.

I couldn't stomach it, especially when I thought of so many wonderful people who would be amazing parents and whose lives would be changed dramatically for the better with the addition of a little one.

Kelly said...

I have wondered this for quite some time. The injustice of IF not being fair and then these shows, well, I can't even watch the commercials.

It was interesting to read the responses to this question.

Lindsay said...

I have to admit I have seen every eposide of both thus far. However I do not look at it in a "they can have what i don't" kind of way.
Honestly I think part of it is watching them struggle. I have through before while watching the show, I could have been stupid back then and have a child right now by accident but even though we are having issues with it now I am glad to say I waited until a time in my life when I could provide for a child instead of struggle.

I do watch a whole of of reality TV but I will stay away from the Baby stories. They are just to pretty and sweet.

Carli said...

I really have no clue how people can watch these shows while suffering from infertility. I can understand how, once you have gotten pregnant or have adopted your child, you might be able to watch this show without throwing the remote at the TV. But before then? I just don't get it. Maybe I was just a bitter infertile bi-atch who couldn't get past it...

foxy said...

I've been trying to come up with an answer to your question since I read it on Monday... but I can't seem to come up with a good answer.

I totally watch these shows (toddlers and tierras too) but can't for the life of me tell you why...

After pondering the question and writing a post of my own to respond, (http://foxypopcorn.blogspot.com/2011/01/reality-tv-junkie.html)
the best I can come up with is that having a child when you are not ready is an ironically similar life crisis to not being able to have a child when you are ready.

really interesting question Katie!!!

Nixy said...

Ah! I wondered the exact same thing. I personally can't stand to watch anything baby/pregnancy related because it upsets me so much.

Lex said...

For me, it's an outlet to my rage. I can't really scream at pregnant women or ones with small children on the bus, now, can I? I CAN however scream at TV Amber.

And as for Maci, who I love, well I guess I see her as me in an alternate universe where I can get and stay pregnant after ONE fun night. It's an outlet for obsessing over someone else's cute babies without people worrying I'm a weirdo out to kidnap.