Amber Portwood, the MTV 'Teen Mom' star headed to a five-year jail prison term for drug charges, apparently has some real influence with teens. A poll shows she has convinced 77 percent of teens that pregnancy and parenting are really, really hard. But what about the 23 percent who said she made it look easy?
John P. Cleary/The Herald-Bulletin/AP
The final season of the hit reality show "Teen Mom" begins tomorrow. This means viewers who appreciate a good train wreck can watch the full unraveling of star Amber Portwood, who was ordered last week to serve a five-year prison sentence on drug charges.
Ms. Portwood, who would have been able to avoid incarceration if she had completed a rehab program, told Good Morning America that she had been so depressed that she tried to commit suicide, and that she decided going prison would be the best thing she could do for herself. This despite the fact that she (of course, since this is why she’s “famous” in the first place) has a little daughter.
Now we get to watch the whole downward spiral leading to this mental state. Gee, sounds like great entertainment.
I know we’ve written about this before, but does anyone else out there find this a bit uncomfortable? Or just downright sad and depressing?
Last week we wrote about how the horrified glee directed toward the Bad Mommies of reality television seems like a social release valve for the stressed-out, anxious style of American parenting that's so common today.
But today I was wondering whether there could be any other purpose served by these tragic examples, perhaps something more positive.
As it turns out, there may be. According to a survey that came out last month by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the MTV shows in which Portwood has appeared – “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” – have, for the most part, convinced other teens that pregnancy and parenting are really, really hard.