Just because a group of girls with similar lives decided to take a picture together does NOT mean there was a pregnancy pact. Is it too hard to believe that 4 girls from the same community or school got pregnant, were connected by their pregnancies, THEN became friends as a means of finding support in a judgmental world? When I became a teen mom, I didn’t know any teen moms. By the time I was 6 or 7 months, I finally had a group of 2 or 3 other teen moms who related to me. For the first time, I could be happy around my peers and not feel isolated.
In my opinion, proudly displaying a baby bump is the first step to becoming a great mother. Why should teen moms have to hide their bellies when older moms are posting painted belly pics all over the web? These young girls are probably going into their third trimester meaning they’ve had a few months to accept their pregnancy and make the remainder of it a happy and healthy one. Sadness, misery, anger and stress are all dangerous for babies. Should we remind them every time they smile during their pregnancy that their bellies are disturbing? Shouldn’t we just be happy that they are even smiling through the struggle?
Disturbing. The word makes me cringe. Being happy about the end of their pregnancy is not disturbing. What ISN’T pictured is what IS disturbing – the judgment, the stereotyping, the discrimination, the struggles, the unnecessary (and constant) opinions of others, and the isolation young parents are forced to face. The mere thought that teen parents have to keep their happiness hidden is disturbing. The idea that taking a photo with other pregnant girls means there was a pact is disturbing. And what else is disturbing? Using the word “PACT” puts all the blame on the teen parents and takes the responsibility away from the educators and adults in their lives. It comes with the notion of “if there was a pact, there is nothing we could have done to prevent it.” This then leaves a gaping hole in a serious issue – preventing teen pregnancy.
Why does the image of a teen mom’s pregnancy offend someone? When I was pregnant, I only took photos of happy moments but could barely fill up one album. I’m sorry I don’t have miserable photos to share but here’s a photo of me (at 17 years old) smiling during the begininning of my third trimester. Let me tell you what my smile didn’t say: I was kicked out of my home, I was abused, I was depressed, and I was going through my entire pregnancy completely alone but I don’t regret my smile or my picture.
Is this disturbing?