Of all the teen moms this season on 16 and Pregnant, Allie, the mom on the season finale, was by far the most upsetting one. There is no doubt that of all the moms, she will have the roughest go and this is why MTV has to stop or change things up as soon as possible.
Her boyfriend Joey has a drug addict mom named Yolanda whose first contribution to them as a family is to ask: “You trust day cares?” Really? She is more worried about day cares than her own teenage son and his teenage girlfriend as parents. Her biggest concern doesn't seem to be helping them, but instead to make things worse. In fact, that seems to be how their whole family operates, telling them they made big mistakes, definitely won't make it, and kicking them out. Bodes well, no?
And unfortunately, it gets worse. Yolanda screams obscenities at Allie and says the worst things I've ever heard on TV. And yes, that includes Gary and Amber.
Things get better once Aydenn is born, but it's still so far from even manageable, let alone ideal. Although none of the girls this season had ideal situations, Allie’s was by far the worst. Her situation was truly a disaster, and with such little family support, it's very hard to imagine these kids can really make a go of it.
- They have no money.
- They have no home.
- She was kicked out of her dad’s, her mom couldn't afford to keep her, and Joey’s mom is a drug addict.
- Yolanda is abusive and cruel.
You know things are bad when they keep breaking in to tell you to call the domestic abuse hot-line if you're being abused. MTV needed to step in. There is a time to be an objective observer and then there is a time to actually do something. Why do we need to watch these lives fall apart? Does anyone really believe this child will turn out OK in the end?
It's maddening and endemic to the show. Yes, there are some good moms, but they are few and far between. For every Macy, there are 10 more Allies, and at some point, we have to say enough is enough. It doesn't glorify teen pregnancy by any means, but it does exploit them.
What did we gain by watching this season? Not much. It has been a painful, rough season. It may be the truth of “teen motherhood,” but it isn't pleasant to watch. Between the bad families of origin, the dubious dads (like Joey), the constant fighting and struggle, I guess I would rather see the money spent on these shows (in the millions, I am sure) go toward actually helping moms in need in basic, real ways.
"I tried," Joey cries again and again at the end of the episode. Tried? Really? Not so. And then, like so many others, Allie is left on her own with her baby.
The fact is, you know a girl is too young to be a mom when she can still trick-or-treat. Allie breaks our hearts, but so do all the Allies this show highlights. It isn't MTV’s job to save them, but it's hard to understand just what they're trying to prove with this show. They claim they're trying to help them, but by highlighting the incredible dysfunction, they're really just using these girls. They have called the series “groundbreaking,” and perhaps it was in the beginning. But like many reality shows, it has crossed the line into exploitation.
It’s like they're trying to top themselves to find the most messed up stories. Allie, Aydenn, and Joey were perhaps the saddest. They had very little support from their parents and no money, and then Allie was left on her own (as per usual).
At the end of the episode, I had the sick feeling that I had really just been a voyeur watching someone else’s undoing. I hope next season brings some happier stories.
What did you think of this season?
Image via MTV