There was a time when I felt sorry for Bristol Palin. She didn't get a say about being thrust into the limelight in 2008 as a very young, pregnant Alaskan teen.
Apparently I was wasting my time having any motherly concern for her.
In less than two years, she's turned a situation most girls would struggle with into quite a lucrative livelihood! Exhibit A is the most recent cover of US Weekly, all happy and sunny with her alleged husband-to-be (and former Kathy Griffin "boyfriend") and her son, Tripp. They reportedly were paid $100K for the interview and photo shoot.
While a bit unseemly, I guess we'd all think about striking while the iron is hot if we could sock away that kind of money for our kids' college funds. So as I pondered the most recent development in Bristol's life, as I was in the grocery store check-out line, it occurred to me that I want to be Bristol Palin when I grow up!
And here are five reasons:
- I've always wanted to be in Harper's Bazaar magazine. Granted, my goal has been to make it in as a freelance writer, and she got into the magazine with a major photo spread because of, well, her mom. But I don't have any problem at all if the editors want to call me up to see if I'd like to wear a little couture in a photo shoot about a day in the life of a mom who happens to be a political blogger!
- I'll finally have my own consulting firm! I thought I needed some experience to start one. I guess I was wrong, because Bristol started her own company at the tender age of 19 and apparently is getting clients! I want to know how she's doing it, since I'm learning how difficult it is for mere mortals to drum up business like that in this economy.
- She has the platform I'd love to have. Think about it. What is the cause that's closest to your heart? Now think about how you'd be able to advocate on its behalf -- cancer awareness and prevention, education, women in elective office, global maternal health -- the list is endless! I'm glad Bristol is speaking out about teen pregnancy and pregnancy prevention, but I hope she uses this newfound status to promote things other than magazine covers and reality TV shows.
- I could have saved myself a lot of time and money. Here I thought I needed an education to be successful and build up a nest egg, so I spent eight years working my way through college and then put in a few years getting a law degree, as well. I started at the entry-level jobs, worked my up, made contacts, did all that networking stuff they say you need to do. Yet, all I needed was to play up the fact that I'm from a small rural town! Of course, I would have had to get pregnant as a teenager, and I know as PunditGirl's mom I wouldn't have been ready for that. But she sure seems to have skipped a lot of steps on the way up the financial security ladder.
- I could convince Sarah Palin that mothers of all political persuasions are worth talking to. I realize that being Bristol Palin would also involve being related to Sarah Palin. I'm not sure how that would turn out at holidays and family occasions, but I'd sure try to persuade her that mothers of all political persuasions are "mama grizzlies," not just the conservative ones she likes to court. I know it might take a while to get her to come around on reproductive choice, but I'd like to bend her ear a while on fair pay and health care!
You can read more of Joanne's take on the world of politics (and popular political culture) at her prior weekly Speaker of the House columns, as well as her place, PunditMom.