And We Wonder Why Some People Think Babies Having Babies Is Cool?
This week's OK! Magazine features a cover story on Jamie Lynn Spears and her new baby. The magazine quotes Spears' (or more likely one of her publicists) as saying that : "Being a mom is the best feeling in the world". For those who don't spend a lot of time in the supermarket check-out aisle, OK! Magazine is one of those glitzy gossip magazines which prides itself on being "the first for celebrity news".
Normally, I wouldn't care about who Jennifer Anston is sleeping with this week or whether Madonna's latest marriage is on the rocks. In this case though, Jamie Lynn Spears was 16 years old when she became pregnant out of wedlock and 17 when she recently gave birth. The child's father, Casey Aldridge, was apparently 18 when he impregnated her.
Under the law in Louisianna, this wasn't statutory rape - but it was close. Regardless, at the risk of being considered hopelessly old-fashioned, I don't think it's a good idea for 16 year olds to be getting pregnant by 18 year olds. I also think it's irresponsible for "celebrity" magazines to be glorifying babies having babies - which is precisely what OK! Magazine is doing.
I realize what's going on here. The December 2007 issue of OK! Magazine that announced Spears' pregnancy was its top selling issue of all time. Recognizing the opportunity to make a buck, the magazine reportedly paid Spears $1 million for exclusive rights to the first photos of her baby. Therefore this is about commerce, nothing more.
Being both a free market and a free speech guy, I believe that OK! Magazine has a right to run a story like this glorifying teen pregancy. At the same time though, I think it's an unfortunate decision. I'm hoping that the magazine bombs at the newsstand and the publisher loses its shirt on this issue. I doubt that it will happen though.
As to the people who will shell out $3 plus this week to read about how wonderful Jamie Lynn thinks it is to be an unwed 17 year old mother, be careful. Your 12 year old daughter might be reading the magazine once you're finished!