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Gingersnap
11-23-2010, 10:48 AM
16, pregnant ... and famous: Teen moms are newest stars

A different kind of life: Maci Bookout, who has a son, Bentley, says that now, "everyone ... knows something about me and is watching me and judging me."

By Arienne Thompson, USA TODAY

Maci Bookout, 19, wants to set the record straight.

She's still dating her boyfriend, Kyle King, 22. She's not house hunting in Hollywood, and she's not best friends with Taylor Swift. In fact, she has never spoken to her.

So who's Maci Bookout?

She's a teen mother and star of MTV reality show and ratings home run Teen Mom, which scored nearly 1.5 million more viewers this summer in its second-season premiere than the season finale of Emmy darling Mad Men last month.

Saturday Night Live has spoofed it. Today co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford have debated it. The Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has written about MTV's pregnant programming.

The stories and personalities behind the pop-culture phenomenon are a casting director's dream.

Bookout, a sophomore at Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee, gave birth to Bentley, now 2, when she was 17. She has a drama-filled relationship with Bentley's father, ex-boyfriend Ryan Edwards, 22. Marine City, Mich., native Catelynn Lowell, 18, gave birth to Carly, now 18 months, when she was 17 and decided with her fiancé, Tyler Baltierra, 18, to put the baby up for an open adoption. Their adoption counselor helped the couple try out for 16 and Pregnant.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, mom Farrah Abraham, 19, dreams of going to culinary school but for now is caring for Sophia, 21 months, whose 18-year-old father, Derek Underwood, died in a car accident months before she was born. Amber Portwood, 20, has made news in her hometown of Anderson, Ind., where on Thursday police charged her with two counts of felony domestic battery after they said she struck former fiancé Gary Shirley, 24, on camera in front of their daughter, Leah, 2.

All four women are mainstays on USA TODAY's Celebrity Heat Index, which measures media exposure; Portwood topped the list for October, beating out Angelina Jolie and Prince William. The moms are regularly on the covers of People and Us Weekly and have Facebook fan pages dedicated to them.

All of the attention prompts the question of whether the young women's rise to pop prominence glamorizes teen pregnancy and motherhood, says child psychologist Laurie Zelinger.

"While a teenage parent may be doing the best they can, they don't have all the information to weigh their options. The emotional part of them says, 'Wow, this is exciting getting my 15 minutes of fame,' but they're not always thinking of the effect on the child," she says. "I think it does increase the likelihood that for some people, they will say, 'I can do it, too.' "

USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2010-11-23-teenmom22_CV_N.htm)

Teddy Kennedy
11-23-2010, 10:53 AM
USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2010-11-23-teenmom22_CV_N.htm)

Good lord, now they're glorifying what in a saner time would be deemed a lack of morals and judgement.

linda22003
11-23-2010, 12:27 PM
Unwed teen mothers on MTV.... unwed teen mothers on Dancing With the Stars.... where will it all END? :cool:

Gingersnap
11-23-2010, 12:56 PM
Unwed teen mothers on MTV.... unwed teen mothers on Dancing With the Stars.... where will it all END? :cool:

Unwed teen mother in the White House, where else?

noonwitch
11-23-2010, 04:24 PM
Every single teenaged girl I work with watches this show. That is not a good thing.

MrsSmith
11-23-2010, 08:46 PM
Unwed teen mother in the White House, where else?

Not soon, anyway. Obama doesn't believe in "punishing" his daughters with babies.