Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Write About Snooki's Pregnancy Without Sounding Like a Mean Girl



My jaw dropped yesterday when I read this post from Pregnant Pause, the blog of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Snooki is pregnant. The NC's blogger has an opinion about it:
Though [Snooki] went on record just a few weeks ago denying that she has a bun in the oven (or that she knows what an oven is, probably)...I could waste your time with pages of passionate prose detailing why Snooki is not ready for a baby (and should probably refrain from procreating in the future, as well...If you know who Snooki is, you know she shouldn't be having children. Not yet, at least, but--let's be honest--probably not ever. Snooki and I are the same age. I know I'm not ready for a baby and I have a pristine driving record, keep my privates private, and, I'm proud to say, am house broken. With her hard partying ways, inappropriate behavior and complete lack of common sense, Snooki is the epitome of fantastic reality television. Ready for motherhood, though? Absolutely not.
The extent to which "reality" television personalities are "really" like their on-screen personas is unclear, but even if Snooki is as hard-partying, gel-and-tanning as she appears on MTV, as a sexual health education professional I cannot imagine ever writing such nasty personal attacks about a celebrity's choice to become pregnant and certainly not in my role at the institution for which I work.

Snooki is 24 years old. Maybe, like many men and women, she's decided that she's enjoyed her youth to the max and is ready to have kids. Maybe she got pregnant by accident. Who cares? The Washington Post's Celebritology columnist, Jen Chaney, wrote a cheeky but nice article about Snooki's pregnancy that demonstrated her ability to poke fun at the artifice of Jersey Shore and the new wrinkles that a baby might add without sounding like a Mean Girl:
The upcoming Snooki/JWoww spin-off now has a plotline to rally around: “Can two Jersey-ite binge drinkers, one of whom is pregnant, share an apartment without driving each other crazy?” Snooki can write another book: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Can’t Go to Karma Anymore.”
And so on. I don't watch Jersey Shore--there is no condom for the eye, after all--but I know a mean girl when I read one. Even if the goal is to make young women think seriously about preventing pregnancy, smearing and demonizing an individual woman's choices is not an acceptable way for a leading national pregnancy prevention organization to communicate.

2 comments:

  1. An abortion that got away and that's all I will say or else I will sound like a 'mean girl'. When the truth hurts it's not necessarily mean to say it!

    I am not saying this to be mean but it's expressing compassion to the child to be, she shouldn't bring a child into this world that she isn't ready to provide her best to and if she isn't ready to stop partying and give her all then she should step back and realize an abortion may the most compassionate thing she could do.

    I fear she will just give this pregnancy a case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and then neglect it in favor of partying when it gets here.

    Whatever only time will tell . . .

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  2. I think none of us should assume that what we see on "reality tv" is "real." We don't judge people who play drunk/party girl CHARACTERS on soap operas or Gossip Girl, etc., and their choice to parent--reality TV, and Jersey Shore too, are totally scripted bullshit, and it's incredibly naive to assume that what we see Snooki play on TV is what Nicole is really like in real life. And even if it were, nobody but the parents should have any say in whether two people bring a child into this world.

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