Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Today on BYT, a link to this site was posted.

I typically see teen parents and wonder that a lot myself. And upon looking at all the pictures I couldn't help but think of a girl I took Cosmetology with. I'll call her Ashley. Ashley was a pretty cool, if not self-loathing chick. She was the type of girl you would look at and label "goth" or the exact opposite of me. She was also the stereotype that kept my parents from supporting my decision to take Cosmetology instead of other elective courses.

One week towards the end of my first year in Cosmetology, our teacher had us read over some letters that the second-year-students had written for the upcoming crop the next year. All the letters said the same things, "Mrs. Burchell is strict, but she cares about you," "do your theory," "it gets easier," "a lot of people will drop out," and the most notably prophetic, "at least three girls will get pregnant."

Ashley was one of at least three girls to get pregnant (not to mention those that had abortions and miscarriages), but her's wasn't an accident. It was completely planned. She and her boyfriend felt that they loved each other enough to bring another person into the world. And while that may have been true, that didn't make it at all responsible. She figured that she'd be able to support a kid on her salary from the Haircuttery and with whatever her boyfriend made at Costco. In theory this could work, but certainly not in Northern Virginia.

I have since had lunch with her and her beautiful baby girl. Everything about their situation is stereotypical. They live with his family, he's enlisting in the Army and they're engaged. I could not do that. She's not the only person I know who's having kids and getting married that's my age. I'm nineteen! I couldn't want to not have kids more than I do now, I certainly do not want kids before I'm thirty.

So when I see teenage girls with babies on their hips and meet guys who have gotten multiple girls pregnant and meet people that don't know where to get free condoms, or cheap contraception - I'm in awe. I just don't get it. And it's not so much "why the fuck do you have a kid?" it more "why the fuck did you decide to have sex without any sort of contraception and when you found out that you were pregnant why did you decide to have the child and how are you content living this life that limits you in every way possible?" I don't mean to sound so negative because I don't believe that children are simply mistakes and ruin peoples lives if born at the wrong time, but I do see pictures like these and think, "fuck, how could they have not known?"

While I can appreciate the humor of this website, the fact that it exists I feel defines what is missing in our education system. Sex education, and not just the kind that explains the various forms of contraception and sexually related diseases and infections, but the kind that says "hey, don't you want to be able to give your kids everything? Don't you want a great life for yourself and for them? Because if you have a kid now your life, and their life is going to be hard and life's already complicated enough."

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