Life Imitates Art: Juno & Jamie Lynn Spears.
*WARNING: Spoilers from the film “Juno” ahead.*
First things first. The new indie flick “Juno” does not glamorize teen pregnancy. Sixteen-year-old Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) isn’t a shrinking violet or a wide-eyed doe who does not understand contraception. (She just doesn’t use it). Nor is she someone who sleeps around either. (She got pregnant during her one and only sexual encounter.)
However it’s an unfortunate twist of fate that the wide release of this gem of a film happened to coincide with the announcement of a well known, real-life teenager’s pregnancy. Jamie Lynn Spears, star of Nickelodeon “Zoey 101,” and her boyfriend made a mistake, a mistake that tens of thousands of teenagers make each year . . . and, I might add, a mistake that many married adult people also commit otherwise there wouldn’t be such a thing as an “oops” baby. Spears has decided to keep the baby and plans to raise the child with her mother, according to press reports.
In some quarters, the teen is being lambasted for her lapse in judgment, with critics pillorying the poor girl. “A few media critics have all but called her a whore and made disparaging white-trash references to her family because of the over-publicized antics of her sister,” wrote Mary Sanchez in the Kansas City-Star. Now, if Spears starts extolling the glories of teenage pregnancy, if she exploits the pregnancy and baby as a publicity tool (the money OK! Magazine reportedly paid the Spears family for the exclusive on the pregnancy is precariously close to the line), or if she neglects the child, then the critics would have something onto which they could hang their judgmental hats. Unless or until those things happen, perhaps it would be more prudent to save the tar and feathers for her older, unglued, clearly troubled “adult” sister who didn’t make just one mistake in judgment, but an unremorseful bazillion of them.