Life Imitates Art: Juno & Jamie Lynn Spears.

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*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.

 

johnmeeks1974
02.22.08

I beg to differ because we do send mixed messages to our youth. We say that they are too young to consent to sexual activity while bombarding them with media images of kids having sex. I teach middle school and cannot think of a single student of mine who would be ready to raise a child. It perturbs me that this generation of 'net savvy' teens can order a pizza via text message or rent a Humvee for prom cannot understand the concept of BIRTH CONTROL. These babies that we make cannot be put away in a cabinet when we tire of them. They are here for life.
I don't lambaste Hollywood for being too liberal. I actually think that they are too reactionary and chicken to bring up a woman's right to choose and abortion. The issue of abortion should be a wake up call that a lot more than CHEAP FUN is at stake. Sex is meant to be a life changing choice that teenagers (who already claim to know everything) should take to heart.
And shame on those 'doe eyed' youngsters who know about contraception but 'choose' not to use it. I firmly believe that such a glib approach to teen pregnancy is misguided and immoral.

Marilyn
01.16.08

I couldn't agree more. Beautifully written.

jessjames4
01.14.08

This movie was by far the best one I have seen in a long time. I can't even explain the emotions that went through me as I watched. It is truly a wonderful film.