This week on 16 and Pregnant, we meet Isabella Tovar of Draper, Utah. Sadly, the name of the town does not seem to have anything to do with Don Draper. Izabella is a sophomore at a Catholic school who takes all AP classes and wants to be a doctor. (Cue giant sigh from me.) Izabella’s boyfriend’s name is Jairo (pronounced hi-row) and they’ve been together for just three months. So let’s do this, shall we?
1. She hid her pregnancy from most of the people in her life.
Izabella is one of the only girls – maybe the only one – who has used the word “ashamed” when talking about her pregnancy. She told her parents and Jairo about the pregnancy, but not her friends from school. Since it’s summertime, Izabella is only hanging out at home or in another part of town where she thinks people from her school won’t see her. Her friends keep calling and inviting her to hang out, but Izabella comes up with excuses and claims she’s going on vacation. Jairo thinks she needs to talk to her friends about what’s going on before she gives birth, but she’s reluctant. I’m getting a kind of 1950s vibe from this episode for some reason – I think it’s the whole hiding-the-pregnant-girl-away thing. [Tangent: I recently read a great book called The Girls Who Went Away about young women who were forced to give their babies up for adoption, and it's fascinating to read it against the context of this show. I highly recommend it.] Izabella finally tells her best friend Cassidy – and by “tells” I mean “shows her her belly and lets her figure it out.”
2. Her extended family found out she was pregnant at eight months.
I’m with Izabella’s family on this one – they didn’t even know until Izabella (they call her “Bella” in this scene – thanks, Twilight!) was almost due, and then they had to find out the news while being filmed for a TV show? Yeah, that’s awkward. I guess what’s weird about this is that I’ve totally known girls who did the “hide the pregnancy from everyone and pretend you went out of town/had mono” thing, but they all gave the kids up for adoption at the end. Izabella’s keeping her baby, and she’s filming an episode of a freaking MTV reality show, so why bother covering it up? I wonder if her school has a policy about expelling pregnant students – I’ve known some religious schools who had rules like that. [Note: In the aftershow, this is addressed somewhat when Izabella says a girl at her school who got pregnant a year ago was treated badly by the students.] But the cat’s out of the proverbial bag now. Izabella’s uncle, who is awesome, points out that Izabella is going to deal with way more judgment and difficulty, while Jairo will probably “get high-fives.” (Case in point: Jairo has not been hiding from his friends all summer, although he does get points for attending Izabella’s family meeting.) Then the uncle cries. I think I like Izabella’s family.
At her baby shower (which her friends come to, because Izabella has finally announced her pregnancy or the 16 and Pregnant cameras at her house tipped everybody off), Izabella says she’s naming her baby Enrique. At an incredibly awkward family meal, Izabella’s dad Erik says that he’s disappointed in his daughter, and that Izabella’s mom Vi is to blame for trying to be friends with her kids instead of a superstrict parents. I feel so sorry for Vi.