Before MTV made beaucoup bucks off Jenelle Evans and the other Teen Moms, the most famous sixteen-year-old to get knocked up was Britney Spears‘ little sister Jamie Lynn Spears. But after the tabloid hubbub of her engagement to and breakup with babydaddy Casey Aldridge, Jamie Lynn disappeared. She’s resurfaced to write a piece for Glamour about turning 21 and how the last thing she was feeling was happiness when she announced her pregnancy with her sister and mom on the cover of OK! magazine.
Unlike fellow young mom Bristol Palin, who has hemmed and hawed over where she went wrong with birth control, Jamie bravely admits that she simply didn’t have any.
I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls… I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it [felt] especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control. I didn’t want to ask my doctor, because she had a little girl.
The Nickelodeon kids have always been held in higher esteem than their Disney counterparts, who have drug problems and rehab stints under their belts. It’s no wonder that Jamie felt a more subtle pressure to present a wholesome image and felt that it couldn’t be publicized that she was having sex. [tagbox tag= "teen mom"]
What’s also interesting is Jamie Lynn’s side of how she was portrayed during her pregnancy. With the big magazine announcement and her decision to keep the baby, it certainly seemed as if she were glamorizing teen pregnancy. After all, the family had been supportive of Britney having two children at the relatively young age of 24. However, Jamie Lynn apologizes here for “the young girls and the mothers who I probably confused and let down.”
If you reread her quotes from the big announcement in 2007, you can see that even in the beginning she was more resigned than overjoyed. “I’m the one who has to live with it for the rest of my life,” she said. “I put myself in this position, an adult position, so I have to act like an adult and take responsibility for what I did.” That means ducking out of the spotlight and not exploiting daughter Maddie with a reality show or staged paparazzi shots.
However, just because she wasn’t on MTV didn’t mean that Jamie Lynn wasn’t excited to watch 16 and Pregnant and its sequel Teen Mom. “When I saw MTV’s Teen Mom was coming out,” she writes, “I remember thinking, Oh my God, I cannot wait to see this show because there’s someone else out there.” Interestingly, she doesn’t comment on any of the teen moms’ troubles with the law, or their subsequent breakups with their children’s fathers.
I definitely recommend you read the whole essay at Glamour, because there’s no bullshit about what she was going through. “I was a kid who did a kid show,” she writes. “Then I went away and raised my child, and the world has never met me as an adult.” I for one am glad to meet this adult.