Media Studies – Youth Representation and Television

For my comparison of TV teens and myself I chose Amy Jerkins, one of the main characters of the Secret Life of The American Teenager. Amy becomes a mother at the age of 15 and has to deal with all the normal problems of a teenager but with a son. Both Amy and I are the same age and face the same issues but hers are amplified with the fact of having a child. In the end though, her life seems to be almost as easy. The way she is portrayed in her show is very nice, lazy and a little spoiled unlike myself who is hardworking and appreciates everything I get. The reason for this difference is that she is on TV and the show always has to have a happy ending therefore she gets everything she wants and doesn’t have to get it herself. I on the other hand have to work hard and keep everything working well in my life in order for it to be good. Amy’s family is very supportive and always around to help. They have their own lives but they all seem to mold around Amy’s unlike my own family who are sometimes too busy to even notice me. This is very lucky for her but a little unrealistic. Also the way my parents would have reacted to me being pregnant and the way Amy’s did is way different, I’d probably be dead. Like her family, the people in Amy’s school and her friends also seem to just revolve around her; they try to make things easier for her and always offer to help out. In real life, yes there would be a lot of people like my close friends who would help but there would also be a lot of people talking behind my back and saying rude things because getting pregnant in high school never goes easy.

Other than her son issues, Amy and I face a lot of the same problems, especially in high school like grades, boyfriends and friends. This is the same with any high school student except in Amy’s case everything is a lot more exaggerated and dramatic yet still in the end everything works out. In a real high school you may not always find your true love and not every friendship will work out, it’s just something you have to accept.

In the end Amy and I have similar lives. We both have good families and friends and are just trying to get through high school. Of course, I will never experience some of her problems like getting married or raising a child until I am a lot older but TV does have a way of taking the most extravagant things and trying to make it look like normal high school students do them. I guess the best part about it is we get to see how normal our lives are and what not to do in high school.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ms. Szewchuk
    May 10, 2011 @ 17:39:14

    There have been several shows and films recently (Glee, Juno, Saved!) that have been criticized for portraying teen pregnancy as much easier and romantic than it actually is. The gossip and judgement that inevitably occurs when a teenage girl becomes pregnant is usually glossed over, or quickly resolved by a snappy comment or some sort of over-the-top antic. Perhaps “16 and Pregnant” attempts to serve as counterbalance to these unrealistic portrayals of teen pregnancy, although even that show is somewhat voyeuristic and also highly constructed.
    You’ve done a good job of comparing your life to the life of this character. It’s clear you’re very aware of both the realistic and the not-so realistic elements of this popular show. I’m really enjoying reading your posts.


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