Feb 25, 2013

The Pregnancy Project

Gaby Rodriguez faked a teen pregnancy as a school project. That is awesome and amazing. She went 6 months with this ruse, aiming to keep track of the stereotypes people shoehorned her into, demonstrate that teens can accomplish things even when they're in difficult situations and, most importantly, show that it's a situation teens should take active steps to enjoy.  Her memoir documents the trials she and her family have faced that led her to make this decision to give up half of her senior year to a fake baby.  It also accounts what others said and did to her and her family during this fake pregnancy and the crazy response of the entire nation (and apparently the crazy stalker staff of Good Morning America) when she revealed that she was wearing a fake belly.  I'm on board with all of this.

I've wanted to read this memoir for a long time.  I just finished it and wanted to throw it against the wall like I did with Twilight.  Basically, it wasn't what I was expecting.

To be fair, Gaby makes some good points.  There ARE many successful teen parents and children of teen parents (Hello President Obama!?), and yes, the media and society tend to revere pregnant teens as they are glamorized in MTV shows.  There needs to be more support for teens who go through pregnancies that does not involve magazine covers and free rides for acting like a fool on national television.

However, her tone in this book (and this could be the fault of the ghostwriter) is so condescending and full of superiority that I almost couldn't stand to finish reading her story. She raises points throughout the book about how it's difficult to live as a pregnant teen, yet completely dismisses these realizations of hardships when discussing her family's history of teen pregnancy, holding her family up to ridiculous standards. I get that she's trying to make the point that they shouldn't give up and should take responsibility for their lives and their children, but she comes off as petty and childish herself.

Then she acts superior in a Planned Parenthood where she's on the prowl for a project mentor.  Suddenly she's scared everyone there thinks she's there for an abortion and she makes a point to insist that she is way above that, being pro-life and all.  Okay, you're allowed to be.  But what makes her better than the others in the room who may or may not be about to go through with that procedure?   One of the points of the book is to highlight how people stereotype pregnant teens, and here she is making assumptions about their situations. For a book concerning the hardships teen pregnancies, I would assume that abortions should be discussed as a viable option for some people, regardless of your personal beliefs about the procedure.

Overall, the project was definitely interesting and teens may find the subject matter intriguing.  The writing, however, is just too haughty for my taste. 

1 comment:

  1. I saw the movie version of this on Lifetime. The girl from "Spy Kids" plays Gaby. I'm usually a naysayer of this, but you might like the movie way better than the book.