It’s that time of year again! You guessed it prom season. Social media is filled with pictures of young men and women in their gowns and garments, getting ready to enjoy their last high school special occasion before their graduation. There was a picture that I stumbled across of a young lady going to prom and she was pregnant. If I had to guess, I would say somewhere between 6 and 9 months pregnant. She wore a beautiful form-fitting gown. Her hair was styled in loose spiral curls, and her makeup appeared flawless and perfect.
This photo was actually the first time I’ve seen a showing pregnant young lady glammed up for prom. I didn’t think much of it until I read the comments. People are so cruel, and they weren’t shy about what punishment their kids would be receiving for being pregnant in high school. Everything you could think of was listed as a punishment. Some stated she shouldn’t be able to attend prom due to her situation. People commented… “She has other things to be worried about,” “I wouldn’t spend money on prom due to the disappointment of being pregnant.” This is my favorite line “Since she wants to be grown so bad she shouldn’t be involved in kid events such as prom.” Having sex has nothing to do with being grown or acting grown it’s just biology. Biology tells us that both boys and girls go through puberty. Puberty is the time in which kids and/or teens become sexually mature. After becoming sexually mature eventually the act of sex or sexual behavior will occur. Having sex is an act of biology.
There are so many things that disturbed me about the comments for several reasons. I have never understood why reproducing has always been considered a horrible act in the African American community. I’m also curious as to why so many people were interested in punishing this girl. All these judgments were formed from this one picture. No one actually knows what her situation may have been. No one knows who paid for her prom expenses. She could be from a culture where she is already married and now expecting the couple’s first child. Folks are just shooting off at the mouth per usual.
The bigger issue of what the picture and comments represent to society- is plain old misogyny. Why do we continue to mistreat our daughters for mistakes and their bodies? Then wonder why their daughters don’t communicate with them… If we are constantly telling our girls that everything is their fault we can’t possibly be effectively teaching them to love themselves. As of lately, I have been in contact with a few ladies that were pregnant during my in time high school. Many of them informed me that they were mistreated by teachers and shunned by parents when they became pregnant. The audacity of those faculty members to display their negative feelings on a person already in a delicate and emotional state. That kind of behavior is not only appalling but it’s not productive nor necessary.
Do not misunderstand my intent for this article. I thoroughly understand that parents don’t want their teenager to become a young parent. However, if it does happen do you honestly think kicking them out the house, verbally abusing them, or any other punishment will help or hinder them in the long run? Teenage pregnancy isn’t some new phenomenon. Teenagers have been having sex and getting pregnant for decades! In fact the 2011 pregnancy rate was the lowest it has been in over 3 decades, and that’s with 54 out of every 1,000 women getting pregnant at age 15 and up.
Keep in mind girls don’t get themselves pregnant. Yet, we hardly ever hear about parents punishing their sons for their role in pregnancy. Some don’t even feel that their sons have to responsible in the situation. Reinforce safe sex and reevaluate the way you communicate with your daughter about the subject. Remember it’s not about being grown or wanting to be grown, it’s just Biology..
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