Jendella Benson: The Truth About Teen Mom UK
Campaigner Jendella Benson talks the stigma around being a teenage mother...
‘Unwed mothers’, ‘gymslip mums’, ‘babies having babies’, ‘teen mums’.
The names society gives to young women who become mothers may change, but the stigma stays pretty much the same.
The rate of teenage pregnancy is something we’ve been preoccupied with for decades, but despite the headlines and hysteria, how often do we get an opportunity to hear from the mums themselves?
I know, I know, you’ve heard the stories: don’t teen mums just doss about all day claiming benefits? Didn’t they do this to get a council house? Shouldn’t they just have kept their legs closed?
Yawn. Boring. Are you finished?
If you're privileged – yes, privileged – to know a real life teen mum, you'd already know that these myths are not a true reflection of the life of a teen mum at all.
Some of my friends are kick-ass women who had babies in their teenage years, and this is why I decided to start my project, ‘Young Motherhood’, which challenges the negative assumptions and stereotypes that are associated with young mums.
Our perceptions of other people’s lives, influenced by tabloid columns, soap opera storylines and the like, are basically rubbish. And there are stats to prove it.
A study done in 2014 shows that the British public think that there are five times more the number of teen mums than there actually are. What other assumptions do we make about teen mums that are also untrue or highly exaggerated?
Well, here’s your chance to find out!
Teen Mom UK is an opportunity to see life through the eyes of five mums and their families. Yeah, being a teen mum is not always pretty or perfect, but since when was motherhood at any age always pretty and perfect?
We’ll get to see Chloe, Amber, Mia, Naomi and Megan navigate motherhood, relationships, career goals and education as well as the transition from adolescence to adulthood. There will be laughs, fun, challenges and a few tears along the way, so put aside your preconceived ideas and settle in for the ride – it’s going to be quite a journey!
Words: Jendella Benson, Young Motherhood
Teen Mom UK starts Wednesday, 2nd November at 8pm - only on MTV!