Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Not So Secret Life of the Not So Average Teenager

WARNING: Mature content posted. Young children need to read with a parent. 

I'm thankful for internet. It allows me to research for papers, keep up with friends, communicate easily, have access to every part of the world, and also allows me to watch television shows in full-length that I would never dare admit to watching for any reason other than curiosity. Perfect example: GLEE and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I will cover Glee later.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager is in it's third season, I believe. I remember seeing one espisode when I was a freshman in college. I remember all the girls screaming and posting on their facebook updates when the baby was born. Things like "It's a BOY!" splattered my wall. Really? REALLY GIRLS??? I was amused.....then.

I've only seen a couple full episodes since baby John was born, and may I say he is the only cute thing about the show. After watching another episode last night, I could not help but pose some thoughts regarding what I watched.

1. I did not go to public school, but I highly doubt every teenager talks about sex openly. I do not believe they all walk up and ask "have you had sex yet?" and then express concern and empathy when the couple has not. Every other word has to do with sex! I suppose the goal of the show is to make the "secret life" come to open view. I think the writers had a very odd teenage life if all they talked about was sex. Maybe all boys do is talk about sex. I thought they talked about, I don't know, football, baseball, cars, video games, computers, and NASCAR. If you are a guy, and all teenage boys talk about is sex, set me straight. I will willingly retract my statement about NASCAR. I have a fiance and he admits that most guys don't sit and talk about their girlfriends with other "dudes." It's not all about girls, as much as the girls sometimes wish.

For that matter, FEW girl walks around talking about sex with every person they meet. I am a girl. I hang out with a lot of girls. There are not many teenage girls who want to go talk about "where they can have sex with Charlie" as they walk to their next class. *eyeroll* I don't think this is the true secret life of the American teenager. In fact, their life is not so secret at all really.

2. Parents will NEVER say, "ok, you stayed at his house once without having sex. If you want to go tonight I trust you that you won't have sex unless you are ready. I know you are ready. You are on the pill, just be sure to use a condom. I'm glad we have all been so open to talk about this. It has been good for us." REALLY????????????? I did hear those exact thoughts from the mouth of a "mother" on the show I watched.
That's not a parent!!! That's an enabler!! A parent would have freaked, told you in no uncertain or nice terms that you weren't going, and then grounded you for the rest of your life. They probably would have made you break up with him....another parent was telling her ex-husband that their daughter *the star of the show and John's mom* should be able to life with her boyfriend and father of the child. "It's better they live together, even unmarried, and in a few years they might find out it won't work."

wow. Please, tell me this is not reality. Tell me this parent did NOT just say that.

I am about to be married. I can guarantee you there will be days when Kyle and I look at each other and think, "wow. This isn't what I thought it would be." I dread those days. But we are in the marriage for life. There is no backing out. There is no "divorce" as an option. Death is the only thing to separate us. What this mom was suggesting is that her daughter go live with a boy so they can raise their son and then decide if it will work out.

My pastor said during out marriage counseling that "sex is a small part of marriage but it touches every part." He also said that "pre-marital sex skews the reality of marriage in the eye of the beholder." Ok. So this girl is going to go have sex with her boyfriend whenever he wants to--his son will be in his apartment every day--sure, he will REALLY wanna get married now.

This parent is openly and willingly allowing a teenager to decide this! We aren't talking a 24 year old woman with a mind of her own who pays for her own consequences. We are talking about a 17 year old TEENAGER. It makes me want to cry.

3. Homeschool student. *sigh* This part just makes me sick. The one anti-social, the "dark one" as labeled on the show, the rebellious one, and the one escaping society are all the girl who decides to be homeschooled. Way to be subtle, ABC Family. For those of you who do not know about homeschool, please do not allow this "Secret life" to influence your thinking.

Homeschool is not an escape from everyone because you don't like people. It is a calling from the Lord. It takes work. I cannot be done without parental involvement as the show portrays. It isn't just an out.

By the way, isn't it ironic that the father brings a BOY to be his homeschool daughter's "study buddy"? wow. Image that. Anyone want to take bets on how long it will be before THEY have sex? I mean, her older sister is already a mom, and her mom has had a baby and divorced her father--encouraging them both to move on.

I'm not going to get on a homeschool portrayal rampage. Just know that is a bad picture. Ask me if you have any questions I can try to answer correctly.

4. Gay themes. I get tired of the agenda eventually. Do I hate gays? No, they need Jesus. Do I get tired of their lifestyle being splashed on the television and in songs? Yes. I do NOT need to see two women kiss full on the mouth during a show. *yes, this was on the episode. Not so SECRET anymore* I do NOT want to hear a "study buddy" ask his new friend if she has ever had any "girl on girl" action. This is not ok for a supposed family channel. I don't think it's ok for ANY channel, but I don't run the television waves.

Take the agenda to MTV. It's on the clothing channels, it's in coffee shops, it's in our news. It does NOT need to be on our family programming.

5. Couple sex. Last night was a "precious" night for one couple who shared sex for the first time. (this is the one that breaks my heart) They sat in the floor and talked about how right it felt--how they knew they wouldn't always be together, but for that moment it was so perfect. Oh, oh this is saddening. Of course sex will feel right. God created our bodies to enjoy the act. He created us to desire it so we would procreate families. He created it to join the husband and wife as one. When done outside of marriage with someone you don't expect to marry, it cheapens the beauty within the marriage. What happens when that girl wants to get married? What will her husband say when she has to sit down and tell him that she had sex multiple times before him. Do you think he will appreciate that? No. He can forgive, but he cannot be overjoyed. "You've had sex with multiple boys? You thought that sex was good even if you were just sorta dating? YES!!!! I'm so relieved!!!!" Oh, she might find a "winner" like that. *note sarcasm* But she has cheapened her gift to her future husband.

Sex is a gift. It is a beautiful gift God gives to a married couple to enjoy in His presence as a beautiful part of their union. It isn't supposed to be the driving factor of a relationship. It is intended only for marriage. Granted, sometimes couples don't always make it. There is grace for them. God has redeeming grace--but these people see no wrong in it. What's worse, their friends and PARENTS condone it. Such a beautiful gift dragged through the filth of our culture.

*sigh* I could go on. I honestly laughed from sheer shock when I watched the show last night. I wanted to cry from the frustration as well. This is the show many high school kids are watching. This is the show that many college kids are watching. This is what our culture believes is the secret life of teenagers.

Maybe I have more faith in teenagers than I should--but I do not believe this is their life. I believe most have more character than this. I believe most of them talk about something other than SEX.

If you are a teenager, I have hope for you. I don't think this is the life that most kids your age lead. I think you can live without all the drama. Even if ABC doesn't have faith in you, I do--and I know God has bigger plans for you than what is portrayed.

If I had to find something good about the show, all I could say is this: I wish I could get my hair to do what all of the cast gets their to do. They look better dressed than ANY teenager I've ever seen. But then again, that's Hollywood.....



Tony said...

Some interesting stats here:

In my experience from the various places I have worked, boys and girls both talk about sex. Not all the time, but regularly. Casual sex seems commonplace. Tricia and I both were virgins when we married, and when I tell people, they seemed shocked. They think it is very unrealistic to expect to remain a virgin until marriage, and to find one to marry (male or female). They all say, "Well how do you know if you are compatible with each other if you don't sleep together while dating?" I always say if you are both virgins then you won't know any better anyway. :)

Louise Leathers said...

I so agree with your post; however, I have learned from putting my foot in my mouth that I am naive and very sheltered--BY CHOICE!! In the public school arena I encountered a small circle of girls that talked much and often about such subjects. That circle was small. Unfortunately, I believe that circle is much larger today than 35 years ago. It is more believable that the circle that does NOT participate or converse about such "adult" subjects is the small one today.

I also know from talking and listening to other parents that there are some really "liberal" parenting ideas among some of our nearest neighbors. Learn not to be shocked and be ready "in season and out of season" to face these challenges square in the face. They are here--

Callie Nicole said...

Wow, I've never watched the show, but that sounds just ridiculous. And I hate it when they misrepresent homeschoolers like that - I was homeschooled, and you're right, it is a calling and it takes parental involvement, and when done right it can give children many advantages! And I have yet to meet a homeschooler with socializing issues.

God's Gal Sarah said...

Tony, thanks, I'll look it up!

Mom: I agree, however, the show mocks and pushes to ridiculousness--you might check an episode of it one night and let me know what you think. I'd like your feedback.

Callie: I agree!! I have seen a couple homeschoolers who struggled to "fit in" but most have no trouble at all. Thanks for commenting!