While unwinding this Christmas break (Happy Holidays everyone) I was drawn to my television to watch the trash that has overthrown The Learning Channel much like how the Nazis invaded Poland. In other words my eyes were binging and purging on “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.” Even though shows like this make me no longer want to associate myself with mankind, I suppose that there are lessons to learn. Well, in the form of study hard so you do not end up like these people, kind of way.
This particular episode of my cringe worthy guilty pleasure followed a pregnant 17-year-old, “gorger” named Amber, as she married Tommy, a Romany gypsy in West Virginia. I have two wishes after watching this episode. First, I hope that people abroad do not watch this only to ask, “what the fuck happened to America?” Secondly, I hope that young girls watch this and decide to focus on school work so that they do not grow up to have elaborate weddings that are followed by pushing out babies and an endless cycle cleaning of campers.
Everything about this episode appalled me.
First of all, why are you seventeen and pregnant? There are so many ways to not get pregnant, that teen pregnancy is just ridiculous. For teens who choose to be sexually active, there is the holy trinity of condoms, birth control, and the morning after pill. Then there are the less popular, and slightly revolting sponges, and female condoms. For god sake, they have apps for your smart phone that will tell you your peak days of fertility so you can be extra careful. And of course there is abortion. I get that not everybody likes it, but a baby at seventeen, while not impossible, would make it incredibly difficult for someone to get an education that would lead to a lucrative career,
What I’m saying is, if you do get pregnant as a child, because I don’t care how much life experience you have, you’re not an adult at seventeen, you don’t have to get married. In my experience as a child of divorce, and whose friends are almost exclusively children of divorce, young marriages almost never work. What happens is you get married before you get to really know the person, because you took Romeo and Juliet from your freshman English class to the extreme and insisted that Shakespeare wrote it with your love life in mind. This leads to a wedding that is “like the funnest time ever, like everyone got sooooo wasted! Did you see my dress? Fab right?” Have a fun few years because you are young and so very in love. Next you turn to hobbies because you are miserable and act like a normal fifty year old would before you turn thirty. Before you know it, you’re in divorce court and both people try to reinvent themselves. In words that a seventeen year old can understand, it’s like leaving a party before it even gets started. Just save yourself the stress and put on a damn condom. It’s the cheaper, less tiring option.
I have such a problem with the way that women are treated on this show. There whole lives they are being prepped to be the perfect housewife, nothing more. Tommy, Amber’s fiance, told her that, “we’re always gonna do what I want to do,” after she expressed her desires for a more stable family life down the road. I’m sorry, Tommy, but did you buy her at a slave auction, did you purchase Amber off of eBay, or Amazon perhaps? No you didn’t. You are about to enter a partnership with this girl, note I said girl, because she is a child. Important life decisions need to be made together, not by some punk who thinks he is God’s gift to women. Also, the men on this show fear that if they even touch a broom, they will spend some time in jail in the near future. That is the worst cop out I have ever heard to get out of cleaning. I would say they are children, but I’m pretty sure it would be redundant to say so.
What I want you to take away from this, is to know the importance of being able to be self-sufficient. It is important to be able to take care of your self. Work hard and you won’t have to worry about cleaning a camper everyday for the rest of your life, and living by the rules of a man. However, if you slack of and can’t take care of yourself, you are going to get trapped into a situation like this.
Photo Credits: tvlistings.zap2it.com
And a special thank you to TLC for airing such gems on television. Keep up the good work.