Celebs make teen pregnancy seem oh-so-hip

Early on a January evening, I sat around my kitchen table with friends, sipping tea and reading magazines. It felt somewhat luxurious to revel in the sizzling gossip of the stars. However, as I scanned the pages, I felt bothered, out of touch. Not just because I had no idea who Vanessa Hudgens was but because everyone had been impregnated.

Massively impregnated.

Their stomachs were planets.

Nicole Richie had apparently been using her baby bump to present herself as “oh-so-maternal.” She wore tops (from Armani’s lesser-known but no-less-desirable maternity line) that showed off the circumference of her stomach. She attended Hollywood parties on the arm of her boyfriend, emitting a celestial glow. She said — tremor in her voice — that she “couldn’t be more excited” for the arrival of their first child.

I was touched, moved even, by this star and her planetary womb. I had addressed a gift package, complete with diaper genie, bonnet and rattle to her publicist’s office. (No matter how earnestly I swore Nicole and I were BFFs, the publicist would not give me the address of the baby shower.) But then I stopped: WAIT A SECOND.

It was an epiphany: A vision came to me.

Epiphany 1.a.) Nicole Richie, 2003, People Magazine. A stint in rehab. This was after Richie had, in fact, been arrested for possessing heroin. (Epiphany 1.b: I realized my attempts to be as thin as her through anorexia would have been much more successful if I’d just hit the needle.)

I held the gift package close to my chest. I was in the throes of an inner struggle: I realized the pregnancy may have been an accident. My overpowering telepathic connection with Richie caused me to realize she had been using heroin/anorexia as her primary means of contraception.

Epiphany 1.c.) “No, no, silly young Kathryn,” said a wise voice in my mind. Probably not, I conceded. The pregnancy must have been deliberate: She was, after all, 30, or 28, or 20 — well, at least 12 years old. Her biological clock had therefore been furiously ticking. Though she probably hadn’t gotten her period in over four years, God, that biological clock was a-ticking. No longer was she a drugged-out “Whore of Hollywood.” Now, she was a blessed Madonna.

Then there was Jessica Alba, FHM’s No. 1 Sexiest Woman in the World 2007, newly pregnant with fiance Cash Warren’s child. In a recent interview with People Magazine, Alba stated she had fears about weight gain: “I try to eat as healthy as possible … [and] exercise. As long as I don’t gain too much [weight], too fast, that’s the key.” Epiphany 2.a.) Um … what? A young child is being brought into the world and the one question People Magazine asks her is if she is scared about gaining weight? Perhaps, for a woman whose career is based around her amazing bod, this should be her primary concern about being a mother. Pregnancy shouldn’t be a fashion statement. Come on, Alba.

Epiphany 2.b.) But then I realized I was being irrational. You can’t be a good mother if you’re fat.

And then there is Jamie Lynn. When the media buzzed about her teen pregnancy — the greatest tragedy since Rwanda — I chuckled to myself. THE FINAL EPIPHANY: She’s the one who’s got it right. Even in dog years, Jamie Lynn Spears is underage. Let’s be practical, because she’s too young to buy Sudafed at Rite-aid, her chance of being a substance-abuser goes way down. Plus, the weight she gains from the baby will do nothing but push her out of a training bra and into a 32-A. FINAL EPIPHANY PART 2) HOTT. And the bonding potential is out of control. She can graduate high school in the same class as her child.

I am going to get pregnant so I can be as awesome as Jamie Lynn. It will be harder for me, of course, as I am 19 and getting old in my years, and men drastically lose interest as soon as soon as the sex is legal.

Kathryn Olivarius is a freshman in Branford College.


  • Anonymous

    I commend the author for bringing to light an important issue that is so often overlooked.

  • Anonymous

    what is the deal with this obsession with celebrities? focusing on their lives is just a waste of time and completely inane. Celebs make teen pregnancy seem oh-so-hip because people care about their vacuous lives, which is stupid.
    Also, I think it's an utter lack of respect comparing Spear's pregnancy to the genocide in Rwanda, even if it was done for comical purposes. How can you compare the death 1,000,000 to the pregnancy of jamie lynn spears? Please show some sense of respect towards issues that actually matter.

  • Anonymous

    The author of this column must, again, be commended. The subject that she tackles is a tough one; doubtless, she'll face vicious attacks from political machines on the right and the left for her original, challenging moral arguments.

    She has shown such courage; I hope she knows that Yalies, nay, that people, everywhere, are moved by her words, better for reading them, and animated by the hope that this miracle of a column might be repeated.

  • Anonymous

    This is hilarious -- and it is true, you can't be a good mother if you are fat.

  • HC '09

    to post #2:
    ARE YOU KIDDING. calm down. the point the author was trying to make was that Rwanda IS a serious tragedy, and that the world seems more obsessed with spear's pregnancy than with the horrible events that are actually happening in this world.

    it's called SATIRE. heard of it?

  • Anonymous

    So it's not okay to call women sluts, but it is certainly okay to say that all men are statutory rapists?

    Regardless of whether this piece is satire or not, where's the outrage? Couldn't you argue Zeta Psi's photo was satire as well?

  • Anonymous

    to post #6


  • Anonymous

    to post # 6

    i agree - i see some double standards in this article, satire or not.

  • Anonymous

    Not all men,but this man is actually, legally a statutory rapist…he's 19 and she's 16 and they almost definitely had sex if she's pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, however, 'slut' is not a legal status.

  • Anonymous

    #6, dearest #6, you are quite correct. There is no remote difference between Ms Olivarius's clearly comical joke about women's fear that aging makes them less attractive to men and men's use of the word slut as a process male bonding though it is also men's historical defense when charged with rape.

    What an insanity.

  • Anonymous

    to posts #1,3:
    of course you would want us to comment the author - you're her sister.

    to post # 9:
    in many states 19-year-old male with a 16-year-old girl does not yet constitute statutory rape just because the age difference is not "high" enough.

  • Anonymous

    Chase O,
    It's number 6 here again. How's that lawsuit coming?

  • Anonymous

    Chase's argument that the use of the word "slut" is wrong because it' also the most common historical defense of rapist is like saying hunting with guns shouldn't be allowed because guns are historically the most common murder weapons. Just because some really bad men say a word to justify a really heinous act shouldn't mean that it can't be used in other contexts.

    Then again, it shouldn't be "wrong" to say any words. Words don't rape people, people who just happen to use words rape people.

    ps. I am actually not a gun nut. Just seemed like a less than awful analogy.

  • Anonymous

    #13, old friend, you are right. The word 'nigger' does not kill people, nor did the word 'kike' begin the holocaust. Those words are murderers' legal defense, and the summary of their motivations.

    #12, old chum, my fondness for you increases exponentially with each of your posts.

    I cannot, of course, comment on any lawsuit in particular. But I will say that many of the lawsuits are going swimmingly.

  • #13 here

    Hannah, you give the KKK and Nazis too little credit if you think that a simple racial epithet was "the summary of their motivations".

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending either of those groups, I'm just saying I think Hitler had better justifications for exterminating Jews than "Um…well…because they're kikes!"

    Unfortunately, on this campus, people who actually do bad things seem to garner much less repudiation from the community than those who simply *gasp* use words we don't like!

  • Carolina C.

    Awesome article!!! I dont know what these crazy people are discussing up here … rape no rape, the point is I loved the article Kathryn! It is very important that people are aware of how these celeb pregnancies affect the mind of other young ones.

    Congrats again