By Susan L. Stern
(United States) — Oh my goodness. Yet another celebrity in the Spears family makes sensational headlines. Morality – at issue. Britney’s 16-year-old sis, Jamie Lynn Spears, who stars as a schoolgirl in Nickelodeon’s popular TV show “Zoey 101” is pregnant by her boyfriend. What a disaster.
Talk about bad P.R. for Nickelodeon. The cable network can not escape the negative publicity and the impact its young starlet’s behavior has on our nation’s children. The message sent to kids is that their TV role model, Jamie Lynn thinks it’s okay for teens to ignore the necessity of contraception to prevent pregnancy.
In terms of advertising dollars and sense, Jamie Lynn’s newfound notoriety may result in a windfall for Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” TV show. I’m certainly not alone. I watched the show for the first time the other day due to the Spears’ publicity.
Better late than never? Sure, the high schooler is now taking responsibility for her irresponsibility, by announcing that she chose conception versus abortion. However, my sincere apologies to the religious moralists, but adoption or aborting the fetus might have been wiser options.
Who’s the papa? The Associated Press reports that Casey Aldridge, the son of a Tennessee paper-mill worker, who met Jamie Lynn at church in their hometown of Louisiana. Holy crap.
Should the long-time teen couple marry? In terms of providing a proper home with both mom and dad intact are positive for the newborn. Realistically though, they may be too inmature to handle the daily responsibilities of raising a child. Their relationship shall surely fail.
On the public upside, unlike most teen moms, Jamie Lynn, will not be a tax burden since her celebrity-hood enables her to be self-sufficient financially. Certainly, she’ll have family support, especially from her mother, Lynne, who reacted with disappointment.
On news of her daughter’s pregnancy, Lynne Spears told AP, that “I didn’t believe it because Jamie Lynn’s always been so conscientious. She’s never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby.”
Us Weekly reports Jamie Lynn’s father – Lynne’s ex-husband Jamie – is “furious” that mother and daughter sold their story to OK! Magazine and “devastated” at the news that his youngest child is pregnant. Jamie Lynn supposedly got a $1 million back-end deal for the interview and a planned photo shoot after the baby is born.
One million dollars sounds enticing, no doubt. Earning cash for a story may be a smart investment. Perhaps Jamie Lynn’s mom needs fast cash to recoup projected earnings she expected to make after publishing a book on “parenthood.” That book is on hold. No wonder.
Sure, mother and father may not be solely responsible for their teens pregnancy blooper nor for the well-publicized downfall of eldest daughter Britney Spears, but certainly mother and father played a role. Did they push their girls to stardom without teaching them right from wrong and good vs. bad?
The Spears’ parents should have better controlled the reins.
Susan L. Stern, of Omaha, Nebraska, is an independent journalist and public relations practitioner.