News of Bristol Palin’s impending motherhood at 17 sparked across the media when her mother became a national celebrity as John McCain’s 2008 running mate. She took an exceptional amount of heat for her situation considering her mother’s rather vehement views on abstinence-only sex education and the importance of traditional family values (which presumably means not saying, “I will” before saying “I do”).
Bristol has been a busy girl lately between her work for the Candie’s Foundation, continuing her education, guest-starring on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and, of course, being a mother to her 18-month-old son, Tripp. She recently spoke with Pop Tarts (the entertainment piece of Fox News) about everything from her TV role to how hard breaking the news of her pregnancy to her parents was:
… But breaking the news to her parents was painful for the soon-to-be teen mom.
“It was extremely difficult; I’ll always compare it to labor. I thought it was harder than labor,” she said. “I was just thinking they’d be disappointed, then realizing I’d have to grow up so fast. It was all extremely difficult. Going from a teen to an adult so quickly has been the most challenging part of motherhood.”
I can completely relate to Bristol on this one. Telling my parents I was pregnant at 17 was significantly harder than labor, and it’s funny that I never thought of that analogy myself. I wrote my mom a letter and went and stayed with my best friend for awhile. Bristol, who told her parents face to face, clearly has more guts than I did at 17.
At the time Bristol discovered she was pregnant, she had been dating Johnston since she was a freshman. Prompted by an aching back and a missed period, she took a pregnancy test. It came out positive. “I was like, What am I going to do?” she says quietly. They decided to tell her parents when she was six weeks along.
“I remember sitting on the couch with one of my best friends and Levi, and I just couldn’t spit it out. I was like, ‘Mom, Mom.’ I was bawling my eyes out. She was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I was like, ‘I’m pregnant.’ And she was like” — Bristol stops and mimics a gasp — “Oh my God. Holy crap. But once that part was over with and Tripp was here, it was just like, this baby is a blessing.”
After her situation was made glaringly public thanks to the media spotlight on her mother — and consequently her entire family — Bristol didn’t “listen to the TV or read the blogs or anything like that.” She instead went to her friends and family for support and claimed to do the best she could.
Obviously, news of Bristol Palin’s teenage pregnancy was exacerbated because of her mother’s staunch beliefs on the subject of adolescent sexuality and abstinence-only sex education. This begs the question, then, is this fair … to either Bristol Palin or (gulp) her mother?
“Abstinence is practical and very realistic for some people, but others don’t choose that path. For me, sex education was in school, and there are always people telling you that there are consequences to sex and blah blah, but you don’t really realize it until you’re in a situation where you are pregnant,” said Palin, who recently became a Teen Abstinence Ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation fighting teen pregnancy.
You know, Bristol, I like you, I really do, but this statement is a whole lot of nothing. I mean, saying that abstinence is practical and realistic in one breath and then talking about finding yourself “in a situation where you are pregnant” in another? And the message you’re getting in school is that there are consequences to sex and “blah blah”? Perhaps a more comprehensive message — coupled with practical suggestions such as, oh I don’t know, birth control use — might have meant more than “blah blah.” Yeah, abstinence-only education is just a bunch of blahs … because it’s not practical and it’s not realistic, and you, sweetheart, are living proof of this.
Bristol Palin is working as a medical assistant and has her own townhouse in Alaska, the decor of which is decidedly adolescent, according to Harper’s Bazaar:
Bristol’s bathroom is strewn with makeup, earrings, and a hair iron; her closet is filled with more than 30 pairs of jeans; and she has pink kitchen utensils and a pink KitchenAid mixer that was a 19th-birthday present from her mother.
The townhouse’s decor is similarly youthful. There is a leopard-print carpet in the upstairs hallway, and the living-room rug features purple and black swirls. Both choices seem to bemuse her mother.
“You don’t like it,” Bristol teases.
“Noooooooo, I love your carpet,” Sarah protests.
She probably has a pink toolbox, too!
Joking aside, what are your thoughts on Bristol Palin? Is she an increasingly independent woman taking her future and that of her son into her own hands (although word is that she and baby daddy Levi Johnston are back together)? A spoiled girl given the chance to live in a flashy townhouse with animal print décor – that there’s no way she paid for on a medical assistant salary –particularly if she’s also going to school? I worked three jobs while going to college full-time to support myself and my daughter, and my on-campus “non-traditional student” apartment was a far cry from what the Harper’s Bazaar article describes Bristol’s living conditions as.
Is she somewhere in between, maybe? (This is what I happen to think.)