While getting ready for work last week, I needed a bit of motivation so turned on the radio to help me along my way. In the midst of brushing my teeth one of the hosts of the station was talking about a new PSA featuring Bristol Palin and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino urging teens to “pause before they play.” I’ve never been a fan of either Bristol or Mike, but I was intrigued and watched the PSA later that morning.
According to the press release for the PSA which first aired on November 16th through The Candies Foundation, “the underlying message of the video is that both safe sex with protection and abstinence are methods to prevent teenage pregnancy.”
The PSA horrified me on several levels, and I reached out to a friend and former teen mom and blogger, Natasha Vianna for her thoughts and reactions to the PSA:
Firstly, I wish there was a way to capture the expression on my face upon watching this “Pause before you Play” video. It was a combination of shock, disgust and suspense – because I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell us we have been Punk’d. In this video, Bristol Palin and “The Situation” from Jersey Shore promote that both safe sex with condoms and abstinence are methods to prevent teen pregnancy. As we are well aware, Bristol Palin is a former teen mother and for a great portion of the video, that isn’t made too clear. The Situation tells her that if she doesn’t wear a condom during sex, “You may end up with a situation, and you may not like that situation”. She responds, “I avoid situations”. Now I know Bristol’s mother is an abstinence-only believer but does Bristol really avoid situations? Regardless, this video was not the best way to promote methods of teenage pregnancy prevention. The only messages I got from this campaign are that Bristol is a horrible actress, The Situation loves having sex, and do not watch Dancing with The Stars.
My thoughts exactly Natasha! Of all people to advocate preventing situations the best people they could come across were Bristol and Mike?? Bristol was appointed the ambassador to The Candies Foundation last year, and Mike well he’s a D list reality star, for lack of a better term. What I find extremely ironic is that Bristol is a former teen parent and told Fox News in 2009 that abstinence is “not realistic at all.”
Bristol and Mike are not in my radar and I am utterly perplexed as to why these two are constantly in the spotlight. This PSA is full of horrendous acting and childish language. When tackling an issue like teen pregnancy, there is no room for silly metaphors like situations. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed seriously; especially in these PSA’s which thousands of teens will see.
I’ve never watched any episodes of The Jersey Shore, but this Situation character has been splashed on TV’s and magazines for months. Doing what? Grinning while lifting up his shirt and at the same time putting gel in his hair? Pah-lease. And you want me to take advice from him? Does he even know how to spell abstinence?
Is this PSA an effective tool to urge teens to practice abstinence or safe sex? No, no, no. Bristol is basically saying, hey teens do as I say not as I do! It’s extremely laughable and she should be embarrassed. It’s funny, she’s urging teenagers not to have babies, but let’s take a look at Bristol. She’s in the spotlight, she’s ‘famous’ and she’s on Dancing with the Stars. Oh and occasionally she may have to watch her son. What message is this spreading to our highly impressionable youth?
The Candies Foundation along with Bristol and Mike were attempting to make a video that would appeal to the youth, by using simple language and even simpler acting. Society has lowered its standards when videos like these are floating across the internet. Yes, practicing safe sex with the use of condoms and birth control are effective ways of preventing teen pregnancy along with abstinence, but not from the mouths of Bristol and Mike.
Have you seen the PSA? What are your thoughts?