The moment I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I went to school with a few teen moms, and I've seen the statistics over and over. The subject fascinates me more than it really should, and I'm not sure why. But the premise behind this was so unique I had to know about it.
Originally, when I started reading this, I thought I was just reading about some girl that faked a pregnancy for kicks and wrote about her experiences. I had no idea the amount of thought and reasoning that went into her idea. It was her Senior Project, which we didn't have in my school but I have heard of before. Most people learned to bake or work on cars, but she decided to fake a teen pregnancy. I am very unsure of how I feel about such a drastic, intense idea.
Her family is plagued by teen moms, and all her siblings kept telling her she would make the same mistakes. It was drilled into her by them like she should just accept it. And in her neighborhood, there were other teen moms struggling to get by. It was a sad thought to know so many girls put themselves under such a weight.
So Gaby decided to do a social experiment that was aimed at breaking stereotypes. She was an honors student, a class leader and a church volunteer, so she was a great role model that everyone said would succeed where her siblings failed. She went through a lot of planning and thought for her fake pregnancy, and then when she went into her act, she recorded all the reactions people had. All the snide comments and the dirty looks.
It was an eye-opening story, to hear how bad other students treat a teen mom. How even teachers shake their heads and say things like "You just ruined your life." And it was even more fascinating to hear what people were saying to her boyfriend. "Dude, you're so screwed." "You're life is over." "You're stuck with that bitch now." It's no wonder so many teen dads bolt. (I know for a fact some bolt just because they're irresponsible and don't understand the enormity of being a parent. Immature and selfish.)
She made a big presentation a few months before school ended to reveal what she'd really been doing, and I will say it was moving. It would have really made me think about stereotypes and gossip. Her point was to show people you don't have to be another stat just because everyone ELSE says you will be. It was a very valid point.
I get what she was doing, but I still have mixed feelings. I think it bothers me because anyone that fakes a baby bothers me. It's just a personal thing with me. Not sure why, but I hate seeing people get their emotions messed with. And nothing messes with you like finding out your a parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/Godparent.
But to sum it all up, I really enjoyed this book. I ate it up. This girl is a brilliant teen that put more thought into this project than I do into my entire life. And I hope she goes far. I hope she gets to help people just like she always wanted to. Some people said "she did this for fame". Well, she ran from the school crying when the cameras showed up, so nope. Next. "She is just mocking real teen moms." No, she isn't mocking them. She was trying to understand their situation and bring it to people's attention. Did it bother people? Yes. But a lot of things that need to be said out loud bother people. It still needs to be said, regardless of if you don't like it.
As I grew up, I was told by my own mother "You're just an artist. You draw little cartoons. You'll die starving. Find a real career." and "Your marriage will never last! You just wait!"
Hm....My 10th wedding anniversary is this July. And I still drawn anime. Not to mention my creative mind has birthed several novels, one of which you can get on Amazon. So, I praise Gaby Rodriguez for fighting against stereotypes and trying to help others do the same.