I can think of few things tackier than getting married live in Times Square -- but then again, I've got enough judgment not to have gone on an MTV reality show called Engaged & Underage.
Nikki Bryant, 18, and Josh Turner, 19, of Georgia met at their Baptist church when they were 14. This weekend the pair are saying their "I do's" live from New York. Couples marry live on TV all the time (anyone else used to love staying home from school sick and watching Live With Regis and Kathie Lee?) but usually they're not... teenagers.
I hate bitching about MTV because it makes me sound so old. But hell's bells, MTV, this is a new low. There's nothing wrong with marrying young -- both my father and my best friend married at age 21 -- but it's certainly not the right choice for everybody. Surely the premise ofÂ Engaged & Underage is asking teenagers to question why they're growing up so fast. According to the reputable Guttmacher Institute, in a 2006 study almost half of all teens age 15 to 19 were sexually active. Although statistics show teens are waiting longer and longer to have sex, we should all be concerned when even the younger sister of one of the most famous women on the planet is a teen mom. I worry that in a country where abstinence-only education is so prevalent (and ineffective!), teens will jump into marriage in order to have sex -- perhaps before they're ready for the responsibilities that come with both!
I'll wrap up my fuddy-duddy rant with this: I've watched a lot of MTV and I know the network does a great job showing teens their options, like education, the military and the workforce. That's why I can't understand why they're glamorizing a marriage between two kids who are barely legal.