Today his entire backdrop is advertising the Candies Foundation, a celebrity-heavy campaign to reduce the rates of teen pregnancy. (pictured below, the background)
Since I'm actually at work and should be working not blogging, I didn't have time to look too much into this but I was intrigued. Some things gave me hope. For instance their 'Frequently Asked Questions' page read (*emphasis mine*):
Unplanned pregnancy is at the root of a number of important public health and social challenges ....... Another major consequence of high rates of unplanned pregnancy is, of course, high levels of abortion. Although there are many deeply felt and strongly held opinions nationwide about the proper place of abortion in American life, all would prefer that fewer women be faced with difficult decisions brought on by unplanned pregnancy.
Cool, I can get behind that. I want less women backed into the tough decision of abortion/adoption/keeping an unplanned pregnancy.
But other things are not sitting so right with me. Take for example the site's tagline: "Vow Not Now" --- have we learned NOTHING from no-good abstinence-only programs?? Those virginity pledges weren't so effective.
Then there was this PSA with Jenny McCarthy.
I'm not loving the implied message here that sex equals baby. Actually it's sex without protection or failed protection which equals possible conception which THEN equals baby. It would have made much more sense for McCarthy to hand the guy some rubbers and hand the girl the pill. Although that doesn't sit right with me either.
That's the problem with teen sex, it doesn't break down into tidy little 30 second PSAs. It's full of emotions, hormones, choices and consequences (emotional and physical).
But the overall tone still bugged me, especially with the girl being handed the baby and the boy running out (even though that can be quite true as well). As a matter of fact, NONE of the Candies PSAs sat right with me. I thought most were a throwback to the posters I remember from my high school health days-- which I also thought were offensive (I remember one in particular with a sad looking girl with a HUGE pregnant stomach-- the text read: "You thought acne was embarassing"--- charming, huh?).
Then I saw that the website for Candie's foundation has a tab called "Be Sexy tees" and I thought-- what a mind-boggle, teens are wearing sexy tees but they're supposed to abstain/be afraid of sex?
The tee they are selling is this number:
Practically a page out of the ol' abstinence only playbook. I can't help but read a subtext here that says, "Sexy girls wait and slutty whores don't."
Not sure how I feel about this Candies Foundation yet.