Chardoneé Wright, Staff Writer
For most, senior year of high school is filled with getting ready for prom, college, and graduation preparation. That wasn’t the case for Gaby Rodriguez.
Her senior year consisted of carrying a belly. But she wasn’t pregnant.
According to articles on MSNBC and ABC, Gaby Rodriguez, a senior at Toppenish High School in Yakima, WA, spent six month wearing a fake “bulge” made out of wire mesh and cotton quilt batting as part of a social experiment for her senior project.
Her principal, mom, and boyfriend were some of the few who knew the pregnancy was fake. The purpose of her project was to report about the perceptions of a pregnant student.
She wanted to study whether her friends and classmates would treat her differently if she became pregnant. Ladies, you know how a little cold or a sore throat may have you feeling sick or not wanting to come to class?
Imagine if you were in school carrying a child in your stomach. Then, imagine you were in high school; one of the most important times in any teenager’s life.
Sometimes kids can be cruel and rude. These are some of the challenges Gaby faced.
High school can be a turning point for some, whereas this is the time most teenagers began to discover who they are, what they want to become, and prepare for college or other endeavors after high school.
I think the experiment she did was great. It took a lot of courage and strength to sacrifice time and effort to complete her senior project.
She was dedicated to this project in order to point a mirror a back into the students who made slick or harsh comments about her being pregnant. Rodriguez revealed that she wasn’t pregnant in front of her student body after six and a half months, and quotes that were made about her were read to the audience.
You can only imagine most of the students’ faces when they found out that it wasn’t true. But, what captivated me were the quotes that were said about her. Students called her “annoying,” said she “ruined her future,” and some even said they “knew she would get pregnant and it was bound to happen.”
Why ? Why was it bound to happen? Because she is Hispanic?
Were these students looking at Gaby and judging her based on her ethnicity? Makes you wonder. Were they saying it was bound to happen because she was Hispanic?
Reality shows such as “Teen Mom” come into the homes of many young women in America. It shows the harsh and often disturbing reality of financial, environmental, and sometimes health problems that occur when a teenager becomes pregnant.
Gaby Rodriguez chose to take matters into her own hands, and her experiment gives a deeper look into the situation.
According to teenprgnancy.com, a site that provides national statistics of teenage moms, since 2006, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic girls ages 15-19 were two and a half times higher than the teenage pregnancy rate among non-Hispanic white teen girls.
Maybe this is why one of the comments from the students towards Gaby was, “It was bound to happen.”
I do not believe in abortion despite any circumstance that a baby is born into. I know the “abortion” conversation can get tricky and often times leads to arguments and debate, but Rodriguez’s experiment gave a glimpse of reality.
It showed that being different will allow people to talk about you. Even if you are pregnant in college, it is not something to be ashamed of, despite how society depicts a teenage mother.
If you choose to give life to a human being, more power to you! Reality is, teen pregnancy happens. It is real.
You can’t ignore it, and sometimes society turns their nose down on teenage mothers, when in reality, everyone is not perfect.
When I originally read this article on MSNBC, I commended Gaby Rodgriguez for going beyond her boundaries and stepping out of the box to make a statement. Tracking the comments made about her by her high school peers shows just how much criticism a teenage pregnant mom can endure real or fake.
Scanning the scope of teen pregnancy
Chardoneé Wright, Staff Writer