Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why is Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars?

I don’t understand why Bristol Palin is going to be on the new season of Dancing With the Stars. Although past contestants have made clear that the show uses a very loose definition of the word “star,” everyone who has been on the show is at least known for something, even if it is a reality television show or a not very successful album. Everyone in the past has had some sort of career, successful or not, and recent or not.

Bristol Palin has no career.  She has nothing she is known for other than being Sarah Palin’s daughter and getting pregnant at the age of 17 by a true winner named Levi Johnston. Had Bristol not had this pregnancy occur, she likely would have faded into the background like Sarah Palin’s other children. At 20 years old, Bristol now “speaks out” on abstinence. Impressive. She knows so much (and lives off her parents) that she is now the expert on abstinence.  That will go over well once her kid is of age to realize what is going on. 

Obviously Bristol is not going to college, since she is participating in this television show. Even under the broadest definition of “star” imaginable, she is undeniably not one. She is no one.  We can thank our media and the networks for giving her all of this completely undeserved attention.  While she should be raising her child and putting together a future for herself, she is appearing on a television show.  I guess arguably the whole television show thing is part of her future.  But why or how?  She's not an actress, not a model, not even a reality television show person.  She hasn't even proved herself to be of average intelligence.  She is no one.  In the grand scheme of things, she is a stupid 20 year old riding on her mother’s coattails with absolutely no direction of her own. Hilariously, on Wikipedia’s page under this season’s contestants, her occupation is listed as “Politician Sarah Palin’s daughter.” Ouch. Because even with the input of the world available, no one could come up with anything better than that.  Because that is all that she has accomplished -- and even that is no accomplishment of her own.

So what is Bristol Palin doing on Dancing With the Stars?  Why, on earth, of all the B, C, D, and E list celebrities who would probably love to appear on this show, was she chosen?  (I mean, you can't convince me that none of the Real Housewives, Brett Michaels, or Flavor Flav wouldn't love to be on this show.)  Is it merely so the main stream media can make fun of Sarah Palin's daughter, along with Sarah Palin herself?  And what does it really say about our society today when we are essentially congratulating girls for getting pregnant as teenagers by putting them on tv shows like Dancing With the Stars, 16 & Pregnant, and Teen Mom?  I know we are all supposed to take the high road and say that oh, what's done is done, and now there is the child to think about, so the money is good for the child, but this is nothing to be proud of, and nothing to flaunt in front of today's kids.  Am I getting that old that I think this isn't cool? 

Obviously Bristol Palin, at 20, is an adult.  But any money she wins from Dancing With the Stars isn't going to last forever, and I hope she realizes that she needs to think seriously about her future beyond that (which will hopefully not include a reality show) "for the sake of her child."  Or, I guess she could just go into porn, like Lawrence Fishburne's daughter.

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