Pregnant covergirl of Teen Vogue raises eyebrows


Jourdan Dunn is not visibly pregnant on the cover, and Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley said the magazine didn’t know about Dunn’s pregnancy until after the photo shoot. But she said that editors didn’t consider pulling the cover Dunn shares with fellow model Chanel Iman.

“Teen pregnancy is a difficult, real-life issue that Teen Vogue readers (with an average age of 18) are mature enough to be exposed to,” Astley said in a statement. “Teen Vogue felt it was important to support, not punish, Jourdan Dunn, who contributed to a beautiful photo shoot and who will surely have an ongoing and successful career in fashion.”

The cover has raised eyebrows among some parents, teens and advocates against teen pregnancy. “There’s no message to send to them that that’s not OK. Maybe if she’s on the cover to tell them ‘Be careful,’ that’s one thing,” said Catherine Essig, a 19-year-old sophomore at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, who was concerned about 15- and 16-year-old readers.

Many advocates said parents should use the cover as a way to talk to their kids about sex and the importance of planning pregnancies for the right moment in their lives. “Teen parenting isn’t glamourous, even if you are a teen model,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.
The London native told Teen Vogue that her unplanned pregnancy has been hard. “All I could think about was what my mom was going to say, my agency, my boyfriend,” said Dunn, who is expecting a boy in December. “When I told my mom, she started crying and blaming herself. She got pregnant with me at the same age, and she said, “I don’t want you to have to go through what I did.”

The magazine should be used as a teachable moment because the media and popular culture help shape “the social script for teenagers,” said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
“It shapes what they think is cool, is not cool, what’s in, what’s out, what’s acceptable, what seems to be the social norm,” he said. “It’s not the only influence and I’d suggest not the most powerful, but it is an influence.''
But parents, he said, shouldn’t underestimate their own power. “Young people tell us time and time again that parents — not the media, not their partners, not their peers — parents most influence their decisions about sex,” he said.

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