The Candie's Foundation has jumped on the bandwagon and is shaming young parents. Candie's launched an ad campaign to promote National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month that stigmatizes and shames young families. Celebrities such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Lea Michele, and Chris Brown (yes, you read that right) have signed on to promote this campaign. What teens really need is respect, comprehensive sex education and resources for young people who choose to parent.
Natasha Vianna, a colleague and activist who herself was a young parent, has a message for Candie's:
At the age of 17, I gave birth to a little girl. When the Candie's Foundation launched a teen pregnancy prevention campaign with the tagline "You're supposed to be changing the world... not diapers," I was outraged by their attempts to shame young parents. Although I was changing diapers at age 17, I am changing the world – and so are Lisette, Consuela, Jasmin, Gloria, Marylouise, Christina, and so many other young parents like us across the country. Our activism has been shaped by our experiences as young moms; we are working to change the world because we are young parents.
As community-based, state, and national organizations who work with, support, and know the realities that young families face, we request a meeting with Mr. Neil Cole, founder and current member of the Board of Directors of the Candie's Foundation. We'd like to discuss the impact of the Candie's campaign on young parents, and offer ways the Candie's Foundation can shift its approaches and resources to:
- Halt their shaming tactics
- Increase their comprehensive sexual education information
- Use messaging that empowers and supports all young people to make the best decisions for themselves
Join young parents and allies across the country as we launch the #NoTeenShame campaign and demand messages of respect and dignity, and young people's right to comprehensive, sexual health education!
Please stand by Natasha Vianna and other young parents by signing our petition and join the conversation on Twitter at #NoTeenShame!
For more, please see:
#NoTeenShame Coordinating Organizations:
Strong Families Young Parents Cohort: