There was a post over at the main blog about Keisha Castle-Hughes’ now being a mother! I talked briefly about the issue in a previous post in which I wondered what ramifications this would have on ‘girl power’ and young girls who look up to either Castle-Hughes or her character in Whale Rider.
The post on the main blog brings up how teen pregnancy is usually brought up in the media, though–as a ‘problem’ in poor Black & Latino communities. So far I haven’t addressed race on this blog, and I think this is a grey issue that relates to some of the other themes of cultural studies. Obviously, we don’t want babies to be born into the world unwanted. So why not celebrate pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood? However, there’s also the fact that a lot of these babies are born into poverty, and that possibly if the parents had received the same opportunities that people in wealthier communities receive–namely, access to the same standard of education and being put on the track to college–they wouldn’t have had the babies. It’s that question again–can you really be empowered when your options are limited by society? In the case of the ‘problem’ of teen pregnancy, it definitely seems good that people try to create their own narratives within the system by celebrating pregnancy and making it something worthwhile, even if it’s just for lack of a better option.
The case of Keisha Castle-Hughes, though, is a strange one. It’s like the reason the mainstream media can celebrate it without decrying her for being so young is BECAUSE of her extreme fame and wealth. And although she played a Maori character in Whale Rider, and the Maori are traditionally underserved in New Zealand much as the Black & Latino communities are in the U.S., she is half-Maori and half-white, and therefore seems to pass as white in the media. This is sort of tangential, but I wonder if that had anything to do with getting her the lead role in Whale Rider…
But yeah, racial issues among tweens are very important and will be looked at in upcoming posts.