Author: Maci Bookout
Category: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Published: July 21, 2015
Print length: 188 pages
Even though she is a reality TV star, Maci makes it clear that there is a big difference between what is on the TV and what is really happening to her in real life. That is one of the things that I liked so much about her autobiographical novel, Bulletproof; she’s such a real person and no different than I would expect from any of my friends who are also young parents, being on TV doesn’t really seem to have changed her or her life choices. And what I mean by that is that Teen Mom showed certain aspects of her life and it wasn’t necessarily the aspects that she would have chosen and when I watch shows like that it’s kind of hard to know how well it’s really representing the people. It’s cool that she still seems to be so down to earth and all that in her book.
I had friends who were pregnant as teenagers, so I think it is important to hear stories from real people like Maci, especially because she occupies such a unique public position. When some of my friends (or general people I knew) got pregnant unexpectedly during high school, or even during college, and I realized how people still view that situation with a tone like “oh, she messed up, how’s she going to finish school or provide for her kid”. The nice thing about girls like Maci is that I feel like her voice goes a long way to remove the stigma associated with being a teen mom and to helping young girls avoid becoming a teen mom OR to help girls who also find themselves in the same position. It’s like she said in her book that she would get letters/emails from parents who thanked her for being on Teen Mom because the show created a pathway for the parent to speak to their children about birth control and sex. As a sociologist, I can’t stand abstinence only education because research proves that it doesn’t prevent pregnancies (and actually acts as a hindrance to safe-practices and waiting), where as in school districts with safe-sex education there is plenty of evidence to show that the kids wait longer to have sex and know how to go about it safely. The research proves that pregnancy and sex needs to be talked about, but it is hard to talk about with your child for a variety of reasons. (The sociologist in me needed to talk about that briefly, but I’ll move on now)
In Bulletproof, Maci really stuck to telling her own story. She did talk about the impact that Teen Mom had on her life, but the book was not a contrast of “this is what the show said happened but this is what really happened”. When reading Bulletproof, I really got the sense that Maci was totally sticking to “this is my point of view,” like she just wanted to share about her life without comparing it to the show or making it about the show. She did talk about how weird it was when people would walk up to her and act like they knew who she was just because they’d seen her on TV, yep, that would be awkward, and that must be hard to deal with at times.
I definitely really liked Bulletproof and I admire how well Maci has done for herself and Bentley, and not being afraid to use her voice to help others and share her story.