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Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

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Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:41 pm

I've got a sensitive situation next month. I've been asked to paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly! The aunt has hired me and the girl's mom doesn't want to 'glamourize' the situation. I don't blame her, but what do I do? I painted her cousin last month and she really wants one too.

I was thinking of asking if I can come up with an idea that could be used as an ad for the risks you take having sex so young. Any ideas?

"I had other plans"

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should"

"Traded childhood"

The more I think about it, the more I want to say no...
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by cattsy on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:51 pm

You're right, it's a totally sensitive subject...

But here is something else to consider...

Teen moms go through a hell of a lot of ridicule, criticism, alienation... They are removed from their peers, their futures are taken away, and often they don't have great supports around them.

My sister had a baby at 16... and I tell you it was HARD for her... She spent her pregnancy alone pretty much.

That girl has made the choice to keep her baby, here in BC, she did NOT have to do that. Abortion is freely available. She might not know what she's getting herself into, but she made the choice to do it. She will face enough criticism through her pregnancy and through the next few years... Let her have a moment to be truly excited about having her baby... Give her a chance to celebrate it. She will spend enough time through her pregnancy being scared and alone. If she was a few years older everyone would be excited for her and celebrating with her, as it is just cause she is young she is being isolated and told how wrong it is... How is that setting her up to be a good parent?

It might be one of the truly GOOD memories she might take away from being pregnant... I would do it if I was given the opportunity.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Misha on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:17 pm

Why would you treat this any differently from any other job? If you have reservations about it, don't do the job.

When I was pregnant with my first boy (at 24 btw), the student who sat in on my first Dr's appt. asked me if I'd ever heard of condoms. At the time I was too young to say anything back to her, but 13 yrs later I still wish I had. Please don't say anything to this client that you wouldn't to any other.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by fesspenter on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:38 pm

Make your belly painting as joyful as you would paint normally. (I cannot see you painting a red circle with a red slash through it.)
Babies come when babies come, and they should all be loved and adored.
This is not a pregnant woman, this is a pregnant girl. She needs all the help she can get.
I am pro choice. I believe every child should be wanted and loved.
Do your beautiful art. Do your best.

(As a mother of 2, I was asked in the emergency room, after finding out I was having an ectopic pregnancy, if had "ever heard of birth control" by a resident. Grrrrrrrr. To this day, her attitude rankles me. I underwent emergency life saving surgery two hours later. As they were putting the mask on my face to anesthetize me for the surgery to remove the fetus and my fallopian tube, as I was laying in a pool of blood, I kept thinking about the judgmental, smarmy attitude of that resident.)

This is your time to help her shine, feel happy. Enjoy!
Don't do this belly painting if this bothers you in the least.
Do this with all the love and art you usually bring to the table.

xoxo
Lisa
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:48 pm

Thank you so much for your insights! My first instinct was joy of course, but then I think I started overthinking...

It was the mom's comment that got me worried. I'll come up with something fun and joyful. Thanks so much!!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by 1HappyNut on Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:09 pm

To Misha and Lisa, it baffles me that they would even assume the pregnancy wasn't PLANNED? Why would they even presume to think that it wasn't?? Weird. And awful.

Good for you, Magna! I can see how the Mom of the pregnant teen would catch you off guard with her opposition and get in your head about it. I'm glad the others here, and the Aunt were able to put it into perspective and find what joy can be had. She has a pretty tough road ahead of her; no sense piling it on. I like the comment about how isolating her and berating her is not exactly setting her up to be a good parent. It's a touchy issue, but what's done is done.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Misha on Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:55 pm

Ummm, what part of my post said the pregnancy wasn't planned? scratch I was trying to be positive about the situation. Just meant to say if she didn't feel comfortable doing the job she shouldn't!

CATZ, I hope you understood that I wasn't being critical!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Misha on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:14 pm

and fesspenter, I don't know whether to to happy I'm not alone or to be really P.O.'d that it happened to someone else! Twisted Evil Wink
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by 1HappyNut on Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:55 am

Oh no. That's not what I meant at all.

The way you both described it, it sounded like the people you spoke of were treating you as though you got pregnant by accident; that they treated you as though you just hadn't bothered to use contraceptives. I was saying that it's baffling WHY they would think that, and odd why they would tell you both about contraceptives. I would assume someone got pregnant on purpose and were happy about it, unless they specifically said otherwise.
I was saying that it's awful, and they were being very rude.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by TheGildedCat on Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:19 am

100% agree with the first few responders. I am 100% pro-choice, too. Teens have every right to make the choice that's right for their bodies and selves as adults do. I can understand why this situation is easy to overthink, but they're hiring you as a painter, not to create a PSA. If the mother is less than supportive, perhaps she can have that afternoon off to spend some time to herself while you paint her daughter?

I can't wait to see what you paint. I LOVE your belly designs!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Misha on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:09 am

Alright then Happynut! Sorry I took it the wrong way!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by l!zzie on Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:35 am

Please give her some moments she will remember with joy...
Can imagine she gets more judgements than congrats. We should not say it's totally ok to have a child at 15, but now it's a fact and she takes responsibility.
Think that's worth a beautiful belly....

Just my 2 cents!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by freedspirit on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:44 pm

I am also so passionate about giving these girls all the support they can get....O.K not the ideal situation for them but with love and guidance I believe they can be amazing little mommies. I
Give her an amazing time with you, and I cant wait to see the pics......Blessings
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:35 am

Thanks Julie and everyone else I love you

I had an opposite situation myself...got pregnant at 36 on my wedding night! It's kinda nice people assume I'm younger because I have little kids. Cool

You've all got my creative juices back in gear. cheers I'm not painting her until the end of April, but I'm painting a belly tomorrow with an earth theme and the quote 'not inherited from our ancestors, but borrowed from our children' on it. Then a squirrel family on a tree in a week. So I'm now thinking of what fun idea I can do for this girl. I usually get a theme from the mom to be, but nothing yet from this one.

I'm thinking something pretty with flowers along the lines of what Carolyn of Barefoot butterfly did once. I love this! Such happy colours. She whipped this off in 20 minutes I think. Amazing right? What can I say, I'm a FAN!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Jody Rife on Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:45 am

Wow, I can't imagine being pregnant at 15. I have painted very young mama's before and , like the others said, I know what a road they are going to have ahead of them, so it makes me feel good to be able to give them something special about this time in their life. And I don't want to treat them any differently, they will get enough of that from others,I'm sure.

On a foot note, I had a friend in high school that had a baby at 15. She went on to be a successful RN and has 3 children a beautiful home and wonderful husband. Kind of a "When life gives you lemons, make lemon-ade." kinda story. Smile Maybe your little time with her will be a source of inspiration for her some how.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Mika's Creations2 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:14 am

I totally agree with the first few posts. You're getting paid to paint a pregnant belly. The age of the person should not be an issue at all. The only way it would be an issue is if the pregnant client no longer wanted to be painted. flower
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by fezinafelina on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:01 am

Here is my take. She is having a baby, no matter what her age is this is the one and only time she will ever be pregnant with this child and though the circumstances are not ideal she shouldn't shroud her motherhood experience in shame. The child deserves to be celebrated and the girl deserves some bright spot in this experience. She has so many challenges before her as a teen mom, let her have this small happiness to photograph so someday she can show her little one that though his/her timing wasn't great, they were always wanted and always loved. What if this is the only bio child she ever gets to have?
This 15 year old has made a choice about her body, she chose to have sex, she chose to keep her baby, getting a belly paint is just one more choice about HER body that I think she should be allowed to make. I get that her mother is not happy about it but she isn't your customer and getting her belly painted is the least of her worries.
Maybe have a conversation with the mom telling her that the commission is not about glamorizing teen pregnancy it's about celebrating her grandchild, bring up some of the above points and promise to keep the art directed at respectfully welcoming this new life into the world.

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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:35 pm

Thanks Felina, I appreciate your comments Very Happy

I haven't met the mom yet, not sure if she'll come to the session, but I'm hoping she'll like what I do and it will give her a bright & happy memory too.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Seahorse101 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:56 pm

I'm not sure what your laws are and I'm all for painting and being excited. But isn't she still a minor? Is the mom saying no and the aunt is doing it anyway? I know she has a hard, long road. But I'd think you'd need to know going in that you'd only be doing it for practice, celebrating the baby, and the joy of the soon to be mom since I doubt the soon to be mom's mom is going to consent at this point to sharing any images. Her aunt may commission the piece but mom's mom has the final say.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:32 pm

Good point, but I'm not worried about sharing images too much. The mom just said she didn't want to glamourize the pregnancy. The aunt just wants to give her a happy memory. I'm an aunt too and can appreciate that Very Happy

I'll check re: sharing the photos though ...
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by jennvangogh on Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:44 pm

I would paint unless the parent/guardian specifically told me not to ( she is a minor.) Her pregnancy would not be any of my business and I would kinda take the whole "MYOB" card on that situation. There's my two cents Surprised)

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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Fun2Play on Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:44 am

Just going back through some ol' posts... and curiosity has gotten the better of me... did the young mum-to-be get painted? I'm hoping she did and the experience was a positive one for her.
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by CATZ on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:02 am

Yes! It was a great experience for all! Thanks so much to all those that shared their thoughts. It really helped me prepare.

I thought that the scene when Winnie the Pooh got stuck in Rabbit's House would be kinda cute because she likes Winnie the Pooh.




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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by Fun2Play on Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:41 am

Wonderful. Looks great!
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Re: Paint a 15 year old's pregnant belly?

Post by PaintedFaces on Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:18 am

That's just lovely. I guess my take on it (after the fact!) is that she won't always be 15. One day it won't matter so much to anyone, including grandma, how young she was in this photo. It will just be a beautiful picture to treasure.
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