The latest campaign from Chicago’s public health department is really turning heads. With the magic of photo retouching, it features teen boys with pregnant bellies and the tagline: “Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are. Avoid unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Use condoms. Or wait.”

The ads direct viewers to BeYouBeHealthy.org, a site that helps teens find info on local clinics, teen healthcare rights, and sexuality in general.

As you might expect, not everybody loves the sensational nature of these ads. Yamani Hernandez, from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health says the images aren’t trans-friendly, and “poke fun at” what could be the actual body of a pregnant transgender male.

“It completely disregards the fact that people would look at it and think, ‘Hey, that looks like me,’ or ‘Hey, that’s how I would look if I got pregnant.’ We think that all young people deserve to be safe, affirmed and healthy,” she explained.

But the fact that the campaign invites men into the conversation is a welcomed change from the teen mama-focused, shame-based PSAs we’re used to seeing.

Bill Albert, spokesperson for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, is just satisfied with the new campaign's ability to get people's attention.

“Mission accomplished," he said, hoping it will now “start an internal conversation, a critical first step towards changing behavior.” Whether or not it gets people to educate themselves about safer sex and change those targeted behaviors, Albert isn't so sure. Next steps? “We will wait and see.”

Thanks to Yahoo!

Photos via Yahoo!, The Guardian, and WetPaint.com.

Tagged in: teen pregnancy, PSA, chicago   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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