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When the new Dancing with the Stars cast was announced on Monday, teen mom and reluctant political celebrity Bristol Palin was the biggest surprise. Palin, 19, has never seemed like much of a fame-chaser (pro-abstinence speaking engagements and a cameo on The Secret Life of the American Teenager aside). So why sign on to one of television's most-watched shows?
"I want to set a good example for all of the amazing moms out there," Palin told RadarOnline on Tuesday. "Yes, we can balance work and family, and we can also take on a new and exciting challenge." She also told People that she will be wearing the "most modest outfits for sure because that's who I am."
The last time a well-known single mother appeared on DWTS, it was Kate Gosselin -- and she was raked over the coals by the media for going on the show instead of spending time with her kids. (Never mind that the show was a major source of income for Kate and her eight!) Her ex-husband Jon Gosselin even used her DWTS appearance as a weapon in their custody battle, claiming Kate was an absentee parent (although he thought better of it and withdrew the motion in a few days). Does the mother of 1 1/2-year-old Tripp really want to subject herself to that kind of scrutiny?
We have to think that Bristol, whose mother is the very definition of media-savvy, thought long and hard about this decision. Although it's surprising to see Bristol seek out the spotlight, it's definitely a classier move than her ex-fiancee, Tripp's father Levi Johnston, ever attempted.
And while we'd like to see her go to college eventually, we see no reason why Bristol needs to spend all of Tripp's childhood cloistered in Alaska. Even if she's doing Dancing simply as an excuse to get out of the house, what new mother would blame her?
Do you think Bristol Palin is really doing DWTS to inspire other moms? Chime in below!