Celebrities and reality shows: a combination as strong as peanut butter and jelly. Magazines run articles on them, paparazzi photos actively try to depict them, and the rapid rise of reality television stars are proof fans crave the notion that our favorite celebrities are just like us!
A true-to-life story of four women who experienced one of the most life-altering milestones of womanhood at a much earlier age than most was birthed to the public through the Teen Mom franchise. In 2009, the world was introduced to Maci Bookout, Farrah Abraham, Amber Portwood, and Catelynn Lowell on the MTV reality show 16 And Pregnant, not only propelling these teenage girls into motherhood but propelling them into overnight stardom!
The individual life stories of the girls and their families became must-see TV inspiring multiple spin-offs depicting all of the moments of growth and change which come with having a family. Not only did viewers get to see the babies of Teen Mom grow up, but fans were also able to watch these teen moms blossom into grownups!
As the franchise grew, fans were introduced to many more young mothers who were ready to share their stories with the world, including a famous face! Through the tales of love and heartbreak, good times and the more difficult times, the Teen Mom franchise has it all. The franchise is already candid when it comes to its content, so what else could there be to learn about the hit reality series? Read on!
21 Kailyn Isn't A Fan Of Kylie J
Despite reality TV being such a widespread genre producing wildly popular shows, the idea of a "six degrees" of reality star separation isn't such a farfetched thought!
Kailyn Lowry may be one of the current cast members of Teen Mom, but she's still aware of the goings-on pertaining to another reality TV star who happens to be a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan!
Kailyn had some thoughts pertaining to Kylie Jenner's decision to become a young mom. According to BuzzFeed, Kailyn hopes Kylie isn't "glamorizing" the notion of being a younger Mama bear.
20 Farrah Rocked The Restaurant Biz
If you were to research "Farrah Abraham" and "frozen yogurt," you might be surprised to discover the former Teen Mom star once dived into the occupation of "restaurant owner" in the form of a frozen yogurt shop called Froco! The business has since closed, but happier times full of frozen yogurt did exist once upon a time, and Farrah flexed her business muscles!
Farrah was often present at the store, promoting the business via social media. The Hollywood Gossip featured a photo of little Sophia enjoying some of her mom's frozen yogurt. A kid-friendly endorsement for sure!
19 Jenelle Hasn't Always Been Happy About The Show
The Teen Mom franchise has provided fans with no shortage of intriguing storylines pertaining to one of the most challenging, but rewarding, periods in a woman's life. Jenelle Evans' story is no exception!
Jenelle has undergone her share of trials and equally important moments on camera, and understandably she's had things to say about living under the glare of millions of viewers.
According to New York Daily News, Jenelle took to social media in 2016, revealing, "I'm pretty convinced MTV constantly wants to make me look like the most horrible mother ever..."
18 E Is For Editing
Reality TV is intriguing at its core simply because it promises a glimpse into someone's reality. Watching a recap of someone's true existence should make us feel like we're right there living life with the cast of our favorite show, right?
Well, according to Teen Mom 2's Jenelle Evans, the reality of the show's creation isn't quite a reality. We know Jenelle has been the subject of many difficult moments on the show, and according to her commentary on social media it may be a fair assumption she is not happy with MTV's portrayal of her oft-followed life story.
17 Statistics Are Important
Popular culture has paid both attention and tribute to one of the most controversial cultural situations in modern history: teenage pregnancy.
If your mom objected to your love of marathoning 16 And Pregnant when it first premiered, perhaps you could let her know the show (and its eventual successors) had a positive impact on the decrease of teen pregnancy statistics!
According to PopSugar, via an article in The New York Times, "This kind of programming can be credited for decreasing the teenage birth rate by up to 6 percent."
See, Mom? Reality TV can be fun and beneficial!
16 Bristol Lost Her Peace
Bristol: many of us already knew her backstory and the faces which played a role in her rise to fame, so her addition to the Teen Mom OG cast was a positive match in reality TV heaven, right?
Bristol's run on the show was short-lived, though. She announced her departure from the show seemingly as quickly as she joined the cast! Entertainment Tonight detailed reasons for her exit, sharing Bristol's departure message to her fans and the show's fandom. She candidly said, "Teen Mom OG wasn't a fit for me, it took away my peace..."
15 The Cast Is Social On Social Media
The cast members of Teen Mom OG was introduced to the world and quickly found themselves snug in the hearts of MTV viewers in an era before social media impacted how we see the world and use it to discuss our favorite TV shows!
For longtime fans of the Teen Mom franchise wishing for a way to interact with the cast, their dreams have come true in the form of social media and the fact that cast members really seem to enjoy posting updates and interacting with their fans on various social media platforms.
14 Bristol Isn't Friends With This OG Mom
With different personalities come different outlooks on life, as seen by a newer face in the Teen Mom family and a veteran pro of the ins and outs of interactions within the metaphorical reality TV bubble.
That's right, it may be a fair assumption not to anticipate any play dates between Bristol's kids and Farrah Abraham's family! According to People, Bristol responded to claims about her previously made by Farrah, saying, "I think [Teen Mom OG] is amazing because it shows five girls... our lives [that] are so completely different, [which] sheds light on so many different things."
13 Even The Happiest Couples Struggle
Longevity in love can be an achievement for any couple regardless of their fame, but we do have to hand it to couples like Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra whose love story has unfolded in front of the camera for nearly a decade.
Catelynn and Tyler have been together since the days of 16 And Pregnant, and have been at each other's side through thick and thin, even during a period of separation, according to a timeline of their relationship via Us Weekly. Life isn't full of multiple engagement rings, but the Baltierras give us hope!
12 Maci Is A Reality TV Queen
Maci Bookout, one of the original cast members of the Teen Mom franchise, surely had an idea of how hard it can be to feel vulnerable and be as candid as possible for viewers, but her venture outside of the Teen Mom bubble and into the world of another reality show called Naked and Afraid presented her with a challenge even her biggest fans weren't prepared to watch her undergo!
Trying something new is an understatement when it came to Maci's time on the show. Bookout told People she felt "confident" in her ability to comply with the show's premise, which included being left in the wild without any food, shelter, or clothing!
11 Too Legit To Quit
Details surrounding the Teen Mom franchise and its cast are easy to come by, of course, since many aspects of their lives are covered through camera footage. One of the biggest and most-discussed mysteries surrounding the show lies in whether or not the material viewers see is legitimate.
When you have multiple cast members weighing in on a question, you're bound to hear different opinions. In Touch detailed the cast's responses.
According to the article, Jenelle responded "Nope" to the million-dollar question of whether it's staged, while Leah Messer spoke out on social media using the word "fake" in response!
10 Maci Isn't Nostalgic
The idea of an original Teen Mom couple succeeding through thick and thin might be a dream for any longtime followers of the franchise. Seeing another couple join the ranks of Catelynn and Tyler would be a plus for many, but don't look to Maci and her ex-partner Ryan to fulfill that request!
Not only has Maci moved on, but she's moved on to the point of marriage with someone else! Maci wed Taylor McKinney in 2016, and she's happy with her decision. In an interview with MTV, via People, Maci revealed she was "really proud of [herself]..."
9 Wedded Bliss Means No Mothers
For many women, their wedding day is one of the most important life events. If you're part of a reality TV show, you've automatically got an opportunity to broadcast your wedding to the world. For some, cameras on your wedding day are a dream come true and if you're Jenelle Evans, you have some tough decisions to make when millions of people are watching your every move!
Devout followers of Jenelle's story know her relationship with her mother hasn't been picture-perfect. Mama Barbara spoke to People, revealing it's "painful" to be left out of her daughter's life. She wasn't invited to the wedding.
8 Maci's Feelings Are Fierce
Living a public life under the microscope can come with endless opportunities for criticism, and stars of the Teen Mom franchise know a thing or two about that.
Certain cast members have been more vocal about dealing with public opinion than others and some causes for criticism are a little more outlandish than others. Maci Bookout took the opportunity to speak about her experience with "Mommy-shamers" to People.
She explained, "The fact that I am on television means that everything I do is open to public scrutiny. I have learned not to let it get me down...!"
7 Turn The Page
Reality TV fans know it's possible to turn on the TV at virtually any given time to find an episode of the Teen Mom franchise, but a handful of the moms over the years have broken out of the TV scene by writing their stories for the world, giving fans some insight into their world behind the scenes!
Teen Mom OG favorite Maci Bookout penned a memoir called I Wasn't Born Bulletproof which features the subheading, "Lessons I've Learned So You Don't Have To."
Kailyn and Jenelle have written memoirs too!
6 The Cast Loves Their Legacy
Many of the most memorable MTV reality shows were on the air during the mid-2000s. Fans had Laguna Beach, The Hills, and Jersey Shore during that "golden era" period, and in 2009, 16 And Pregnant joined the ranks. A decade later, the show has produced multiple spin-offs, definitely birthing a legacy!
Cosmopolitan composed a definitive history of the franchise, including a collection of quotes from those involved behind the scenes. Editor of The Ashley's Reality Roundup, Ashley Majeski, offered her thoughts on the moment when everyone realized the show was much bigger than ever, noting, "People were treating the cast like celebrities, they were getting invited to events."
5 Nothing Can Surprise The Cast
One of the biggest milestones in the history of the Teen Mom franchise was Bristol Palin's introduction to the clique of Teen Mom OG ladies, and her gripping story chronicling her divorce captivated fans. However, Bristol's time on the show was short-lived, maybe inspiring some fans to scratch their heads. What really went down with Bristol's exit?
One member of the Teen Mom cast who isn't scratching her head over Bristol's departure is Cheyenne Floyd, who joined the cast with Bristol. According to Us Weekly, Cheyenne was "not [surprised]" about the news, but wished her well!
4 Maci's Not Big On Milestones
Maci's stunning storybook wedding to Taylor McKinney may have been perfect to viewers of Teen Mom OG, but bringing the gorgeous wedding to fruition won't be filling Maci with nostalgic feelings anytime soon!
Maci candidly shared a tidbit about wedding planning many brides might not be so quick to reveal. Mrs. McKinney told People magazine, "I absolutely [dislike wedding planning], to be honest."
Finalizing the details for her nuptials wasn't a point of excitement for this bride! She said, "There are just so many little details that it can be quite [stressful]!” We hear you, Maci!
3 Farrah Once Released An Album
Farrah Abraham may have given her memoir and its companion album the title "My Teenage Dream Ended," but her dreams of pursuing multiple creative outlets are alive and well based on her multiple ventures!
We know Farrah has ventured into the restaurant industry with a frozen yogurt restaurant, but when she wasn't studying the intricacies of the business world, she did time behind a microphone and recorded a full-length album, with a single called "On My Own."
Critical reception of Farrah's career has been mixed, but was once described as "honest." If anyone has a story to tell, it's Farrah!
2 It All Started With An Email
The stories of legends always begin with important milestones detailing their beginnings. For the Teen Mom franchise, the whole phenomenon began with a peak-2000s method of communication true to the time period: an email!
Catelynn Lowell-Baltierra shared with Cosmopolitan the story of how her time on 16 And Pregnant began. She revealed,
"My adoption counselor got an email that said MTV was looking for girls between the age of 15 and 17, who were pregnant, and who were considering adoption. [My then-boyfriend, now husband] Tyler was like, 'Hey, we should try this.' He’s the one who filled the application out."
1 The Moms Of Teen Mom Had To Intervene
With the number of grown-up situations cast members of the Teen Mom franchise have had to endure, it's easy to forget how young the main cast members actually were when 16 And Pregnant premiered! The mothers of the cast had to intervene at times during the filming of the show.
According to Cosmopolitan, the stars were given rules by their parents to stay grounded. For example, "Tyler's mom Kim had a rule they weren't allowed to film past 8 pm."
Normie rules are absolutely necessary even if you're a famous reality TV star known to millions.
References: The New York Times, People, BuzzFeed, Us Weekly, Cosmopolitan