There have been a lot of controversies and raised eyebrows surrounding MTV's Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2. It has been a long-running show and there is a reason why it is so popular. On one hand, it brings to light the reality of what many struggling teenage mothers are having to deal with. On the other hand, some critics say that it glamorizes teen pregnancy, to the extent where some teen girls will intentionally try to get pregnant because they think it's cool and will be able to become famous. In any case, MTV found their niche market in the teen mom phenomenon that exists in Middle America.
First, there was 16 and Pregnant which quickly evolved into the Teen Mom series. We have been following these young women's journies to motherhood since they were in their teens. Now that some of them are in their early 20's, they have capitalized on the fact that they are on the show now. They are living lives with budgets that they have never even dreamed of, though they don't discuss their financial situations on the show.
Fame and fortune added to teen pregnancy spells disaster and mayhem for some of these ladies. There have been different outcomes for each of these reality TV characters. The long-running success of Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3 and Teen Mom OG have proved that people eat this show up like popcorn.
However, there are some moms watch this show and think, "man and I thought I had it bad." Here are some behind-the-scenes secrets of Teen Mom that MTV shields from their audiences.
25 The Girls Have Fought A Lot On Social Media
The interesting thing about the Teen Mom series is that it started to take off at around the same time social media was taking off. "I also think that when Teen Mom began, it was during the infancy of Twitter and the infancy of the widespread use of social media." one of the producers said of the show.
So, it is no wonder why the girls on Teen Mom have a strong presence on Twitter and Instagram. It looks like the competition between them is when their claws come out. According to Hollywood Life, Farrah Abraham went off on her Teen Mom OG co-stars. She shared a photo of her daughter Sofia with an Easter basket on April 17, 2017. The caption read:
"It’s hilarity how I single handily made more views & ratings than all three stooges on @Teenmom @MTV & make more rating then 1offs".
Though she deleted it since then, it still made an impact.
The girls weren't amused. In 2015, Maci briefly refused to film for the show when she found out Farrah was returning as a cast member.
24 The Majority Of Them Are From The South
It is true that the Southern states have higher rates of teen pregnancy. This could very well be due to the fact that abstinence is taught in most schools. 27 out of the 47 girls that were featured on Sixteen & Pregnant were from southern states, while 9 were from Midwestern states, 5 were from Western states and 6 were from Northern states. Is this a coincidence? Probably not. The Southern states that took up the majority were Texas, followed by Florida.
Not to mix politics, but there seems to be a trend that has become too normal in some areas of the country. We can all agree that no matter where you are from, being a teen mom is no picnic. You have to wonder how the kids will feel when they realize that they have spent their childhood on Teen Mom.
23 Crew Members Are More Like Paparazzi Than Cameramen
The camera crew on Teen Mom could be the member's best friend, and worst enemy, depending on how they see you personally. They can capture you at flattering angles or horrible ones. They have the power to make you look like the hero or the villain on the show that you are on. It just depends on how you treat them and the rest of the people around you.
In fact, one cameraman spilled the beans on Reddit about various people on that show. The post read:
"Admirable qualities are rare with these girls. Kale is the most level headed and the only one who has potential in being a good mom. The best person on the show is Cory, Leah's ex. Really sweet guy. He never should of agreed to be on the show. I would have to say that Leah is worst. Lot's of horror stories about her."
22 Crew Members Cannot Intervene No Matter How Ugly It Gets
The purpose of Teen Mom is to portray the cast in their natural environment, with no distractions whatsoever. This means that no matter how violent or out of hand these situations can get for these teen moms and their families, there is no intervention. This is almost kind of sick considering the lack of humanity behind it. As we have seen in the Teen Mom series, situations escalate quickly and some people lose their cool in a matter of seconds.
In real life, if you see someone getting hurt or in a dangerous situation, then it is respectable to at least call the authorities. Some brave souls may even try to break up the fight or play peacemakers themselves. It is a crazy world that reality TV creates.
21 Of Course, The Show Isn't Entirely Real
The drama is highlighted in the show. This means that there are 24 hours in a day and only so much that you can pack for a half hour to a one-hour time slot. The Teen Mom series is in the business to attract as many viewers as possible, so there has to be some kind of storyline to narrate from. There has to be some sort of starting exposition, leading up to the climax of the situation and then the resolution.
No matter how much drama that you see on the Teen Mom series, MTV just cannot show the real women and the boring day-to-day stuff in their teen mom's lives. That just wouldn't attract any viewers, now would it? Just like every other human being, the members of the show have pros and cons to their personalities.
20 The Teen Moms Make Up To $350,000 Per Season
Everyone on the show has different salary negotiations when they agree to be on the Teen Mom series. And guess what? They make more than we could ever dream of (at least for most of us). From Maci to Farra, and even Chelsea...the amount they get paid ranges from how many ratings each of the girls get.
The range goes between $200,000-$350,000 per season.
We have to wonder if there are any tryouts as to who gets to be on the next Teen Mom. Could it be possible that girls around the country are purposely getting pregnant because of the slim chances of making some bank via MTV? The prices ran a lot lower when the show first aired for as low as $5,000-$10,000 per episode. As America got to know these girls, their bargaining power increased.
19 The Show Led The Teen Moms To Have More Babies
As their firstborn kids get older, the girls on Teen Mom have to do something to stay relevant. What better way than to just keep having more babies so that the plot line continues to develop? Maci Bookout continued her brood with two more children after Bentley. She found out that she was pregnant with her third child in 2015 with husband Taylor McKinney's child. At the age of 26, she was already a mother of three.
In her book, I Wasn't Born Bulletproof..., she wrote:
"We never planned on my getting pregnant again so soon after [Jayde] was born,” Bookout writes. “Maverick was totally unexpected. When I found out I was pregnant, Jayde was still a baby.”
On top of that, Leah Messer is already a mother of three at the age of 25. After she had her twins, Aliannah Hope Simms and Aleeah Grace Simms, 7, and her 4-year-old Adalynn Faith Calvert, with different baby dads. Apparently having the baby brain just makes you want to procreate more.
18 Farrah Abraham Pulled A Kim Kardashian
We are not drawing conclusions here, but it really seems like Farrah Abraham is asking to get noticed more in the media. That means taking drastic measures and just cashing in on the Teen Mom franchise. Because, why not? Like any other star born from reality TV, she decided to release a tape of doing the you-know-what just like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton before her.
For the millennial generation, the trope of a modest and traditionally maternal mother is fading away. Nowadays, it is all about the money, honey. This is probably why Farrah was accurate when she said that she gets the highest ratings on the show, unlike the other girls. There is a reason for that, and that is because she has built her name in the adult industry, as well as the reality TV show industry.
17 She Also Appeared On An Episode Of Dr. Phil
Sometimes, when all else fails, you just have to call Dr. Phil. Despite what your opinion might be of him, he is a practical man, with some insightful advice to all of his guests, famous or not. The main premise of this particular episode of Dr. Phil was Farrah and her family addressing the tape that she made that sparked all this controversy.
Dr. Phil is used to working with doozies, and Farrah is just another day in the life for him. Between becoming a teen mom, making that adult tape and then getting her mom arrested, it looked like he had his hand full with Farrah. When he asked her about her questionable choices, Farrah just talked in circles around him and gave him twisted answers. Her reply to all of this was, “For my current career goals, being a reality star has helped get me to step up as a businesswoman.”
16 Farrah Falsely Accused An Uber Driver Of Inappropriate Behavior
There are always those bad apples when it comes to Uber drivers. You hear stories all the time about them creeping to various degrees towards their female customers. Unfortunately, this does happen and it's a disgrace. However, Farrah Abraham took it too far when she accused an Uber driver of something that he didn't do, which is that he violated her on a very personal level.
In 2015, she falsely accused an Uber driver of forcing himself on her, which is something she quickly recanted on once the truth came out and overpowered her claims.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that this is a serious accusation that should not ever be taken lightly. On a podcast with Nik Richie, she explained what went down and minced words to take some of the heat off of her. She said that the driver made her feel like he was "violating her by looking at her."
15 Amber Portwood Has Been Taken Into Custody
No one is perfect and people have gotten arrested before. Unfortunately, when you agree to be on Teen Mom, that means your mug shots get posted all over the place. Though most fans had high hopes for Amber Portwood, as far as getting her life together, she has gone through road bumps along the way.
In 2013, Amber was arrested for violating her parole. She violated her parole via substance use that didn't go without severe punishment. After she went before a judge, she always had to be tested for substances after the fact. The law just doesn't seem to trust her and treats her as any other citizen in a possibly ruthless manner. In an interview with In Touch, she claimed that the arrests have done her some good to give her perspective.
14 In Fact, She Has Been Involved In Many Offenses
On one hand, you have to feel bad for Amber Portwood, for not being portrayed as the "good mom" on the Teen Mom series. On the other hand, she has a rap sheet that no one can really compare with. Though the pressure of reality TV and being behind the cameras definitely takes its toll on you, there is still a need to take responsibility.
First, she was charged with attacking her then-boyfriend and baby daddy, Gary Shirley, in December 2010, and it just kept getting worse from there. She was then charged with two counts of domestic battery. One for neglect of a dependent and the other for domestic battery.
A year later, in December 2011, she was arrested for violating her probation. In May 2012, she was arrested for refusing to follow the court-ordered substance abuse program that she was required to complete.
13 Gary Shirley Had A Run In With The Law And It Required Two Handcuffs
Gary Shirley actually seems like the saner one in the relationship, so the news of his arrest was rather shocking. He was arrested for driving without a license and resisting arrest. In fact, when he was getting taken into police, it took the police officers two handcuffs in order to restrain him and keep his arms bound.
Amber and Gary's relationship has been portrayed as dysfunctional on MTV, as they were the couple who always seemed to be arguing. In fact, one of the fights that they got caught up in is what ultimately led to his arrest. While they were arguing profusely in the car, the police noticed and thought that they needed to intervene. That is the moment where Gary was caught driving without a license. This one seems so "come on now" because it was so easily avoidable.
12 Amber Later Got Involved With A Questionable Older Man
During the Teen Mom OG reboot, we found out that Amber and Gary have gone their separate ways. Not just that, but Amber got herself a new boyfriend, Andrew Glennon. But in January 2018, she announced that she was having her second child with him.
Though Gary has remarried, since the end of his and Amber's relationship, the scene where Gary and Andrew meet for the first time was a bit awkward but they maintained a cordial act for the sake of the kids.
In December 2017, Andrew Glennon was arrested for possession of heinously dangerous substances. Mind you, this was all going on while Amber was preggers with his new baby. Oh boy, this just looks like it is going to be a mess.
11 Kailyn Lowry Almost Quit After The Way She Was Portrayed
When you sign up to be on reality TV, you are seriously risking yourself for getting a bad reputation. Kailyn Lowry was accused of cheating on her baby daddy, Javi Marroquin, and that just didn't sit too well with her. She actually seemed like one of the more level-headed moms on the show, so this was hardly anything compared to what the rest of them pulled. She was probably just overreacting by threatening to quit the show. It is natural to dig up some dirt on you for the sake of higher TV ratings. In any case, the scandal got some traction and attention.
In actuality, she wasn't cheating on Javi.
Instead, she was just catching up with an old friend. It looks like she was let off the hook because he was just accusing her of doing something that she didn't do.
10 Kailyn Also Published a Children's New York Times Best-Selling Book
Out of all the teen moms on the Teen Mom series, you have to give it to Kailyn Lowry for using her fame for creativity. Rather than exploiting the fame like some other cast members, she decided to create a children's book instead. She said that she was inspired when her son Isaac asked her "what is love?" and then she wrote Love is Bubblegum. In fact, it even became a New York Times Bestselling book for kids.
The premise of the story is a collection of different kid's definitions of what they think love is. As for what Isaac, 5, thinks love is?
“He’s like, ‘I love when I pet my dog Gizmo,’” Lowry revealed.
You seriously just can't get more adorable than that.
9 Kailyn Tragically Suffered A Miscarriage
Losing a baby is probably one of every woman's worst nightmare as far as the trauma goes. Kailyn Lowry, of Teen Mom 2, endured a tragic loss of her unborn child with her husband, Javi Marroquin. To make matters worse, it happened while he was deployed in the military.
She has been brave enough to talk publicly about her devastating loss, leaving other moms feeling like they are not alone. “MTV and the producers were very sensitive to the situation and just understood that I wasn’t necessarily ready to talk about it as soon as it happened,” she said to People.
“They kind of just gave me my time to grieve, and when I was ready and felt like I was comfortable talking about it, I did.”
8 Jenelle Evans Has A Criminal Record
Again, people have run-ins with the police every day and teen moms on MTV are no exception to this phenomenon. Jenelle Evans' life isn't easy, but yet, she doesn't really make it any easier for herself. Sometimes, the pressure of being a mom at such a young age is too much and can cause people to act erratically.
Jenelle has gotten in trouble with the law for multiple violations. It seems as though she is someone who is going to keep repeating mistakes until she finally learns for good. In the year 2012 alone, she was taken into custody four times. She had to do some time but it seems like she will still be taken care of for the rest of her life.
7 She Almost Got Divorced
When you become parents at such a young age, it seems like the decent thing to do is to get married to the mother or father of your child. Then you will live happily ever after, right?
Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans went on a social media rage after hubby, Daniel Eason, changed his relationship status to "It's Complicated". Then, he deleted his account altogether. Though the rumors of a break-up of their marriage were swirling, he and Jenelle eventually tied the knot on September 2017, just one day after calling it off.
Offended by all the heat she was getting about their relationship, she went on a Facebook rant: "If I go skydiving with my husband, it’s my business" along with other more crude language saying "If I want to (insert what you can imagine about her husband here), that is my business."
6 Leah Messer Went To Rehab
Teen Mom 2 star Leah Messer suffered from severe anxiety and depression between being a teen mom and being on the reality TV show. It isn't much of a surprise that she turned to some hard stuff to numb the pain and find a temporary escape.
On the Steve Harvey Show, she opened up about struggling to maintain custody of her kids and getting herself clean. According to People, it was her decision to seek rehab treatment for depression and anxiety.
“I needed help,” she told host Steve Harvey. “I was on the depression and anxiety track. [I’m focused on ] doing it the right way and being able to have that platform to teach girls to do it the right way, and that’s what matters to me.”
5 And Then Her Ex Gained Full Custody
Baby daddies are oftentimes portrayed as the villain, not just on reality TV, but in real life. Courts tend to rule in favor of the mother whether they are really in the wrong or not. This time around, Leah Messer was clearly not taking her responsibilities as a parent seriously enough that her baby daddy, Corey Sims, had to intervene.
After it was proven that Leah was indulging in too much of the hard stuff, he got fed up with her antics being around his kids and took her to court for custody. He wound up getting full custody of the kids. Their relationship got so sour, to the point where he didn't think that his kids would get any positive life experiences out of her.
4 Maci Bookout And Kyle King Called It Quits
Before Maci got married to her husband, Taylor McKinney, she was with her boyfriend Kyle King for a while. On the Teen Mom reunion special with Dr. Drew, it was revealed that Kyle King was fishing around for other girls on social media while he was still with Maci. Although he didn't act on any of his advances, it was clear that he was looking around for other options.
When he left his computer open, Maci found some messages from old girlfriends that she did not want to see.
“I discovered it,” she told Dr. Drew, and admitted, “I did not give him the chance to admit anything. From what I knew and discovered, there was no reason to discuss.”
Though it seemed like Kyle was a good role model for Bentley, he didn't respect the fidelity of his relationship with Maci.
3 The Pressure Was Too Much For Maci, So She Quit The Show...Temporarily
Maci Bookout had it up to her ears with the Teen Mom reboot, back in 2015, since she just doesn't want her son, Bentley to be around the drama and the inappropriate behavior. Yet, everybody has a price. If MTV was willing to pay Maci enough money, she eventually recanted and agreed to be on the show. After all, she has three kids to feed and someone needs to look like the level-headed one.
A part of the problem that she had with the show was the fact that Farrah Abraham's adult industry stint was high documented on the show and she just didn't want her kids exposed to that. She said that she personally didn't have a problem with Farrah doing that and didn't judge her but she didn't want her kids knowing about it. During a commercial break, she shared: "There's a fine line in what's appropriate for children to be around."
2 Catelynn Lowell Has Been Outspoken About Her Pro-Life Beliefs
Since Catelynn has had a baby when she was a teen, she has not been shy about her pro-life views on social media. Catelynn and Tyler opted for adoption in Teen Mom, they have saved themselves and their daughter, Carly much grief about the plight. That was most probably the reason why she is against terminating pregnancies for all woman, for that specific reason.
Catelynn has taken to Twitter and Instagram about how "wrong" it is to decide against going through with the pregnancy after you find out. This is a very touchy subject that affects people on such a personal level, that it is difficult to draw the line between what is right and wrong. Nevertheless, this still continues to be a hot political issue that never seems to go resolved no matter what side you see it on.
1 Catelynn and Tyler Have Been Since The 7th Grade
It is nice to actually see a couple on the show who is loving and loyal towards one another, without drama. Although their parents have made questionable lifestyle choices, it seems like Catelynn and Tyler have been at each other's side through thick and thin. They have learned from their parent's mistakes and they look like the clean, responsible ones by comparison. They both seem to be doing well since they bought a house in Michigan.
Even though neither Catelyn nor Tyler has full-time jobs outside of the show, they have finished their high school degrees and plan on going to college.
They are projected to make the most money on the Teen Mom series at a whopping $500k per season. Though they have had some hard times, they have made the best out of them.