Something's going on. Teen Mom used to be one of those shows– "I'll watch it because nothing else is on." The spin-off from 16 and Pregnant now comes as Teen Mom OG, and the viewings are through the roof. Maci Bookout joins Caitlynn Lowell, Amber Portwood, Farrah Abraham, and other "OG" members to form the current cast. With several kids, full-blown careers, and millions of social media followers, these girls aren't average reality stars anymore.
2009 marks the year that 16 and Pregnant saw Maci McKinney find herself with one pink stick (and one giant challenge). "Giving birth was the hardest thing I've ever done," Maci said on the show. With her son, Bentley now joined by younger siblings Maverick and Jayde, Maci is now a 27-year-old mother of three. Ryan Edwards is Maci's most talked-about ex. With a headline-making baby daddy and over ten years' experience as a mother, Maci has gone from teenage mother to total parenting authority. In 2018, Cafe Mom reported that Maci is "already planning her fourth baby."
The Teen Mom cast started out as cash-strapped, panicked mothers with the world's biggest challenge. Raising kids as a teenage parent might seem glamorous, but the reality couldn't be farther. I Wasn't Born Bulletproof: Lessons I've Learned is the title of Maci's book. It's time to learn more about this girl. Here are 20 things the world just didn't know about Maci Bookout (until now).
20 She Gets $13,000 For One Social Media Post
It's the brand that has new moms raging the most. @TeamiBlendshas celebrity mothers plugging left, right, and center. Kylie Jenner earns $1 million per Instagram post from them, This Is Insider reports. Cardi B is also promoting them.
With 4.1 million social media followers, Influencer Marketing Hub's calculator puts Maci's earnings at $8,305 - $13,841 per sponsored post.
"I’ve made the @teamiblends Matcha tea a huge part of my daily routine and I haven’t been tempted by energy drinks. Since it’s totally pure green tea it’s got a lot of health benefits and has a ton of antioxidants in it," Maci captioned a recent post. Earning more than you think.
19 She Once Photoshopped Her Baby Bump
Celebrity photoshopping is kind of getting out of control. "Gal, your walls look curved," one fan commented after Kendall Jenner once again found herself at the center of controversy. It isn't just the Kardashians making Photoshop headlines, though. The Teen Mom cast joins them.
In November 2018, Pop Culture reported Maci's "Photoshop fail" following a suspected baby #4 and Maci's Halloween picture.
"I love Maci first of all, but this is for sure photoshopped....cats [sic] out of the bag with this one," one fan wrote. The media outlet pointed out Bentley's "doctored" arm. "She’s so pregnant. Look at Bentley’s elbow. She tried photoshopping her bump," was another comment. Maci isn't pregnant, though (as far as we know).
18 She Almost "Drove To Florida" To Avoid Revealing Her Pregnancy
Discovering you're pregnant might not always be expected, but most women are generally in a position to feel comfortable with it. Maci was just 16 when that stick turned pink, and she recalled her emotions in a candid interview with E!: "I was two seconds from, like, getting in the car and driving to Florida or something. I knew for about a month before I told them," Maci said about revealing her pregnancy to her parents.
Maci went onto to reveal that she wasn't sure whom to tell first– her mom or her dad. In the end, Maci chose her brother as the first family member to know.
17 She Makes $325,000 Per Season On Teen Mom OG
Reality TV can earn you a lot of money. The Teen Mom cast might not be commanding the $12-20 million per Idol cycle that The Daily Mail reports JLO made, but don't think for a minute that they're broke. Farrah Abraham is worth $3 million, according to Blasting News.
Maci is earning $25,000 per episode. That's $325,000 per season. As Radar Online reports, the earnings for each main cast member are now through the roof. "It was all thanks to Amber," a source told the media outlet. "She made sure Gary made as much as she did when they were together."
16 She Used To Be So Broke She Couldn't Afford A Pregnancy Test
The reality of being a teen mom in America mostly goes like this. You're in your teens. You have no education, no earnings, not much in the way of prospects, and definitely no glam squad. Maci is from Tennessee. Life was tough when she got pregnant.
Speaking to E!, Maci recalled her brother driving her to the pharmacy "in the middle of the night" to buy her a pregnancy test "because I didn't have any money." Maci is now able to purchase the luxury home she now owns. Back in the day though, this girl was living on the breadline.
15 She Doesn't Want Bentley To Watch The Show
The Kardashians are just one of the famous families whose kids feature on a family show. Keeping Up With The Kardashians shows us North West, Penelope Disick, and the rest of the Kardashian clan running around the house. Teen Mom definitely features the kids, but not every cast member is keen on the kids watching the show.
According to Maci's Facebook fan page, Maci "doesn't want Bentley to watch the show." A lot of celeb moms are protective of their kids. Some, like Mila Kunis, don't even want their kids snapped by the paparazzi. Bentley might feature on the show, but don't bank on him watching it.
14 She's A "Firm Believer" In Old-Fashioned Parenting
Some moms are super-lax. Kourtney Kardashian leans towards attachment parenting. For her, it's co-sleeping and letting the kids take the reins. Maci might be much younger than Kourt, but her old-fashioned parenting philosophies are somewhat stricter.
"That day at the bowling alley I’d had enough. I had told him, I was like, If you act like this again I’m gonna take you to the bathroom and I’m gonna [disclipline] you."
As Inquisitr reports, Maci's thoughts are: "Don’t let them get away with anything, because if you let them get away with it once, they’ll do it again.” Some mothers have felt that Maci goes too far, but it's her choice.
13 She Liked That Taylor Didn't Know Her From MTV
While Maci is now happily married to Taylor McKinney, she revealed that him not knowing who she was actually proved a huge bonus. Maci was already somewhat of a celebrity when she met Taylor, but she recalls the meeting fondly in her book.
“The first thing that stood out to me about him was that he had no idea who I was. After he’d been around me for a second and saw people taking pictures of me, he figured out I was on TV," she wrote.
Taylor not knowing that Maci was "from MTV" was, for Maci, "a breath of fresh air." Bear in mind that fame can make a girl vulnerable. Guys will want to date her for the fame.
12 Her Parents Were Young Parents Like She Was
Selena Gomez was raised by a teenage mother. She's more than recalled how tough things were. "We did have to walk to the dollar store to get dollar spaghetti and make it," Hollywood Life quotes Selena saying. The hardship was similar for Maci.
"When my mom and dad were teenagers, they were pretty wild. They ran with a rough crowd and partied hard. Not that they were total delinquents. Both of them had great parents and good morals," Maci wrote in her book.
Maci's parents, Gene and Sharon Bookout, were young when they became parents. For Maci though, responsibility has always been important.
11 Ryan Can't See Bentley Because Of His Legal Issues
2018 headlines were dominated by Maci's ex, Ryan Edwards. A run-in with the law put a spanner in the works for this former couple's co-parenting efforts, although Maci opened up to E! showing how little she knew about the situation.
"I'll be honest, I have no idea what state he's in because he's not allowed to be around...like he can't be in the same location as me and the family so I have no idea."
As to how it affects Bentley, Maci said: "[Bentley] understands, he doesn't ever ask questions, we fill him in on what's going on and as sad as it is, the reason he doesn't ask questions is it's always been this way."
10 They Live In A Half A Million Dollar House
With $325,000 per season, Maci is now a million miles from her early days. As fans continue to probe Maci about her earnings, this mom has set the record straight. Well, as far as she's concerned.
"There’s no red-carpet prestige or glamorous piles of money. I still live in Chattanooga and go to Wal-Mart and buy bread and milk.”
In her book, Maci says that people assume she is a "high-end celebrity and you travel the world and have a mansion." Well, she did purchase a home for $625,000, The Blast reports. Here's a picture of the home. Or should we say, mansion?
9 She's Got A Great Sense Of Humor
If you can rely on anything with Maci, it's a sense of humour. This girl knows how to poke fun at herself, and it's great to see Maci make her family and fans laugh. Maci's 2016 wedding came far along enough in her life to afford a few luxuries.
"Mrs. T Money” were the words on Maci's shirt as Us Magazine reported the bride-to-be getting her hair and makeup done back in 2016. The "T" obviously stands for her husband's name, Taylor. As to the "money," well, his last name is McKinney. We'll assume that scrawling was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Maci's income.
8 She's Honest About What Dinner-On-The-Go Looks Like
Scrolling all the way through Maci's social media? Who's got time for that? Well, we did it for you.
Maci is mostly seen docked in her Tennessee home. Family time is something Maci hugely values, but the reality of being a public figure does see this mom on the road a fair bit.
"Usually what my dinner on the road looks like" was one social media post caption of tuna, water, and a white chocolate Kit-Kat. With a pretty big "snack" focus, this doesn't quite make it as a meal in our books, but when you're on the road and need some protein, tuna is a good pick! Also, great choice on the Kit-Kat!
7 Farrah Abraham Wanted Maci Off The Show
Farrah Abraham has been making headlines since day one. With a job change that errs on the side of controversial, Farrah has been "fired" from Teen Mom OG, as People reported in 2018. Her decision to take things closer to the adult realm than the kiddie one is, ironically, something Farrah accused Maci of.
Speaking about Maci's appearance on the show, Naked and Afraid, Farrah said: “The irony of this is hilarious. Hopefully, she has fun on her [...] show; [it] sounds tragic," Reality Blurb reports. Farrah is also said to have wanted Maci fired from the Teen Mom show entirely.
6 Maci Doesn't Approve Of Farrah's Antics
In 2015, Catelynn, Amber, and Maci were all gathered to be informed that Farrah Abraham was returning to the show. The vibe between these cast members has been frosty at times, but Maci made it clear that she's not the type to hold a grudge.
"I have no dislike towards her or hard feelings towards her -- nothing about that,"
MTV reports Maci saying. "I had a lot of things running through my mind when Morgan told me that Farrah was coming back to the show," Maci added. At the time, Maci didn't want to "have any part" in the story of Farrah's return, but things have since taken a different turn.
5 Her Labor Was Over 30 Hours
Pregnancy definitely has its challenges. Morning sickness, swollen ankles, and the endless search for comfortable maternity wear are all part of those nine months, but every pregnant woman knows the biggest challenge is yet to come.
While Kylie Jenner had "no pain" according to Kris Jenner's KUWTK reveal, Maci didn't have it so easy.
“I kicked and screamed for over 30 hours of non-stop pain," People quotes Maci recalling her first pregnancy. While the delivery was hard, Maci became a mother to a beautiful baby boy (and she's done it all over again, twice). Some girls were just born to be mothers, right?
4 She Wants To Show The Realities Of Teen Pregnancy
Tune into Teen Mom OG now, and you'll see well-adjusted, balanced lifestyles with moms who know what they're doing. While Amber Portwood battles depression, she's still working hard to face up to her responsibilities. For Maci, the show was never about glamorous portrayals.
“I really just wanted to show girls how hard it was to be a teen parent,’’ The Boston Globe quotes Maci saying. “I wanted girls who might get pregnant to see there are options out there to move forward with your life and still have goals." Maci is trying her best to send a message out to anyone going through teen motherhood. She wants people to see the real deal.
3 Cocoa Butter Is Her Secret Pregnancy Hack
Every pregnant woman has her "go-to" pregnancy product. While some mothers turn to essential oils or the weird cornflakes with OJ cravings, Maci has stuck to the same product throughout all of her three pregnancies.
As Yahoo reports: “The day I told my mother I was pregnant with Bentley, she went out to Walmart and bought me a giant tub of cocoa butter. During all three of my pregnancies, I kept a gallon tub under my sink, another in my car, another in my desk at work.”
Maci is such a believer in cocoa butter, she's even been passing it on to anyone she knows who is pregnant, including her friends.
2 Her Lifestyle Brand Is Called "Things That Matter"
Celeb moms are bringing out their own brands faster than we can keep up with. Snooki, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Jessica Simpson all have their own products. Maci and her husband are co-founders of the lifestyle brand, Things That Matter.
'TTM,' is the clothing company that Maci and Taylor are putting their all into. It sells t-shirts and comfy athleisurewear, plus tons of kids and baby wear. As Floor 8 reports: "Things That Matter' started with wanting to produce well-made clothing that wouldn't fall apart, but it soon changed into the importance of things that matter in life, such as family and love. "
1 Her Daughter Attended Her Wedding
It's pretty awesome when a couple gets married and their kids are there. Kim and Kanye had North West at their wedding. While other celebs, like David and Victoria Beckham, waited to have kids until after they were married, Maci already had two of her own when marrying Taylor in 2016.
This stunning bridal shoot had a natural forest setting, but it was this mother and daughter pic that drove fans nuts. Maci wore a stunning powder-pink gown, and it seemed to mean everything to her to have her daughter there.
There's a lot we didn't know about Maci, but now we do.