Last night's season finale of Teen Mom 2 just drove home how depressing these girls' stories are. Not because they involve poverty or drug addiction or excessive leopard print, but because, over the course of the two seasons of the show, it's become increasingly more obvious that beneath all the bad relationships—and even worse hair—we're watching four girls with terrifically low self-esteem. You don't even need to play armchair therapist to see that this is really what's at the core of their problems. Each one of the girls has disturbed the tenuous balance they've achieved in their lives as young mothers by seeking validation in the worst possible way: through men. I'm not trying to slut-shame Leah or Kailyn for cheating on their partners. You know, it'd be one thing if they were sleeping around and having tons of fun. But they are clearly miserable. And they've actually expressly said that they slept with these guys for reasons other than, you know, just getting off. Leah wanted the attention she wasn't getting from her then-fiancé. Kailyn wanted her family back. It's fucking sad.

Ugh, and then there's Chelsea Houska, who had everyone's sympathy when she was the recipient of the meanest text message ever, when Adam, the father of her child, called her "the most worthless stupid fuck in the world" and their daughter "that mistake." But nearly two years later, she's still playing the on-again-off-again game with her, even though she actually has video evidence—that's on like a repeated loop thanks to the rerun-heavy scheduling at MTV—to remind her how horrible he is, how little he respects her, and how it will never work.

And not to be all "Can somebody think of the children!?" But seriously, can somebody think of the children? Because I have a feeling that Chelsea, Kailyn, Leah, and Jenelle all ended up in their respective positions because nobody thought of them when they were kids.