Why Do 'Teen Mom' Stars Keep Getting Pregnant?

Illustration for article titled Why Do 'Teen Mom' Stars Keep Getting Pregnant?

Kailyn Lowry just announced that she is pregnant again. Meanwhile, Adam Lind—father of Chelsea Houska's daughter and author of the worst text message in the world—has reportedly knocked up another young woman whom he is no longer dating. (Although it would be hard for him to date anyone right now, since he just started serving a 90-day sentence stemming from multiple DUI arrests.) Leah Messer Simms Calvert, 20, just gave birth to her third child with her second husband and Jenelle Evans sandwiched a pregnancy earlier this year between several rehab trips and a marriage and divorce. It leads one to wonder: are any of these people watching their own show? I mean, they do realize their very lives are supposed to serve as a cautionary tale against having children at such a young age, right!?


Kailyn, who married her 20-year-old boyfriend Javi Marroquin (not the father of her son) in September, is expecting her second child in the fall. Adam, being on a work-release program and all, has yet to confirm his ex-girlfriend Taylor Halbur's pregnancy, but she has been doing her part on Twitter to say it without saying it.

You know, the case has been made ad nauseum that the show "glamorizes teen pregnancy." But I've alway thought that argument was baloney. What's so fucking "glamourous" about trailer shopping or getting a GED or driving around with Ed Hardy seat covers? Nothing. Their lives, like their hair extensions, are messy and not aspirational. In fact, teen pregnancy rates have dropped consistently and dramatically every year since the 2009 premiere of the MTV franchise (it was previously on the rise) and are currently at a record low in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 82% of teenagers credit the show with helping to make "the realities of teen parenthood more real to them."

So, the show is actually not detrimental to society as critics have charged. But it seems like Teen Mom 2 has been horrible for its subjects.

The reported $60,000 per season they receive is paltry compared to other reality stars are paid (The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Nene Leakes reportedly earns $1 million per season, while Snooki, Pauly D, and The Situation each raked in $2 million for the final season of Jersey Shore), but it's still a decent salary. So, if being a young parent with a dramatic life is your job, then why not keep chasing that paper?


This is what happens when you financially reward teenagers for having babies. Leah recently sold some photos of her family of five to Us Weekly while Jenelle—whose life is all over the placesold sonogram photos to RadarOnline. Some claim the entire, short-lived pregnancy and subsequent (live-tweeted) miscarriage was faked as part of a big money-making scheme. (If that's true, kudos to Jenelle for bleeding the beast and exploiting the tabloids.)

Out of the eight women who were part of Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2, three of them—Kailyn, Jenelle, and Amber Portwood—were diagnosed with bipolar disorder during the course of the shows. It stands to reason that the fame and all of the crap that comes with it like the attention and the internet comments and the tabloids, aggravated their conditions. All three of those girls were filmed in the throes of their undiagnosed illnesses (and they were all involved in violent incidents). It brings to question how ethical it is to have minors sign their lives over to a TV show before they are fully formed adults.


Sea Anemone

At this point in my life, I am so glad nobody wanted to fuck me either in high school or college.