When MTV came out with their show, 16 & Pregnant, the point was to try and show young girls the struggles of teen pregnancy and the importance of birth control or abstinence. Each episode followed a different girl from when she finds out she's pregnant until a month or so after the birth. Most teens chose to keep their baby, while others chose to give their newborn up for adoption.
The episodes were supposed to be one-offs, but it became evident that the show was more popular than anyone anticipated. This prompted the network to change up their strategy, which is when Teen Mom came to fruition. MTV picked four girls from 16 & Pregnant to be part of a reality series that would follow their struggles as teen parents. Amber, Farrah, Maci, and Catelynn were thrust into the spotlight and became instant celebrities.
The girls started out pretty average, struggling to finish school and care for a newborn, all under the age of 18. But as seasons went on, people started to notice something: these girls weren't struggling at all. Sure, they were still parents. But their cars got nicer, their houses got bigger, and their appearance was more glamorous.
But once you see their salaries, it's not hard to understand why they can afford these luxuries.
Maci got pregnant the first time she ever had sex, giving birth to her son Bentley at just 16 years old. She left her ex after it was clear he didn't want to be a parent. Bookout-McKinney has since married Taylor McKinney and together they have two other kids. Maci makes about $500,000 per season, which doesn't include any bonuses she receives. She also has her own clothing business and released a book called I Wasn't Born Bulletproof.
"Once you become a so-called reality TV star, people immediately think you're a high-end celebrity and you travel the world and have a mansion and so much money and all these other things they associate with having your face on television," she writes. "The fact is, my real life isn't that much different from what it would have been without MTV. I still live in Chattanooga and go to Wal-Mart and buy bread and milk."
Amber had a rocky relationship with her then-boyfriend, Gary. The two are parents to daughter Leah, but that doesn't mean they got along. Amber was physically and emotionally abusive towards Gary and even found herself in prison. Since her release, Amber has led a quiet, calm life (for the most part). She successfully co-parents with Gary and is currently expecting a second child with her boyfriend Andrew Glennon.
According to Today, Amber makes approximately $140,000 per six-month contract with MTV.
Catelynn Baltierra (Lowell)
Catelynn and her boyfriend, Tyler, were one of the few couples who chose to give their baby up for adoption. They both came from dysfunctional families and knew their lives were in no shape to be taking in a child. The couple opted for open adoption so they could have a relationship with their daughter, Carly. The couple has stayed together since their teenage years and are now married with a daughter named Nova. Catelynn has struggled with post-partum depression, which has been well-documented on the show, and seems to be one of the few moms who has not let the fame go to her head.
As for money, Catelynn and Tyler seem to be doing fine. It's rumored that the Baliterra's make the same amount as Maci, which is $500,000 per season. They also make money through speaking engagements for adoption agencies and their book, Conquering Chaos.
Farrah is arguably the most famous of the cast. Her original story was extremely emotional, as the father of her unborn baby was killed in a car accident. Farrah had a rough relationship with her parents, and when her daughter Sophia was born, it seemed to make things worse. Farrah began getting plastic surgery and viewing herself as an A-list celebrity. She even dabbled in the world of porn, where she reportedly earned $10,000 for her efforts. Abraham has her own business and is still an adult entertainer, all while being a single mom to her daughter.
Abraham was recently fired from Teen Mom, but not before she raked in the dough. She received upwards of $500,000 per season. Her net worth is the highest of all the moms, sitting at $1 million.
The show was meant to discourage teen pregnancy, but it seems like this is a pretty sweet life. What do you think?