A couple years ago, I wrote a post about a TV show I had seen called “16 & Pregnant.” I’ve been a regular viewer since then, and I’ve also faithfully watched the spin off, “Teen Mom.” Several weeks ago, I got a PR pitch that caught my eye – an opportunity to interview one of the teenage mothers, Chelsea Houska, whom I highlighted in my original post. The show gets very mixed reviews – some people think it shows teen pregnancy for the difficult thing it is, others think having a show about it glamorizes the subject. I was curious to hear the opinions of someone actually on the show, so I set up an interview with Chelsea.
The first thing I asked Chelsea was regarding that same subject – critics of the show. Her response echoed how I feel about it – she feels the show depicts teen parenting how it really is, and doesn’t make it look easy or glamorous at all. Like Chelsea pointed out, those girls spend a lot of time crying. We’ve also seen how Chelsea struggled with balancing school and being a mom, and we’ve seen her grow up a lot. Chelsea’s situation is better than many girls on the show, in that she is very close to her parents and they are a wonderful support system for her. Even still, though, it’s tough and her life has changed dramatically since becoming a mom.
I was also curious about the impact the show has had on Chelsea’s daughter, Aubree, who is about to turn three. Chelsea says Aubree loves talking to people and likes the attention. It’s going to be weird, for sure, when Aubree gets older and sees the footage, though. Much like how when my kids get older, they are going to read this blog and think I am a complete nutcase. But I guess we’ll both cross that bridge when we come to it. I asked Chelsea how she would feel if Aubree wanted to be on a reality show one day, and she said she’d be supportive, although she would warn Aubree that there’s a lot of criticism that comes with it.
If she had the chance to do it all over again, Chelsea says she would definitely still have done the show and that overall it’s been a great experience. I guess I was a little surprised to hear that (although Chelsea’s story has not been a train wreck like certain other reality stars who may or may not have eight kids), but I was really glad to hear that it hasn’t been detrimental to her life. Because if it was, I’d feel like I had to stop watching, and that would be very sad.
Chelsea’s a smart girl with a wonderful family, and I’m sure she and Aubree will flourish in the future. I enjoyed talking with her, and it was great to get an inside view of Teen Mom.
What are your thoughts on shows like this? Do you watch them? Would you let your kids watch the show, if they were at an appropriate age? Do you think the shows warn against teen pregnancy or glamorize it?
P.S. In case you were wondering (and I certainly was), Chelsea reports that she and Adam aren’t together and haven’t been in a while. Hallelujah.