Maci Bookout is looking back at her long career on reality TV — and admiring it for what it may teach her children now.
The Teen Mom veteran spoke to the media this week about what it was like filming the earliest episodes of what would become the hit MTV show. Plus, with 13-year-old son Bentley at home, she is thinking about what his teenage years will be like, and explaining how the show has given him some perspective about life.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 31-year-old spoke to Page Six about her experience with the reality venture. Being candid about just how raw and real it was filming those early-seasons scenes about her surprise pregnancy, the Chattanooga native explained:
“I feel like the authenticity of our show in the early days, it’s kind of unmatched, and I feel like it’s a great, real, raw, human example of, ‘Hey, this is life and this why every decision you make matters.’”
It makes sense! After all, the Tennessee beauty was one of six girls who starred in that inaugural season of 16 and Pregnant way back in 2009 before anyone knew what that should would become. Not long after, Maci, Farrah Abraham, Amber Portwood, and Catelynn Lowell came together for what would transition into Teen Mom — and it’s all history from there!
The issue of teen pregnancy proved to be at the forefront of the show’s effect on American culture. Five years after it debuted, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a study crediting Teen Mom in part for the decline in teen pregnancies and underage conceptions across America.
The issue hit close to home for Maci, too. She explained to the news outlet this week about how she believes watching back early episodes of her story may impact Bentley as he grows into his teenage years:
“Obviously, I was a teen mom. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized more and more I was a kid having a kid and was a kid raising a kid. I think with Bentley getting so close to 16, it really just puts that into a whole kind of different perspective of, ‘Yeah, you were a baby having a baby.’”
And even though Maci — who also shares daughter Jayde, 7, and son Maverick, 6, with husband Taylor McKinney — is quick to praise Bentley, she knows that he’s still young and ought to think wisely about his future when it comes to sex:
“He’s a great kid … Bentley’s mature and he’s very wise beyond his years and still, I’m like, ‘There’s no way .’”
Honestly, that’s a good message for all teens. Hopefully more will hear it!
And it’s a good reminder about how even what is otherwise entertaining television can sometimes carry a serious message, and have an unexpectedly significant impact! Just saying!
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