When the Teen Mom franchise first debuted on MTV back in 2009, there was a concern that the show might lead to a spike in teen pregnancies.
After all, here was a series that focused on girls from all over the country, who were unremarkable except for the fact that they became moms while still in high school.
And to the untrained eye, that fact alone was enough to catapult them to national stardom.
Obviously, there was much more involved in the process, but teens are an impressionable lot, not known for their nuanced readings of complex situations.
There was a fear that young viewers would miss the point of the show, but thankfully, that hasn’t happened in any large numbers.
In fact teen pregnancies are actually down in the year’s since the show’s release — and Leah Messer is determined to ensure that that trend continues.
As you’ve likely heard by now, Leah’s debut memoir is set to be released next week.
The book doesn’t hit stores until Msy 5, but excerpts that have been released ahead of publication have already made headlines.
Leah opens up about her struggles with addiction, as well as he controversial decision to have an abortion and claim that she’d suffered a miscarriage.
She also delves deep into a number of painful childhood incidents, including one in which her mother pressured her to have sex with an older boy.
Leah, of course, is not the first woman in her family to have children at a very young age.
Her mother and grandmother both got pregnant while still in their teens.
Asked in a recent interview how she intends to break that cycle, Leah revealed that it’s a matter to which she’s given much thought:
“I feel like if I’m on it from the beginning, I can prevent it,” she told E! News.
“So if I am educating them on puberty, educating them on growing up into little ladies, then I will hopefully be able to prevent that,” she continued.
“I think if education was expressed to me a lot younger, I would have made completely different decisions.”
Leah says she’s taking advantage of the time that the pandemic has allowed her to spend with her daughters to have some difficult conversations with the girls about their future:
“The conversation about puberty is already happening in our home because it’s totally about to happen and I’m freaking out,” she said.
“And it’s all happening when we’re in quarantine. I’m just going to be open with them,” she continued.
“Anytime I hear conversations that they may be having, I want to be the source for them. I’m breaking that cycle.”
Leah obviously has access to resources that her mother and grandmother did not.
More importantly, it seems she’s fully dedicated to ensuring that her kids don’t fall into the same traps that ensnared so many earlier generations of women.