The reality world is not always glamorous. 

Sure, having even 15 minutes of fame comes with its perks, but not all stars are created equal. In the case of teenage moms who rose to fame on the MTV circuit, the source of their notoriety can often make matters more difficult for the new parents hoping to turn their following into something lucrative. 

Teen Mom Cast


When a reality star develops a fan base, brands are usually keen on working with them to develop a product stamped with their name and face. The stars of Jersey Shore had tanning product lines. Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice had cookbooks and a post-prison memoir. Real Housewives of New York City wino Ramona Singer launched her own line of pinot grigio.

The marketing potential can be endless if the star in question has enough influence and following, but for the women of Teen Mom, who are young mothers with strained home lives, relationships and financial backgrounds, the nature of their fame narrows their opportunities. 

Teen Mom 2


"What makes Teen Moms famous is not something brands necessarily want to align with," Talent Resources CEO Mike Heller told E! News. "They're people who became parents at a very young age and who were not necessarily ready to take on the responsibility—brands don't really want to touch that."

Social media has expanded the opportunities for a paycheck because it allows celebrities to promote products on their digital pages, followed by thousands of fans, in exchange for a fee.

However, Heller, who specializes in such marketing, said offers for Teen Mom stars typically peak at $1,000 a post, paling in comparison to high-ranking Housewives, who typically get offered between $10,000 and $30,000 per post.

"The difference between those people and Teen Moms is that they're adults doing something interesting or entertaining with their lives. With Teen Moms, their lifestyles are not aspirational," he explained. 

"You do not want to be the company encouraging a [16-year-old] to have a baby. My agency does not work with Teen Moms because of that and agencies like mine don't either."

—Reporting by Beth Sobol

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