Amber Portwood rose to fame thanks to MTV's 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and now Teen Mom OG. Like her costars, she opened up her life to public scrutiny.
Being a teen mom is not easy, but it's especially tough if you have to do it with the world watching. Though Portwood has a reputation that precedes her, she's also done things that deserve recognition.
Amber has been open about mental health and other issues that affect her. Her platform allows her to reach out to others who may be going through similar struggles but don't feel like they have a voice.
Sure, Amber and her costars are known to bicker, but this happens at every job. Right now she seems to have a positive relationship with everyone on Teen Mom OG or to have amended previously rocky relationships.
Amber has also done a lot to improve over the years. She worked toward her GED and wants to use her story to make sure other teens stay on the right track.
Some people are quick to judge, but Amber has proven herself to be worthy of extra consideration over the past few years. Here are some little-known facts about this now grown-up mom.
20 She Doesn't Feel Bad About Her Past
People can be judgmental if your first public appearance was as a cast member on 16 and Pregnant. It doesn't help that reality TV's mission is to let people into moments in your life you can't always control.
Yes, reality TV means the person at the end of the camera isn't playing a character. But, people's actions can be taken out of context sometimes.
Some of Amber's actions on 16 and Pregnant and the first iteration of Teen Mom didn't sit well with some viewers. But hey, Amber takes other people's harsh words in stride and continues to live her life.
19 Amber Is Just Trying To Stay Healthy
It's easy to notice that Amber's appearance has changed over the years. She's also changed many of her habits. This has led to an improvement in her mental health.
For one, sobriety has done wonders for Amber and she seems set on keeping it that way. Many have made comments about her appearance as well. The most important changes have been in Amber's ability and desire to remain committed to sobriety and doing what she can about her mental health.
It's obvious that Amber has spent the past few years getting healthy in all types of ways, and this has changed her for the better.
18 Amber Still Thinks The World Of Farrah
There was a minor kerfuffle between Amber and Farrah during Teen Mom OG in 2016. Fans were worried about what this might mean for our favorite young moms.
Amber said that though things became a little heated, she still loves Farrah. She even told E! that their quibbling was probably because they both have strong personalities.
They both seem to have gotten over this minor rough patch. Farrah has a slightly different outlook, but what's important is that both of them are dealing with these things at their own pace. Hey, it can't all be fun and games all the time.
17 She Just Wants A Quiet Life
You'd think that someone who's on TV would enjoy the stereotypical lavish lifestyle expected of a celebrity. That's not what Amber's about though.
After the hardships of the year 2012, Amber started living a quieter life in 2013. She moved out of her hometown and just kind of kept to herself for a while.
Amber told The Fix that it was necessary for her to leave her old friends, town, and surroundings in order to give up on negative habits. This was the only way she could stay under the radar enough to make some much-needed changes in her life.
16 Her Style Has Grown With Her
It's not to say that Amber didn't have any style when we first met her on 16 and Pregnant. Like any other star, her style has changed over the years to reflect her different choices, state of mind, mood, and current trends.
We've now seen her rock hair in different cool colors, cute sunglasses, and even gorgeous gowns on the Runway. Instead of embracing a signature style, Amber seems to just go with what feels best.
Let's remember that working for MTV means you get a salary that allows you to make more expensive wardrobe purchases. Her fans dig it.
15 She Wants Her Daughter To Have A Positive Outlook On Life
Fans of Teen Mom know that Amber had to overcome some serious obstacles at a young age. Her relationship with her daughter, Leah, was always defined by past decisions that kept them apart for a while.
Despite this, Amber now tries to be the best possible mom to her daughter. This means teaching Leah to have a positive outlook on life. One touching moment in which Amber put her own interests aside was during an episode where she taught Leah how to shave her legs.
Amber decided it was best to let Leah decide when to do this, and made sure she could do it safely.
14 She's Not Afraid To Ask For What She Deserves
Being a reality TV star means your network might air things out that you don't like. When Amber found out she was pregnant yet again, she got a little angry over the parts MTV decided to air.
She demanded better treatment of this circumstance in a Twitter thread. Amber actually said this pregnancy was a joyous moment in her life, and that MTV was making it into a spectacle.
It doesn't help that the episode, in particular, contains comments from her ex (Gary Shirley), and his wife. It comes with the package, but it's still brave of Amber to air her grievances.
13 She's Not Afraid To Be Open About Her Mental Health
Amber has been vocal about some of her mental health struggles. In the last episode of 2018's season of Teen Mom OG, she spoke to her cousin Krystal about her PPD.
Publicly discussing PPD adds more visibility to this taboo issue. Amber has also discussed online bullying and how much this affects her. She's mentioned that PPD exacerbates the issue.
We can't imagine what that must like. PPD is tough even for people who have a bit more privacy. Thankfully Amber is just one of the many celebrities starting a dialog about PPD and other mental health issues.
12 Amber Demanded Respect from MTV
When Amber Portwood signed up for Teen Mom OG, she probably just expected to be with the costars she already knew. After all, the show is about the OG teen moms. The show's executives decided to add two new moms, Cheyenne Floyd, and Bristol Palin.
Floyd expressed concerns over her presence and anticipated some difficulties fitting in with the OG cast. Amber pointed out some of her worries over having two new moms who weren't involved in the previous series the OG moms were involved with.
Amber demanded respect from MTV because she wasn't sure if the network was happy with the cast or not.
11 She's Not Afraid To Quit
Most people who want to quit something refuse to even say it out loud because they don't want to be seen as a failure. In November of last year, Amber threatened to walk away from Teen Mom OG.
She mentioned this in a tweet and then admitted this to Dr. Drew Pinksy on November 17, 2018. Thankfully Dr. Drew and the rest of the audience mentioned that they wanted Amber to stay on the show.
This resulted in her breaking down in tears. Being a part of a TV show (regardless of the context) is a privilege. Wanting to walk away takes guts.
10 Amber Loves Deeply
Despite her ups and downs, Amber has also nurtured loving relationships with those around her. Her most public relationships include the one with her exes, Gary Shirley and Matt Baier.
After things didn't work out with Baier, she found love yet again with Andrew Glennon. Ironically, she met him while trying to repair her relationship with Baier.
Eventually, she had her second baby with Glennon. She's been known to speak well of him on and off camera. Amber has even credited Glennon with ensuring her life is a tad more stable. Finding love is hard, so it's nice to know it's out there for everyone.
9 She Wants To Use Her Struggles To Help Teens
We've now talked about Amber's struggles extensively. We don't often hear about how she wants to use them to help others.
Amber spoke to The Fix about how she'd like to venture into more public speaking in order to share her story someday. She mentioned that she'd like to open up a treatment center before she turns 30 so she can help people who are dealing with addiction.
Amber has also written a book called Never Too Late. According to reviews, she recants her story in an honest and humorous way. The book talks about the motivations behind her will to make better choices.
8 She's Calmed Down
Fans of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have probably noticed that Amber's fuse isn't as short as it once was. The once belligerent cast member who was quick to curse at others or employ more hands-on methods (if you catch our drift), has definitely changed.
Turns out Amber went to anger management classes in order to deal with the issues that once made her erupt in the past. We all know Amber served time, and these classes were part of what she had to do back then.
According to BabyGaga, she event taught some classes. Now that is proof that anyone can change.
7 She Has An Adorable Cat
Reality TV is more about the drama its cast and stars face in their daily lives. That's probably why so few fans of Teen Mom know that Amber has an adorable black cat.
Not only has she tweeted about how her cat attacks her toes, but she also comments on her fans' cat pictures as well.
This doesn't seem like a big deal on the surface but fans of the series sometimes forget the women they watch on MTV are normal people. That means they keep normal pets around the house, and they get a kick out of seeing your normal pets too!
6 But She Also Loves Dogs
Of course, having an adorable cat doesn't mean you can't like dogs too. In fact, Amber has talked about how her dog protects her baby James.
She posted a picture on her social media of her dog sniffing baby James' onesie under his bassinet. It seems that not only is Amber doing her best to raise her two children, but her dog is also ready and willing to pitch in with this task. He seems to be imitating Leah's love of her baby brother.
Considering the drama that often follows the cast of Teen Mom, it's nice to know she has these sweet moments in her life.
5 She Lost A Sibling At A Young Age
When Amber was 5 years old, she lost her baby sister because of SIDS. There are many factors that can cause this.
She talked about this during a special episode of Teen Mom OG and gave some graphic descriptions of what she saw back then.
Even though it's been 23 years since the incident, Amber is always visibly moved when discussing this tragedy. Amber also said that losing her younger sister is one of her motivations to be extra-cautious with her own children.
4 Amber Is Saving For Leah's College Tuition
Leah is 10 years old and will turn 11 this year. But Amber is already thinking about her daughter's future. According to BabyGaga, Amber was earning approximately $140,000 per every 6 month period working with MTV.
Amber even admitted that her past money habits haven't been that great. However, she did start putting money aside for Leah's education. $140K isn't a lot by Hollywood standards, but it's certainly comfortable.
With additional planning, we can totally see little Leah have new doors open to her in her college years. After all, tuition can be quite expensive at many colleges and universities.
3 Amber Defends Her Co-Stars
Many of Teen Mom's biggest fans actually enjoy the dramatic scenes between the castmates. But that means we don't get to see other ways the cast interacts.
In real life, they seem to get along quite well. Amber says the castmates hang out and stay in touch when not filming. Being a part of this show in their circumstances certainly creates a strong bond.
Amber has also come to her castmates' defense during live tweets of several episodes. Sure, everyone loves the tension they see on the show, but it's great to know that the cast members actually get along behind the scenes.
2 She's Not Shy About Eating Takeout Or Eating Out
Many mothers are criticized when they choose to bring home takeout or eat out. Between sleepless nights, work, adult obligations, and getting used to a new baby, sometimes convenience is okay.
Amber has also admitted that she's not the most dedicated chef. Being a mom is tough and let's be honest, there's no manual for how to do it right. Not every mom masters cooking, and their babies still grow up just fine.
She's even shown the world pictures of her culinary endeavors, even when they don't exactly end well. Now that's definitely a brave thing to do considering people's love for cooking #fails.
1 She Sticks Up For Her Partner
Amber's relationships have always been the subject of gossip. One common element in these is that she always defends her man. She constantly defended her ex-fiancé Matt Baier from a series of rumors.
Though that relationship ended later on, she does the same for every guy she's been with. Not only that, but Amber's own brother also got in on the action.
When some nay-sayers criticized her new relationship with Andrew Glennon, Amber's brother defended the whirlwind romance. The fact that those close to her also defend her partners is an indication of just how much she loves and supports the person by her side.