The Secret Life of the American Teenager was a show on ABC Family that aired from 2008 to 2013. It starred Shailene Woodley in the lead and was very popular. It was also very well received by teenagers. However, things were not as good as they seemed.
In an interview with Bustle, Shailene Woodley opened up about starring on the show. She revealed she had read three episodes when she had decided to sign a six year contract. The show talked about similar experiences to her. She had a couple of friends in high school who were pregnant. So doing a show that focused on that was very important to her.
Shailene Woodley played Amy Juergens, a 15 year old who gets pregnant in high school. The show focuses on Amy’s high school journey, relationship and her experiences as a teenage mom. The show also revolves around concepts of abstinence by showing characters wearing promise rings or vowing to abstain until marriage. And Shailene admitted to struggling with the show’s message.
Why ‘Secret Life’ Was So Hard For Shailene Woodley
“There were a lot of things that were written into the scripts that not just me, but a lot of the cast, disagreed with,” Shailene explained. “There were belief systems that were pushed that were different than my own. Yet legally I was stuck there. To this day it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. So being on Secret Life propelled me to be more vocal about my own belief systems.”
After the show ended in 2013, Shailene Woodley went on to do projects like The Fault In Our Stars and Divergent. “I lost my virginity like seven times on screen!” she said. “I lost my own virginity in a really unromantic, unsexy way. So it’s very therapeutic for me that by playing these characters I was showing young women what they can wait for.”