On a new episode of Oprah's Where Are They Now? airing Sunday, former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari looks back at the show that made her a star.
Her reflection isn't as positive as her fans might expect, either. Why?
"I was a junior in high school. MTV showed up and did open casting," she recalls. "You grab a 20-page packet, then they would take your Polaroid, and from there, they did on-camera interviews."
"They sort of narrowed it down to these eight people."
"We had no idea what we were doing," Kristin says, with a significant tinge of regret. "We were just going along with whatever MTV was telling us to do."
In fact, Cavallari felt producers capitalized on her naivety. How so?
"My boyfriend at the time [Stephen Coletti] would take Lauren Conrad to dinner and buy her flowers, which never would have happened if it weren't for the show and MTV."
"I felt very used and manipulated."
Cavallari, in turn, served as Conrad's foil, which was hard for her, "Being 16, 17 in high school, not knowing really how to handle your emotions."
"I put up a wall. I put up a really tough exterior because I felt like they were really trying to take advantage of me," she says of being deemed the "bad girl."
"When I saw it air and saw the way that they represented me, I was really, really upset. I cried for hours and hours after I saw the first episode," Cavallari admits.
Now married to an NFL star quarterback (Jay Cutler) with two beautiful children, she's come a long way from Laguna Beach, and is doing very well.
"I still to this day think you should be 18 to do a reality show," she still says, more than a little jaded from it all, "if only because of my experience."
Consider it a cautionary tale for teenagers from a seasoned pro. Check out the gallery above to see what the rest of the Laguna Beach cast is up to these days.