Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham has received plenty of criticism about her role on the MTV reality series, but she says she still views herself as a role model.
"I believe I've earned that title," Farrah tells TVGuide.com. "I take time and give advice to other teen moms and teenagers ... and it helps their lives."
The Iowa native was first spotlighted on 16 and Pregnant before becoming one of four cast members on the spin-off. The only single girl of the group, Farrah eventually revealed that her daughter Sophia's father died months prior to her being born. When Season 3 premieres Tuesday (10/9c), cameras will once again follow Farrah, who tells us all about her breast augmentation and why she's "not a whore."
TVGuide.com: What's the biggest change viewers will see in you this season?
Farrah: [I'm] focusing really hard on my education and becoming more serious as an adult. I'm growing into more of my parent responsibilities, which I'm very proud of.
TVGuide.com: Are you in school?
Farrah: Right now I'm on break. I start school in about a week and a half for my Bachelors in culinary management so I can own my own restaurant or business.
TVGuide.com: How come you opened up about the death of Sophia's dad now and not on 16 and Pregnant?
Farrah: I've been going to counseling and dealing with my grief. Losing somebody I loved and planned on having a relationship with was a big shock to go through, and I didn't want to do it if I was doing a TV show. That's the hard thing I had to make a choice about: How do I present this on TV and still be in my comfort zone? It's something that's pretty emotional, and I work through it daily. I think I'm working on it better now and trying to have relationships. It's a process.
TVGuide.com: Last season your mom tried to set you up. Will you be dating again this season?
Farrah: I'm pretty positive you might see me on a date again. The fun thing is I get to go on dates and meet random guys and not be so serious.
TVGuide.com: Is it harder to date being on the show?
Farrah: I think so. I get emails and letters at home like, "Find me on Facebook," but how many of those guys are really sincere? I feel like I have my independence right now, so I might as well take full advantage and work harder. When the right person comes, then I'll accept him into our lives, but right now I'm not trying to have a relationship. Dating is more fun than a relationship right now for me.
TVGuide.com: Talk about your body image struggles.
Farrah: I think when moms are getting their bodies back, that's hard to deal with. The first episode shows me getting surgery, and ever since I had that surgery, I've been trying to understand that God gave me the body I have and to truly love myself more. I hope other moms can find self -love after they have a child and learn to work out and diet and do things right. That's something big I'm looking forward to look at and learn from because I need to process it.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think you get a lot of negative feedback from viewers?
Farrah: I don't think they realize I'm with Sophia a lot. I work hard, and when I go out, [viewers] just don't want to let it go. They [are] mad I'm taking a break. I hear a lot of, "Where's your daughter? Why isn't she with you? Why are you out with some guy?" I'm not a whore, I'm just getting a free dinner and some drinks, so why not? I feel bad for other single moms that have to hear the same sh--. I hope it's different for other people.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you're a role model?
Farrah: I do. I believe I've earned that title. I take time and give advice to other teen moms and teenagers ... and it helps their lives. I care about other people. That's why I do this show.
TVGuide.com: What do you think about the girls doing 16 and Pregnant today?
Farrah: I'm going to answer this honestly: I feel like the girls that choose to be on the other show should've learned from us. I allow cameras to be here even when I need a break... and I might make myself look like an immature spoiled brat sometimes, but I'm just trying to convey a message so other girls learn from it. I know that Maci, Amber, myself and Catelynn have really improved, really worked hard. We have lots of stress, and we show that and try to grow from it. I just hope the other girls try to do the same.
Teen Mom returns Tuesday at 8/7c on MTV.