The Transformation Of Kristin Cavallari From 17 To 34 Years Old

Kristin Cavallari was a trailblazer (of sorts) for modern reality TV. She was plucked from obscurity as a California teenager and became the poster child for the MTV reality generation while starring on "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County." In 2005, The New York Times reported on the "charm" of the breezy coming-of-age reality series, which ran from 2004 to 2006, and described Kristin as its "breakout star." As she told Entertainment Weekly on later (and infamously) joining "The Hills" — "drama sells." Even at a young age, she had figured out the formula for television gold!

That being said, Kristin developed a love-hate relationship with having her life broadcast at nearly all times. "I had a blast filming the majority of the time and have beautiful footage of special moments with my friends, like prom and graduation," she wrote in her 2016 book "Balancing In Heels" (via People). "But I struggled with people thinking I was someone I wasn't." Indeed, fans had trouble separating Kristin's abrasive on-screen persona from her real-life self. 

Kristin has spent her entire adult life in the public eye. And years after she first made a splash, the brash blonde would still be making television appearances, so fans have been able to watch her evolve in a pretty rewarding way. Scroll through to see how just she has changed since the public first got to know her.

The hate was real on Laguna Beach

Kristin Cavallari was a junior in high school and only 17-years-old, per The Washington Post, when she was selected to appear on "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County." She was part of one of the show's main storylines; a love triangle between herself, Stephen Colletti, and Lauren Conrad. This created animosity between Kristin and Lauren ... none of which was manufactured by producers. "The thing with Stephen and Kristin was just happening," Lauren revealed to The Los Angeles Times in 2005. "Me and Kristin really hated each other. We didn't know he was involved with both of us." Chaotic! Despite the rivalry between the two, Lauren enjoyed the company of her antagonist. "Kristin, no matter how much you hate her, she's always fun to hang out with," Lauren told The New York Times that same year.

Even before being cast on the hit MTV show, Kristin was a rebellious teenager, but becoming a television star only made matters worse. "Like many teenagers, I had no self-awareness and thought only about myself, and that was amplified by starring on Laguna Beach, where I got professional accolades for being outspoken and wild," she wrote in her 2016 memoir (via People). 

As fans know, "Laguna" was only the beginning of Kristin's stardom.

Were the storylines on The Hills real?

"The Hills," a spin-off of "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County," was created in 2006 and starred reality stars Audrina Partridge, Heidi Montag, and Lauren Conrad. For Season 5, Kristin Cavallari was brought in to replace her nemesis. "I'm not going into it like, 'I'm going to make great friendships with these people.' It's work! And drama sells," she told Entertainment Weekly in 2009 on knowing your place among a cast, which the 22-year-old clearly did. "I think that's why they're bringing me in, because I know what works."

Unlike Kristin's previously televised love triangle, many of the storylines on "The Hills" were fabricated. "I can tell you most of my stuff wasn't real," she said on an episode of "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" in April 2019 (via People). There was plenty of fan speculation around the suspect plotlines when the show aired, and during the final shot of the finale, a camera pulled back to reveal the cast was on a soundstage. At the time, Kristin told Entertainment Weekly that she joined the show in hopes of building "buzz" around her name to jump-start an acting career. 

Meanwhile, during "The Hills," Kristin was asked out by her eventual husband ...

Kristin Cavallari embraces family life

Kristin Cavallari was asked out by Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in very ... Hollywood fashion. The NFL player reached out to Kristin through her publicist, but at the time, she was busy filming "The Hills" and declined an offer to visit him in Chicago, as she revealed in a 2013 interview on the blog, "A Drink With" (via Glamour). A year later, the TV star attended a Bears game and met Cutler. "I ended up meeting him, and when he walked in, I was like, 'Oh my goodness!' I thought he was really cute," Kristin told the blog.

The couple became serious, and at 25-years-old, Kristen had her first child with Jay. "We are thrilled to welcome Camden Jack Cutler into the world," she wrote on Aug. 8, 2012, on Twitter. "He was born this morning weighing 7lbs 9oz. Everyone is doing great!" After a previously failed engagement, per Us Weekly, the couple were married in June 2013. Once again, Kristin commemorated the event on Twitter. "I'm officially Kristin Elizabeth Cutler!!!!!" she wrote alongside a photo of their wedding bands (via Us Weekly). They were not done having kids, and Kristin later gave birth to Jaxon Cutler and Saylor Cutler.

Now a mother, Kristin returned to reality TV. Scroll down to see that moment!

Kristin Cavallari launched her own business

Kristin Cavallari expanded her personal brand in 2017 and put her notable fashion sensibilities to use, by launching Uncommon James, an apparel and jewelry brand. The next year — when Kristin was 31-years-old — her work as a businessperson was captured for the reality show "Very Cavallari," which followed her as she juggled work, parenthood, and her relationship with Jay Cutler, per E! News. The show was shot in Nashville where the Uncommon James headquarters were, and where Kristin and Jay had relocated to live.

Watching Kristin run a successful business while parenting three children was a stark departure from her time as a troublemaking teen, but fans hoped the TV star would reunite with her "The Hills" family, per Bustle

"Very Cavallari" came to an end in May 2020 when the star uploaded a heartfelt message on Instagram. "As I start this new chapter in my life, I have decided not to continue with 'Very Cavallari,'" Kristin wrote. And the end of that show coincided with another momentous change in her life.

Kristin Cavallari's life has come full circle

Only a month before announcing the end of her reality show, Kristin made an even bigger bombshell announcement. The 33-year-old informed fans that she and her husband Jay Cutler were getting divorced.

Kristin uploaded a photo on Instagram of her and Jay walking with their arms around each other alongside a lengthy caption. "With great sadness, after 10 years together we have come to a loving conclusion to get a divorce. We have nothing but love and respect for one another and are deeply grateful for the years shared," she wrote on April 26, 2020. In January, the duo both uploaded the same photo together and included the caption, "The world is full of users. 10 years. Can't break that," as per USA Today. Hmmm. This sparked rumors that they might be back together, but indeed, the two remained just friends.

Now Kristin is entering a new chapter, complete with a cameo on "The Hills: New Beginnings." However, at 34-years-old, she has a different approach to reality TV. "No drama – at least not about me," she told Us Weekly about her appearance in April 2021. Now, that's a story arc you just can't fabricate!