Cher Hubsher on 'Sweet 16' in 2007 and now, at 21, as Miss Clearwater USA 2013.
Many of the teens featured on MTV's popular "My Super Sweet 16" series acted as if they lived in castles, but Cher Hubsher actually did--or, at least a mansion that looked like a castle. The 15-year-old was determined to outdo her legendary Bat Mitzvah when she appeared on the show, and her lavish Mardi Gras shindig did the trick.
Though Cher was friendly and sweet, her parents thought she still had some growing to do, and when the teen least expected it, she was "Exiled" to rural Panama so that she might learn some independence. Now, in direct reference to her experiences in Central America, she's studying to become a nurse that specializes in bringing health care to impoverished areas. She's still the same glitzy Cher, though, with a beauty queen gig on the side. Check out what the 21-year-old told Remote Control.
Was your episode of "My Super Sweet 16" accurate to your high school persona?
I think it was pretty accurate. When people heard I was going to be on the show, many of them judged me, but once they saw my episode, I believe they saw more of the true me and didn't classify me with all the other Sweet 16-ers.
Looking back, any cringe-worthy moments?
I do agree with many of the fan comments that my dresses were a little bit risque for a 16-year-old. I am now 21 and won't even wear things as showy! At the time, my mom and I figured since only a little bit of my side was shown, it was appropriate. They were beautiful dresses, but as a role model, sometimes less is more.
If you could tell your 16-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Have so much fun and enjoy every minute because it is going to go quick. I can’t believe my Sweet 16 was five years ago--time sure does fly!
Tell me about "Exiled"--what did you think was happening when the MTV cameras returned, and what was your reaction when you found out you were going to Panama?
When I first walked into my house and the cameras were there, I was shocked. I was excited thinking something fun was about to happen, but when I looked over at my mom's face, she appeared nervous and I immediately knew she was about to tell me something I wasn't going to like.
When I found out I was going to stay with a tribe all by myself, I began to get scared. My mom is my best friend and to go so far away without her was an intimidating thought for me. I couldn't believe that my parents were OK with sending me to live with a tribe and stay with people they had never met.
What was going to the area like, and did the experience affect you personally?
Going to Panama made me realize how sheltered I was, and after I came back, all I wanted to do was travel and see other parts of the world. The summer after being "exiled," my brother and I went backpacking all through Europe. It was unbelievable. We went in a completely rugged style: on a budget, staying in hostels, traveling by train. All I brought was a backpack and four outfit changes for three-and-a-half weeks! And, at my brother's request, no heels were allowed. Before going on "Exiled," I never would have done something like that, but thanks to the experience I had with the Embera tribe, traveling ruggedly was the least of my worries.
What have you been up to since "Exiled"?
I am currently at the University of Florida's College of Nursing program. After being on MTV, I realized I truly am happiest when I'm doing something good for others. I would love to be able to one day go back to Panama and provide health care to the tribe members.
And another amazing thing that just recently happened--I was crowned Miss Clearwater USA 2013! I am so excited to have won this title and be able to proudly represent my hometown.
How did your 21st birthday go? Should cameras have been around?
Cameras definitely should have been there! If I knew I was having such a big party I definitely would have called up the camera crew. My boyfriend, Jared, and my best friend, Tanya, contacted all of my friends and threw me a wonderful surprise house party, and when the clock struck midnight, we all went to a club where my boyfriend had arranged a whole VIP section for me and all of my friends. It was an amazing birthday, and one of the best parts about it was that I didn't have to plan a thing!
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Photos: MTV.com and courtesy of Cher Hubsher