Leave Lindsay Alone? Jessica Tholmer

Listen.

Lindsay Lohan has done many things worth criticizing in the past few years, this I know. I feel like every month or so–or every hour or so this week–something new that Lohan has done wrong, pops up. Lohan has had at least three DUIs that I can think of, one in which she had cocaine on her person. Lohan is relatively infamous for not caring about her job, not showing up to work, or showing up late or not coming out of her trailer or not knowing her lines. Most recently, she was arrested for punching someone in the face, and as far as I know, she has had countless probation violations. Currently, I am reading about her tax issues, and I have not even mentioned how crazy her face looks because of all of the plastic surgery. What can she do right, it seems?

It seems, right? The media is increasingly harsh toward the behavior of child stars, though society has long had a pretty unhealthy obsession with younger actors and their behaviors. There is a stigma surrounding child actors that forces us to always seem to root for their failure in life, especially after a successful movie or television show or music career has come to an end. Never have I seen the media genuinely supporting a child star, rooting for them or offering them any alternative lifestyle. Is it the media’s responsibility to tear someone down, or build them up? Is it even the media’s responsibility to do either?

I write for an entertainment website, so I feel obligated to say that I believe some websites, social media forms and news arenas are better than others. I do not feel that HelloGiggles reports on any one person or thing unfairly, and all comments and opinions are welcome here. One of my other favorite websites, Jezebel.com, provides a hilarious spin on almost everything they report, but when I “searched” Lindsay Lohan on the site, some of the headlines involving her name were pretty harsh, namely, “Why Does Lindsay Lohan Sound Like an Old Lady With Emphysema?”

Pretty uncalled for, right?

I don’t know where or how, but I always think of the old question, “does an artist’s actions affect their art?” (For the record, I might have made up that “age old question,” but it is an important one.) If Lohan was still even remotely a good actress, would we let her behavior slide by a little more often? How many actors or actresses have had DUIs, or tax problems, or punched someone in the face? (Hello, Sean Penn, Russell Crowe, Christian Bale. All of our Best Actors punch people.) If Lohan’s face looked like a normal 26 year old woman’s, would we be willing to let her get into a little trouble, or would she be judged as harshly? Why are we so obsessed with Lohan? Why are we rooting against her?

Everyone fell in love with Lohan when she played Hallie and Annie in The Parent Trap a trillion (fourteen) years ago. She progressed from there, making us all believe that she would be the kind of girl to go places. She would be America’s Sweetheart. She was an adorable ginger young lady who loved remaking Disney movies, and maybe she should have stuck with that innocence, but when she starred in my movie Bible Mean Girls, we were all convinced. Lohan was funny, too! And a great actor. She held her own with a movie written by Tina freakin’ Fey. She was the one.

And then whatever happens to kid stars happened to Lohan. Personally, I think the whole dynamic is embarrassing and tragic. I think it is sad to see someone with undeniably awful parents fall victim to their influence. I think it is incredibly sad to see a reaction to overexposure drive someone to substance abuse and stupid decisions. I think it is sad to see someone with so much potential throw it all away, with little to no remorse.

The way Lohan was still offered roles, the way that she was even cast in anything after the rumors of her disrespectful on-set behavior, proves that there are still people on her side, fewer and fewer all the time, but still…people that know her on her side.

I do not condone Lohan’s behavior in the slightest. I think driving under the influence is the world’s dumbest decision and all repercussions are not severe enough. I believe disrespecting your director–or boss or whoever is in charge of you–is childish and unprofessional. I believe that cocaine is a terrible drug, and in fact, substance abuse in general is insane because there are so many other ways to get high on life. (Yes, I am that girl. Hugs, not drugs!) I believe that Lohan was a uniquely beautiful young woman and I am so sad to look at her weird lips and stringy blonde hair nowadays. I believe that her talent was impressive and, even as I write this, I envision her Cady Heron style, not current day-Lohan.

…All I am saying is maybe we should lay off just a bit. Maybe someone should write something like,

Hey, girl.

We–as human beings, as women, as other actresses, as the media reporting news on other people’s behavior–are here for you.

Sometimes when people lash out or do ridiculous things, it is a cry for help. I know train wrecks are fun and we all like to slow our cars down while driving by an accident on the highway, but what if you stopped your car and got out to help next time? What if, instead of talking smack about the young kid in your high school class that was mean to everyone, you asked him how his day is going, and genuinely meant it? Kids act out because their parents are abusive, or their dad bailed or their mom doesn’t pay attention to them, not because they just feel like it.

Maybe it is intervention time again, but not just in a Weekend Update skit. Maybe we should think about Lohan’s parents, and her addictions (because, believe it or not, addiction is a legitimate disease) before we write yet another headline dogging the troubled young woman. Maybe Lohan is actually consuming two fifths of vodka a day, and maybe she will kill herself soon if her behavior stays that way. It is not unheard of, or dramatic–we have countless examples of losing talent far, far too young. Maybe we should lay off and act decently toward mankind. Maybe we should be writing not cruelly, rather something like:

You Are Not Alone, Lindsay.

It is the basic human thing to do, am I right?

…yet, I fully recognize the atrocity that is Liz and Dick.

Featured image via Polyvore, image 2 via FanPop, image 3 via NBC

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. I love this so much.

  2. I trust Tina Fey. And Lindsay is a badass in my book. We all lose sight sometimes and that’s not the time to abandon people and say terrible things about them. Love and support is always important at times when we’re being ridiculous and not our true selves. No one needs to have expectations set by the world just because they were a child in the spot light at one point. I always thought she was adorable and funny and I hope she sees that too!

  3. There is really no reason to call names and whatnot, but really, addiction/disease or not, she is bringing this all on herself. If she would just admit that she is doing bad things, I’d have more sympathy for her. But she doesn’t. She continually blames others and takes zero responsibility for these terrible choices. Which is part of addiction, but this is what happens when addiction meets the public eye. She should not be driving, she should not be partying at 4am, she should pay taxes like everyone else has to (thank you IRS for treating her like a normal person as opposed to the court system), and most certainly should not be violent towards others. Hard to change your life without proper treatment(which in her case is most certainly not a mere 30 days) and a good support system. If she wants to live to see 2014, she needs to clean up and move on with life outside the spotlight. She apparently can’t handle it.

  4. What I like about this article and frustrates me about many of the comments is the attention paid to the issue of legality. Many criticisms come because of the amount of time paid in jail, the struggles of others without the means Lindsay has, and the connection with her fame. But none of that should really matter. After all, the reason drugs are illegal and driving under the influence is illegal is for the safety of her and those around her. Any addict- rich or poor- helps themselves and the general public when they become sober. Spending time in jail isn’t a meaningless action. It’s meant to promote correction. Since she has the financial means to avoid jail, she’s paying her penance literally in cash. But whether she spent ten years in jail or ten minutes, the fact is the punishment didn’t work. She doesn’t need a stronger punishment. She needs a new approach to rehabilitation. I totally support the need to cut her (and others) a break. She doesn’t need the media fueling her high or harming her self-esteem. She needs to be cut from media attention altogether to focus on her welfare. [steps off soapbox]

  5. I have been irritated by the antics of Lindsay for quite some time. But, more often than not, I wouldn’t know about those antics without the media having a field day with kicking someone while they’re down. At this point, it’s the media’s fault, and Lindsay is just caught up in that game. I do think she’s squandered her talent, and burned every single bridge she’s ever had, but the media loves to make it look even worse. People say they love a good comeback, but in order to get that comeback, they want someone, basically, shaving their head and wielding umbrellas and THEN getting strapped to a gurney and taken away to the mental institution. We’ve seen how this story ends up, and it’s sad. Even if Lindsay pulls herself up by her bootstraps and stays on the straight and narrow, people will welcome her, yet wait for the other shoe to drop. I’d love to see her do great movies again, and it’s painful that we ALL hold on to Mean Girls as THE movie for her. Basically, this girl took ONE movie, ran with it, and then threw everything in the trash while TMZ filmed it all. What she needs is to be out of the spotlight, in rehab for a good long while, and really figure out if she’s got strength for this business. If she doesn’t, great, go back to New York and GET BETTER and LIVE LIFE. I hate thinking of this place as a place waiting for people to fail.

  6. I love Lindsey! She’s an amazing actress! And I know what it’s like to be depressed and disturbed and driven crazy by parents who are throwing knives at each other and you’re right. Things would definitely get better if she had a better support system. Real friends who give a fuck about her. If only there some way to send a post card to her or something..

  7. I remember thinking this same sentiment about Britney a few years ago, and look at her now! I’m not a very compassionate person all the time, I live in a lot of black and white, but it doesnt take a genius to see where the path that she is on ends. Heath Ledger anyone? She needs to get clean, stop making excuses for her behavior and start being a contributing member of society. She needs good friends around her that will tell her No, stop being crazy.

  8. Poor thing… I hope she gives up trying to be a Marilyn and becomes a Drew Barrymore.

  9. Are you kidding me??? Who really gives a crap!! I work my ass off all week so that my wife and daughter can have health insurance, food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes to wear. We are good people. We follow the law. We respect others. You’re not alone Lindsay??? I know a lot of people that have struggled with addictions and they could only be helped if they wanted it. Some of them got the help and are doing amazing, others didn’t want the help and are running around doing what Lindsay Lohan is doing. The only difference is that Lohan chose to be in the entertainment business and hence now has all eyes on her. When you become famous, most of the time that’s what you’re striving for, whether it’s in music, acting, art, etc. So now that you are famous and you’re making a shit load of money, you feel like you can get away with anything and then be pissed at everyone else for criticizing you when you punch someone in the face, or put everyone’s life in danger by driving under the influence? You chose this profession. You chose to be in the gossip rags. I have no sympathy for her. One day when my daughter is old enough to start paying attention to all of the celebrity idiots running around thinking they can do anything, and get away with anything, I’ll tell her that this is not how real people act.

  10. That was a lovely post. I personally think she needs support and people love to hate her just because she’s a typical teen actress gone wrong. But she is a person and she needs help. Media ruined her. Just like Whitney and Michael and, please, they all got mercy too. Whoever think they didn’t, damn, read the newspaper and search on the net. They were LEGENDS, they had a huge fanbase. Lilo got it two, but it doesn’t even… Get near that. Don’t compare two totally different scenarios.

  11. I might believe this, if it werent rubbish. People make fun of her by pointing out the things she has done. If the worst she gets is that (instead of 10-20) then she got off light. We dont as a culture simply cheer when they do bad, we look down on them when they do bad and cheer for them when they do well. She didnt have to end up like that. There are many child stars who didnt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kirsten Dunst, the entire school from Harry Potter, Ron Howard, Kurt Russel, etc etc). Its not about picking on poor Lindsay; its about someone whom young women were supposed to look up to as a media starlet, burning her life up like a book in a fire while getting special treatment, and then saying everyone is so mean for simply pointing out the truth. She already had people that were there for her. She still does now. She does not care. Encouraging more people to look the other way wont change what she is doing, it will simply give her more assurance that it doesnt matter what she does, people will always love her.

  12. Here’s the think with Lindsay Lohan, I think she likes this. Think about other actors who have had serious substance abuse problems–Matthew Perry, Robert Downey Jr. come to mind and we all know they struggled, they decided they didn’t like that more attention was being paid to their personal struggles than to their actual work. We never hear stories about Matthew Perry or Robert Downey Jr. getting high or wasted….we hear more about their work. I think the problem that Lindsay Lohan seems oblivious to the fact there is a problem and I really think that she’s enjoying this which makes it even sadder. You can’t change unless you want to and maybe all this media attention is keeping her in the spotlight so there’s no reason to change because she’s getting what she wants. I also think Lindsay Lohan’s parents need to learn how to be supportive. The fact that everything she does needs a comment from one of them…..that makes it worse. I think all she knows is this fake support or people screwing her over…including her own family and it’s very sad.

    • No one is perfect. Lohan is out of control: thoughts; emotions; actions. She is careless. There are other people with less money and fame who straightened themselves out with the help of family and friends how really love them. The truth is, Lindsey needs guidance and LOVE. It’s obvious, her parents didn’t do their job well in addition to her so-called “hollywood ” friends. No one is perfect, but she is however old enough, that is if she really wants to change. I guess the point is, the media loves to tear her down, but then again, maybe she’s accustomed to this negative attention gratification. It’s her only way of being in the light. Someone, get a her a REAL friend. Or this is all an act.

  13. Hurt people hurt people. We all need a little grace! We all know what it’s like to be hurt. Some more-so than others. Great article, great challenge!

  14. I think it’s wrong to kick anyone when they’re down. When I see sleeze reporters jumping on anyone like Lohan just to get a story and make a cheap buck, I see those people as bullies and bullies to me are the scum of the earth.

  15. Where were these articles when Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston were alive? I’m just curious because I don’t remember anyone putting on their Superman cape for MJ or Whitney, so why must we cape for Lindsay whom blew chance after chance? The average American would end up serving ten to fifteen years while she gets off scott free? I don’t get it…

    • I’ve never heard anyone use the term “put on the Superman cape” before. Thank you for this. Awesome.

    • Mannnnnnn, if I were in a public writing position when I needed to be there for Michael or Whit, I would have dropped knowledge all day long, but I wasn’t. I know what you mean, but just so you know, the day Michael died was legit the worst day of my life, so I feel you.

  16. Christian Bale didn’t punch anyone, he just shouted and a great song was the result.

  17. I don’t think we should be mean, but I can see the frustration from other people. She’s been arrested for the same thing time and time again and yet she hasn’t had to serve jail time. If you understand the jail system, this is unfair. Why hasn’t she served any kind of sentence? There are people who commit lesser crimes who are in jail now. I think some people (not all) feel the system is favoriting Lindsay.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should bash her, call her names, send death threats, etc. She needs a better support system as mentioned, but I know for me hoping and wishing for this girl to change her life a la Robert Downey Jr., I’ve given up and I know it doesn’t impact my life one way or another.

  18. I love this! It’s so terrible how mean people can be to celebrities!

  19. This is great. You go, Jessica Tholmer.

  20. You raise a good point. I think we have taken the celebrity culture entirely too far. We build celebrities up, only to tear them down when they don’t behave as we expect them to do (and what about those invasive paparazzi that only add pressure, danger and loss of security to the situation?!). In Linday’s case it’s reasonably obvious that something is not right with her, she’s been lashing out for ages (it seems) and it is sad. It’s tragic. She needs help, not judgement. The amount of joy and satisfaction many blogs, gossip rags and even legit news outlets take in the “downfall” of this young woman (and many others) is a sad reflection of our society. The harsh judgement and almost gleeful articles reporting yet another incident are not helpful in any case. I hope she finds her way. And as Cristal mentioned a good support system.

HelloGiggles Podcast