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,
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.