Lindsay Lohan is back in rehab, and the public is angrily obsessed. The first line of the first article that comes up when you do a news search for Lohan proves the point. “Looks like Lindsay Lohan won’t be going far from the Betty Ford Center any time soon,” says the story, angry and smug, feigning concern but emanating superiority.
Days before her admittance to Betty Ford, Lohan was interviewed by Piers Morgan, kind of a last statement before her upcoming 90-day rehabilitation. The interview was anything but normal: Lohan opened up, but peppered her answers with lies. Morgan asked weird questions and was barely respectful.
Lohan’s top three weirdest or most revealing answers were:
She says, “I’ve never been a huge drinker,” before continuing to say “I was definitely going out too much and I was drinking too much.”
Lohan has serious issues with her father, is a confirmed heterosexual, denies drug and alcohol abuse, likes pills and wants to focus on her career instead of booze and men.
The blaming and rationalizing
Lohan has a tendency to blame what’s going on in her life – “I was trapped by my probation requirements in the worst possible place I could be” – and rationalize, saying, with regard to Adderall: “But I eat all the time. I just take it to stay calm. It works well for me.”
But even weirder than Lohan’s answers were Morgan’s questions:
“Does fame screw you up?… Is it like a drug?”
By phrasing this in this manner, Morgan was trying to force a metaphor onto Lohan’s life, and add to the narrative of her life that the public ‘demands.’
When did you start going off the rails?
How can you ask this question of someone and expect them to have a reasoned answer? No one has good enough perception of themselves to be able to pinpoint when they ‘started going downhill,’ because life isn’t a perfect story with pinpointable changes of pace. Nonetheless, Lohan did have an answer:
Do you think she’s being objective here?
“How many times have you taken cocaine?” (not many) “Really?” (yes, she’s only done if a few times. It reminds her of her dad. She doesn’t like it.) “Did it make you feel good?” (I’ve paraphrased Lohan and quoted Morgan here.)
Is this line of questioning about an ostensibly arbitrary 20-something’s drug use really necessary? It’s like trying to get a confession out of her, which is understandable because we all assume she does hard drugs, but if we all know she does drugs, why do we have to make her say it instead of letting her go to rehab in peace? Why do we do this to our famous people?
By so strongly focusing on their lives, making them seem bigger and more significant than regular people and forcing a narrative onto them, are we actually dehumanizing them to the point where we don’t care about them because we view them as demi-fictional characters whose lives don’t matter because they are there for our entertainment? Morgan says, in an attempt to sound emphatic, “Whatever you’ve read or heard about her, the Lindsay Lohan I met seemed to me to be a damaged, vulnerable young woman struggling to find normality in her often tormented life,” but isn’t this just further building the character we’ve designed for her, the persona that this interview feeds on? Yes, I know writing about it and analyzing the article just adds further scrutiny, and the need to lessen the actions of gossiphounds is obvious, I just felt compelled to say something.
People want Lohan to be trouble because it fits the narrative of the troubled teen star – just look how people are basically rooting for Amanda Bynes to go off the deep end.
The oddly in-depth Morgan/Lohan interview should remind us that Lohan is a real person, and like a real person, all her public problems have root in deeply personal problems. How can we continue the media assault when we know this?
Image via DailyMail