Today: Jun 17, 2024

Child stars gone bad

Amanda Bynes in court sporting a bleach blonde wig.

Caitlin WilliamsonSpecial to the Southern News

I once fantasized, as all American children at one point most likely did, that I would one day be holding a neon glow stick introducing myself as I traced the iconic Disney Channel mouse ears to promote my own television show. The glam, fame, and fortune all at a young age seems so enticing, but the dark sides to early childhood stardom have become more prevalent as these stars transition into their adult years.

Throughout the last ten years there have been at least three significant cases of the dark effects of child stardom gone wrong. The shock that hit TMZ faster than the presidential elections in 2007 was Britney Spears infamously shaving all of her hair off in a salon late one night. An article from ABC news writer, Shelia Marikar, described the actress as being extremely unstable, and shaved her mane in order to avoid an upcoming drug test. Britney had once been the “it” girl of the pop world and had the entire world wrapped around her Texan fingers.

An enraged Britney Spears post shaving her head.
An enraged Britney Spears post shaving her head.

There is no way someone from the 90’s is going to speak about child stars gone wrong without brushing up on the topic of Lindsay Lohan and her brutal dark fall. Lohan made headlines all throughout her teenage years for infamous partying and hanging with a rough crowd. However, the intensity kicked up a few notches when the world witnessed the former Hallie Parker caught with cocaine usage and possession on her record in 2007. FOX News described the investigation against Lohan, who was also charged with reckless driving.

One of the multiple mug shots Lindsay Lohan has taken within the past few years.
One of the multiple mug shots Lindsay Lohan has taken within the past few years.

These two starlets were once doomed individuals in society’s eyes with no future careers in the industry besides leaving a drug involved tabloid trail. However, as years have gone on we have been able to witness the stars transform themselves from the once house arrested and estranged mother into recovered women with nothing but successful moves coming. Britney is now judging American Idol as well as producing two huge albums since her messy public divorce from K-Fed, with full custody of her children back. Lohan went through rehab and is making movies once again.

These two women have made it through, but our most recent childhood stardom gone completely wrong is the beloved and hysterical Amanda Bynes. After starring in phenomenal movies such as “She’s the Man,” after beginning her success on “All That,” then later her own television show “The Amanda Show,” Bynes was unstoppable, hilarious, and seemed perfectly fine up until a few months back when her twitter page exploded. My guilty pleasure of the day is searching her name on twitter and reading her outrageous tweets harassing Drake, while also openly speaking of her numerous surgeries on her face in order to be “perfect.” Her goal of perfection is matched with frosted blue hair, cheek dimple piercings, and skin and bones. One tweet read, “only 7 lbs more to my ideal weight of 100,” attached with a picture of her scale. Amanda has been all over the twitter life with her outrageous outfits, hairstyles, and what seems to be another public nervous breakdown for a 90’s childhood star.

Amanda Bynes in court sporting a bleach blonde wig.
Amanda Bynes in court sporting a bleach blonde wig.

Most people believe the root problem for these starlets is their easy accessibility to immense amounts of money. I believe the insane pressure placed upon these stars stem from coming from financial no-man’s land to supporting their parents fully. Not only do their family fully depend on them, but the harsh judgments of our society as well as the constant pressure of trying to avoid the fatal doom of being a “has been” wreak havoc on stars’ psyches. The reasons can vary from drug issues to family problems, but the stars are almost seen as more interesting when they’ve been more low key throughout a few years then explode on the scene with insane outbursts like Bynes. All we can hope for these starlets is recovery and a bright future. For Bynes, it seems the only help for her would to possibly go through the same recovering process as Britney Spears. Until then bring in the dancing lobsters!

1 Comment

  1. Excellent article. I was just discussing this topic with my niece and nephew. The distressing part about it is that it is common for the lives of child stars to slide into chaos. One needs to take just one look at the entire cast of Different Strokes to add to the list you prepared. Thank you spotlighting the subject.

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