The Decline of the Child Star


Tyler Danner, Columnist

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus- what comes to mind when speaking of these stars? Their successful childhood probably isn’t the first thing. But what is it that turns these squeaky-clean stars into drug-wielding, alcoholic, jail-spent, shaved-headed people?  Perhaps the pressure of stardom was too much. Perhaps they wished to break clean of their childhood days and show the world how rebellious they really are at heart. (At least that seems to be what they are attempting to do, though what we usually perceive from them is something entirely different.)  Though, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lindsay Lohan blamed her destructive behavior on an “addiction to chaos” and claimed her drinking was merely social.

Why throw away a life of heroism and a positive image for a bald head and some weed? Perhaps a non-celebrity cannot understand, but for these once child stars, it makes a world of sense. Really though, who would want to be idolized for a childhood image that died years prior? Understandable is their want to break away from an ideal they can no longer attain, but do they really need to go to the other extreme? Perhaps none of us can understand until we have experienced puberty under the eyes of millions. It seems that these stars are simply swinging into the other extreme of their prior behavior. It only seems logical that they will eventually find a middle point with a reasonable amount of self-control. Until that happens, we can only watch them find their way there.