Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes and Miley Cyrus have all *enjoyed* early fame at the feet of the Disney machine (or in Bynes' case, Nickelodeon), and thanks to our greed for anything they once produced.
And then they’re not so cute anymore.
These young people work from the time they’re my son’s age (10) or younger. They’re traded like commodities, they’re dumped, they’re ignored, and in some cases I’d venture to guess they’re even abused. They have no friends. They wait endlessly in trailers surrounded by adults (some of whom are their own parents) who are there merely to make a buck off their cuteness. And what happens when they grow up and become anything less than a bombshell to be used, traded and exploited in other ways?
They could have a life. But they haven’t been taught how.
They haven’t been taught to expect friends to appreciate them as human beings, or to identify the alternative. They feel they must buy their friends, or out-cool their friends, or out-shock their so-called friends, and then the spiral will suck them up and cast them out when the winds die down.
I can’t imagine the stillness, the emptiness, the loneliness, the devastation when those winds die down. When the jobs dry up, and they’re no longer working longer days than laws are supposed to allow, surrounded by hair and makeup and Kraft Service. Especially when they inevitably find themselves in that nowhere land between Disney Princess and Disney Mom. What then? They know no other way than to seek attention; to wear their failures out in front of a lens for the paparazzi and you and me and the entire world to see and to judge. They become fodder for late night jokes, and for hash tags they can’t escape, because they can’t look away. They need reentry training like an ex-con. But for them, it doesn’t exist.
They COULD have a life, but they don’t know how.
In some cases, their education on the fly may have left them less than prepared to do anything outside the Disney business. They could write and produce their own projects, but they’ve probably never been taught to manage anything or to build anything or to create anything. They follow directions. They do what they’re told. They keep quiet.
We live in a world that’s become callous and lacks compassion and that values little beyond beauty and entertainment value.
No one is writing jokes for them anymore, or orchestrating scenes on their behalf, and no one ever told them they’re worth anything beyond a script written by someone else. No one ever told them that God doesn’t make mistakes; that they’re perfect just as they are without the team of hair stylists that straighten their hair and makeup artists that cover their freckles and wardrobe that disguises the undesirable and the ugly and the fat and the too long or too short parts of them--those who make them presentable to the world, but who may otherwise ignore them, or talk behind their backs and perhaps label them spoiled brats.
So who’s responsible? How can we point and laugh and shake our heads in disgust and not accept at least some of the blame for the abyss that occurs after Disneyland casts them aside, when we are the Princess-hungry Disney wolf, lying in wait for them to fall.
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