Teen stars shine negative light on fame

by Shelby Jurca
Staff Writer

Graphic by Arden Radford

I have always been the girl who wanted to be a star, to be the center of attention, to be famous. Ever since I was little I would find ways to “impress” my family with different talents I discovered.

This desire for attention and fame continued through middle school and into high school – it never really stopped until recently.

I knew fame was far-fetched. I knew it was probably impossible to achieve, but it was my little hidden aspiration. The more I think about it, though, the more I think being a star isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

From the looks of it, being a star can potentially destroy a girl’s self-confidence, self-control and dignity. I have grown up without noticing these effects, but when I look back, pretty much every teenage star has had either a full-out breakdown or been involved in some sort of scandal.

Exhibit A: Lindsey Lohan. I remember when one of my older sister’s favorite movies was The Parent Trap. Who can forget that cute redheaded little girl? Certainly nobody can forget her now. TMZ, Access Hollywood, whatever medium you choose, she seems to always be involved in some sort of scandal.

Who could have guessed that little girl would end up in and out of rehab for several counts of drug and alcohol abuse? Pressure to live up to expectations of perfection can build up and cause some crazy things.

Exhibit B: Miley Cyrus. She is the source of immeasurable drama in Hollywood. She has done everything from nude pictures, scandalous outfits, and TMZ recently uncovered a video of her taking bong hits of a legal drug called salvia. Though the drug is legal, it has powerful psychdehlic and hallucinogenic effects that caused the star to laugh uncontrollably and incoherently speak to her friends around her. Cyrus’ best friend videotaped her smoking this drug and it was leaked on the internet and to media as a result. Secrets in Hollywood are impossible to keep, and those secrets ultimately turn to scandals and send these stars in a downward spiral.  She is a Disney star; Disney is a children’s network. Therefore, little girls across the country look up to her as a role model, so when she creates scandals and sets examples that she should not, the public outcry is much louder than usual. She is being restricted by the well-known standard of a “good girl,” so by some force of teenage instinct, all she wants to do is rebel.

The latest tragedy? Demi Lovato. I say tragedy because it seemed that she and Selena Gomez were among the only good role models left. Even I looked up to them. But I was highly mistaken. Lovato has reportedly been struggling with eating disorders and cutting, and recently she was admitted into a rehabilitation center for “emotional and psychological issues”. Fame has seemingly destroyed her self-esteem, and she has had to create other outlets for herself.

So it all comes back to fame. Is it really all it is cracked up to be? Is it worth it? Are the fans, the money and the publicity worth the pain, self-loathing, suffering and humiliation? I think not.

Girls are already trying to live up to the expectations of society through advice from magazines and television, and that’s bad enough. Celebrities have not only that, but paparazzi watching and documenting their every move, and judging them for it. We grow up being told to follow our dreams, but this dream seems to lead to nothing but a life of distress.