In Defense Of Lindsay Lohan


Today’s Lindsay-media drama focuses on her “daddy issues,” and asks, if Michael Lohan humiliated his daughter and tried to profit from her fame, “why does she still love him?” Ugh. Lay. Off.

Lindsay Lohan has been working since she was a child. She was a model before making The Parent Trap at age 11. Her father is a nightmare, it’s true, and her mother is more of a friend than a parental figure. So perhaps she is lacking in guidance and role models. But who among us, in some way, is not? Her experience — being child star, growing up in the spotlight, no going to regular school and supporting her family financially — is not one many people can relate to, anyway.

The Twitter wars she has with her father may not be handled in a particularly classy way, but he does seem like an unsavory character. He was investigated for insider trading, was sentenced to three years in jail, violated his probation and spent another year in jail, assaulted his wife’s brother, got charged with DUI and became a born-again Christian who is engaged to a tabloid reporter. It seems like drama that goes on between them is always instigated by Michael, and Lindsay responds the way a daughter with a father like that would: Angry, exasperated, sad, confused.

But Lindsay Lohan’s personal problems, whatever they may be, are not the true issue here. She’s 23-years-old and being ripped to shreds in the press mostly because she goes out at night. That’s what the media is really focused on. With all the boozing on college campuses, after-work happy hours and box-wine toting moms, why do we have a problem with this one young woman staying out late (and possibly having a cocktail)? At her age I stayed out all night long, drank like a fish, and got up and did it again. Five, six nights a week. More than a decade later, I am a responsible human with a job and I chalk those gin-soaked party years up to being young, social and enjoying life.

I’m not saying that Lindsay doesn’t have issues. She might. But her biggest issue is her unfair treatment by the tabloids, entertainment shows and TMZs of the world. Consider Shia La Beouf, who is also 23 years old. He started his comedy career when he was 10, and, like Lindsay, was a Disney property, starring in Even Stevens and Holes before he turned 18. Transformers is one of the top-grossing films of the decade. And yet: Shia has been arrested for criminal trespassing (at a Walgreens) and he has a metal plates and screws in his hand thanks to crashing a car after drinking. Even though the accident was not his fault, the officers at the scene smelled booze on Shia’s breath, and he has a knuckle he will “never be able to move again.”

While these are two different people in two different situations, Shia is never on the cover of a tabloid with the words “rock bottom” printed in giant yellow letters. Like Britney before her, Lindsay has become America’s favorite person to complain about, feel sorry for, make fun of and tear down. It seems like everyone has an idea of how a young woman is “supposed” to behave. If she doesn’t comply? Anger and vitriol and mockery. When Leonardo DiCaprio was drinking, hanging with models and out every night with his “pussy posse”, no one claimed he’d hit rock bottom.

Lindsay herself swears she is fine:

“I’m working hard, I’m doing my clothing line, I’m starting a movie soon, I’m producing some shows, I’ve been working a lot.”

And if she’s lying? If she is drinking and drugging her life away? Think of Drew Barrymore, also a child actress without strong parental figures, who wrote in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost:

Growing up… raised by a single, working mother, I was riddled by insecurity, always fearing that people wouldn’t like me. “How could they?” I thought. My father hates me. My mother likes me only for the money I earn. And I know for damn sure that I’m nothing but a worthless piece of flesh.


Without the ego-boost of work, I got into trouble with liquor and drugs by trying to run from everything. Or to numb it. I was the party girl on the run. If I was high, I thought, everything was fine. The trouble was that I had to be high all the time.

Guess what? She turned out okay.

The point is: Lindsay’s living her life, working out her issues, but at this point, she can’t even try to to something right — make a documentary in India; design for Ungaro — without being eviscerated, judged, ridiculed and trashed. It seems like we expect certain things of our little girls, even when they’re not so little anymore. Maybe we’re angry that they’ve grown up, or that they’re not the things we hoped for… But our expectations should not be their concern. Lindsay should only have to be and do the things she hopes for.

As she told a radio station earlier this week:

“I don’t know why I’m such a target but I think there’s a big misconception of who I am as a person. Its a very build-you-up-to-take-you-down-industry.”

Lindsay Lohan’s Daddy Issues [The Daily Beast]
Lindsay Lohan Speaks Out About Her Father, Partying, and the Tabloids []

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