Childhood Stars Gone Bad

Our beloved childhood stars that every child looks up to may not be the best role models as they become older.  Take Hannah Montana as an example.  As a young girl, Miley Cyrus really had the best of both worlds.  She could sing, dance, and she was a movie star.  Why did she change from a sweet southern girl to a twerking, not so southern adult some may ask? According to Ryan Fantasia, “Most child stars have a fear that they will not have the spotlight on themselves-as they did when they were younger. This causes them to cry out in an effort to get the spot light back on them.”

What makes an adult controversial?  “Controversial adults create a bad image for themselves which is unsuitable for their younger fans and followers.  Most kids strive to be like their role model and in most cases, a role model is someone famous,” says Lauren Davis.  A good example of a childhood star that got caught up in the drugs and alcohol scene was Macaulay Culkin.  Most of us know Culkin as the young, innocent boy who tricked the robbers on multiple occasions during “Home Alone”.  After these movies, he became addicted to heroine, prescription drugs and later, marijuana.  In 2004, he was arrested in Oklahoma City for the possession of pot, Alprazolam, and Clonazepam.  He was briefly in jail for this arrest and was released on a $4,000 bail.  There have been numerous other occasions where Culkin has been arrested due to the possession of controlled substances and the possession of drugs.

Most childhood stars become controversial adults because they do not have a normal childhood and do not experience childhood.  Actors and actresses have a set schedule to their life and are told what to do and when to do it.  They act as someone they’re not.  Children should be running around in the woods and in yards, playing games with neighbors.  Acting as princes or princesses for a day, not a year.  Child stars are more likely to act out as adults because they are use to having attention.  When it is not on them, they act out in fear they will be forgotten.

Not all child stars have become controversial adults though.  Most become very successful as they become older.  It is just a select few that struggle but most find their way.  All previous examples have been about drug and alcohol abuse.  To be controversial does not always mean they have to be involved with those substances.  At the age of six, Drew Barrymore played a main role in the movie, ET.  By the age of 13, Drew Barrymore was in rehab for experimenting with alcohol, cocaine, and pot.  “At the age of 13, I was still running around in my back yard playing with bikes and scooters.  I had no idea what cocaine and marijuana were at that age,” admits Lauren Davis.  At the age of 14, Barrymore was admitted into rehab for attempted suicide.  Just a few years later, after filing for emancipation from her parents, she posed for nude photos for “Interview” and then again at the age of 19 for the “Play Boy” magazine.  It seems as though Barrymore does have her life turned around in the present day.  She is happily married with one child and continues to star in movies.

There are many alternatives to substance abuse to keep the limelight on these child stars as they become older.  They can focus their energy on doing good for other people instead of bad.  For some, it may just be a phase, but for others, it is a life style.