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Ever wondered why child stars like Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus start to be great and loved and admired, later end up being crazy and rebellious and rejected? Being famous really does has its perks – everyone loves you and everyone loves to be like you. However, the shining light that it casts is so bright that it blinds everyone from the truth.
It is evident that children who enter show business are prone to emotional instability, mental breakdowns and social dysfunction. Who can blame them? They were showered with too much “false” love and undivided attention from people that surrounded them, all of which are coming from the wrong persons. They had achieved what they thought was true success and happiness at such a young age that no one bothered to even give them a little advice or pull them back down to reality. They did not have to work so hard to get the latest toys or gadgets or the latest fashion trend because companies are throwing themselves at the child’s feet to become their sponsor, and that the child star is the one setting the trend for others. Everything and everyone is within their reach, at their beck and call.
As children go through such fame, important steps in emotional growth and developmental stages are overlooked. Instead of genuinely enjoying their childhood and going through the normal progression of childhood they go down a deep and different path. With the world at their feet and fame to die for at their disposal it gives them power unimaginable that no child should be having.
A common recurring theme as to some of the reasons why most child stars do not transition well into responsible adults is that in the beginning, most kids who are who are pushed by their parents into acting often grow to resent their parents. More often than not the reason for the kids being thrown in acting are for monetary gains and as the kids grow they start to understand that this and so the parents start to lose control especially when the child’s career takes off and is now making more money than their parents.
Another reason child stardom takes an ugly turn is due to the result of being well known and recognized is that all the attention care and affection given towards them. As a child you don’t necessarily have a clear understanding what is a norm and what is not and so if a child is shown incredible amounts of affection and given all its wants for a long time would think that it’s the norm. A successful child star would think it’s normal for people to greet you and smile at you and even ask for your autographs everywhere. To be invited in all sorts of parties and be given lavish gifts and VIP treatment everywhere you go is a normal day to them or may even be a mandatory to them. Eventually, a child star’s fame wanes and then suddenly they lose all those attention and special treatment showered to them very quickly like a rug swept underneath them. This becomes a heavy blow to their reality and they would need coping and fast this may lead them to a dark and depressing path, towards bad companies, drugs and alcohol. Sadly, it’s a common occurring event and we can name a lot of child stars who went down this way.
Take the still famous and well-known actress Drew Barrymore as an example, hailing from a family of actors and influential Showbiz personalities even the billionaire Steven Spielberg was his grandpapa and it looked like this child is destined for greatness and nothing can go wrong. But at one point it did, even her parents that was supposed to make sure to guide her made the wrong choices for her, it was known that her own mother started bringing her to nightclubs at 8 years old and after that it was sad to know that she was taught how to smoke and drink by 9 and marijuana at 10 years old. It was a spiral down for her. We are not here to shame all the mistake she made in her career and we all know that she eventually was able to turn her life around (and I've recently binge watched her Netflix Sta Clarita diet so we know she is definitely doing great). Had she not, she would have most probably been like the other child stars who went on the wrong path just like Rusty Hamer of the Danny Thomas show if you don’t know, he was depressed towards the end of his life and shortly after he committed suicide, truly sad to see.
One good example is the academy award winning actress Natalie Portman who, despite her fame continued her studies thru college and still a very successful and relevant actress of today. Another great example of a childstar turned successful careerwoman and probably you have not heard of her is Sherley Temple, a Californian child star in the 1930s who rose to fame in the silver screen thru the movie Glad Rags to Riches, and in the time of post The Depression Times this was an incredible feat but even for her it was a hard thing to do, she was overworked with lots of acting duties and quite more than her manager agreed and eventually just like the stars of today her career slowly faded and the films she made flopped but unlike most failings of child actors today she continued her studies just like Portman and though her career in Showbusiness was over she went on to became a well established career woman even becoming a board of director for Walt Disney and a recipient of multiple prestigious awards such as Kennedy Center Honors and Screen Actors Guild.
To sum it all up, its not all rosy and cozy for these young stars all the time, eventually all stars fade and I don’t see any changes to this norm. You don’t see any institutions for child stars and actors like ones you see for veteran care facilities for soldiers, do you? Hopefully it changes for them but we’ve got to accept the fact that actors are generally less than 0.10% of the total population and you won’t see the government setting aside a budget for them and quite impractically so. A more realistic help they could get is from other fellow successful actors themselves. The true solution for solving these are proper parenting and reality check from time to time so they keep themselves grounded.
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