Career in shambles, personal life a wreck, addicted to prescription pills and alcohol, appearing in court with the F-word written on her fingernail and sentenced to jail time—What happened to Lindsay Lohan?
I believe in personal accountability and that one must be held responsible for their own actions. But every effect has a cause. Lindsay, when you take a look at everything weighing on her life, may not have been able to avoid her situation. Let’s a take a look at some contributing factors:
Family: Michael Lohan has had substance abuse problems and suffered from addictions. Genetics could play a contributing cause in Lindsay’s struggle with drugs and alcohol. But beyond that, she certainly suffers emotional problems caused by his run-ins with the law, prison sentence, attempts to get a portion of her money, and divorce from her mother. Her song Confessions of a Broken Heart, out in 2005, was about her estrangement from him and included lyrics like “Daughter to father / I don’t know you, but I still want to,” and a music video that shows her crying and smashing things. He has used her problems to capitulate his own fame, doing countless interviews and trying to cash in on reality TV.
Lindsay’s mother Dina is no better and is a classic enabler. She is there to make excuses for her daughter at every turn, claiming during her recent trial that “things are great,” or defending her against a Hollywood mogul who called her “discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional,” when Lindsay would show up to work late after spending all night partying. And as for the partying, Dina is right there beside her, staying out with her daughter till 2am the night before a court appearance. Dina would also like her own reality show.
Media/Pressures of Fame:We live in a time with a 24-7 news cycle, where stories are chosen to be written about based on the amount of traffic they will bring. The more salacious, the more people will read. Like the inability to pull our eyes away from a car crash, some like to watch humans wreck as well. When it comes down to it, an actor punching out another actor while drunk or a starlet being caught drunk driving are newsworthy and bring the celeb far below our level, thus making ourselves feel a little bit better, more superior. So this is what gets press and press in Hollywood is fame, is career, is status, is everything. And even if she chose to try and avoid the media, the paps would follow her every move, watching her and stalking her until she messed up. The pressure is intense.
Hollywood Scene: Lindsay came onto the scene at a time when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were A-list names solely for behaving badly. The hottest name was Britney Spears, then suffering a mental breakdown and bashing cars with umbrellas and shaving her head. Money is no object and bad behavior is rarely punished. Many people in that Hollywood clique take drugs and drink to excess. In this environment, that becomes the norm and much like high school, there is pressure to pick up the habits of the group in order to fit in.
Who do you think is most responsible for Lindsay’s downfall: Her parents, the media, the Hollywood scene, or does she only have herself to blame?