Words & Images: Portis Wasp
I’d be lying if I said that growing up I had no desire whatsoever to become a Disney Starlet. And there is every chance my nose would grow longer if I said I had grown up, moved on, and decided against clubbing with my mother on a Monday night at the Chateau Marmont. The desire in me to become a trending topic on the day of the Teen Choice Awards and have my fourth fragrance stocked in Superdrug is still as overpowering as Lindsay’s powerhouse performance in Parent Trap.
I would happily sign myself over to Mickey and his clandestine animal gang tomorrow if it meant I would be gifted my very own television series, a clothing line- obviously- three or four radio friendly albums and the occasional movie to showcase how adorable, likeable and beautiful I am. Sure it would upset me somewhat to have to date Wilmer Valderrama, but he is as much a part of that Disney Starlet package as your sure-fire entry onto Rolling Stone’s yearly Hot 100 list, or those gorgeous Vanity Fair tween ensemble covers that sell so well. Everyone and their younger sister would know my name, and I would finally get to own a Swarovski-encrusted Sidekick II. Life would be great and I’d join a prestigious list of Disney Starlets that includes Britney Spears (the original Mouseketeer), Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. These are girls who not only paved the way for hundreds of thousands of impressionable tweens with dreams of being papped outside Kitson, but who also permeated pop culture with their mega-watt Hollywood smiles, reported battles with addiction, subsequent trips to rehab, questionable driving skills, even more questionable boyfriend choices and numerous unpaid hotel bills. Wait… this doesn’t sound right, does it? This sounds more like a Disney Starlet Curse!
Last week Amanda Bynes (former Golden Child at Disney inc.) was dropped by her agent, publicist and entertainment lawyer. They are all saying that the former Disney starlet was a dream client for many years, until 2011 when she started to go a little cuckoo. Remember when Amanda retired from acting by tweet and then un-retired herself a quick minute later back in 2010? That was pre-cuckoo Amanda Bynes, believe it or not, but the actress hasn’t worked since. If we are to believe recent reports that she has had her car impounded, been caught driving under the influence one too many times, locked herself in changing rooms for two hours at a time and got kicked out of spin class for taking her feet off the pedals to take off her top and apply some make-up, then it’s safe to say that Amanda Bynes has been stung by the Disney Starlet Curse. If only she had continued to pedal whilst flashing her bra and applying a fresh lick of MAC’s “I Don’t Give A Fuck” foundation, then we’d be applauding her mad spinning skills- but she didn’t.
Of course you should take media reports of Amanda’s downward spiralling mental health with a pinch of salt- and a tequila- because what better way is there to toast someone’s descent into madness than with a drinking game? However, Amanda should take comfort in knowing she is not alone in this. Well, she probably feels somewhat alone, seeing as she is reportedly only speaking to herself these days, but she’s not the first starlet to fall from grace in so many years.
Britney Spears’ career may now be back on track, with a judging gig on The X Factor and three commercially successful post-head-shaving-and-umbrella-throwing albums under her Old Navy belt since THAT incident back in 2007, but she’s not the same inappropriately dressed schoolgirl we fell in love with in 1997. Her eyes are vacant and her Slave 4 U hip shake has been locked up in storage for three world tours too long. The queen of pop looks scared a lot of the time, and this is the perfect opportunity to blame Justin Timberlake for all of her problems, and for breaking up N-Sync. What a douche.
Demi Lovato is also in control of her career again, sitting alongside Britney on the X Factor judging panel, but this comes after she allegedly punched a dancer on tour, most definitely checked herself into rehab, and I hope was successfully treated for a tote bag full of personal demons; depression, an eating disorder and wrist cutting. Miley Cyrus: I don’t even want to go there with your new haircut. As for Lindsay Lohan… dear Lord, where does one start?! Probably with her debut in the Parent Trap, which is still amazing after all these years. Then jump to Herbie: Fully Loaded, which is when Lindsay began to “faint” a lot on set. Then treat yourself to the new trailer for LIFETIME MOVIE OF THE CENTURY Liz and Dick, which is out in November. And if you’re a glutton for punishment like me, you’ll also want to batten down the hatches and watch her mother Dina’s recent interview with Dr Phil. Two words: train wreck.
In short, the girls we once knew and cheered for have all but disappeared. Their beautiful smiles are intact (Lindsay’s excluded) and their glossy $1,000 manes still dance in the light of the paparazzi’s flash bulbs (Britney’s excluded) but they aren’t America’s Sweethearts anymore. They are tainted, broken and decidedly dazed. Maybe each and every one of these girls would have ended up the same way had they not have got that lucky break at the age of “too young to function”, but maybe, just maybe, they were given far too much too soon and something had to give.
That being said, with Amanda’s recent exit from the stage (and life), I would still like to put myself forward for all of the above! You really have no idea how much I want a Swarovski-encrusted Sidekick II and a Pez candy dispenser with my head on it! Also, a She’s The Man sequel is something I really believe the world we now live in needs. Not as much as Liz and Dick mind, but it would be equally as relevant as Miley’s new haircut. So Mickey, Call Me Maybe?