To err is human, but to be a celebrity and err is divine. Or at least this was what Lindsay Lohan thought when she ended up at the wrong end of the law and was sentenced to be jailed for 90 days. The jail-bound bird thought she could get away with it all – at least in its entirety!
The Judge Marsha Revel let Lohan off on the results of the alcohol detection ankle bracelet but incarcerated her on the failure to attend the nine alcohol education classes that the court-ordered. Lohan’s alcohol education program director, Cheryl Marshall, also confirmed Lohan’s failure to take the program seriously. According to her, Miss Lohan's excuses were “endless and disrespectful”, such as; missing flights, the need to promote her clothing line, the death of a relative, etc. Lohan’s attempt to explain herself was even worst. As reported in L.A. Times, this is how she tried to justify her behavior: "As far as I knew I was in compliance with my programs….I have to provide for myself. I have to work. Having said that, I did everything to balance my jobs and showing up. I'm not taking this as a joke." – So much for being an honest, hardworking career woman! “It’s like someone who cheats but doesn't think it's cheating if they don't get caught," Revel’s comment was apt. Even turning on the water works couldn’t save Lohan. What was perhaps more disturbing and sad was how nonchalantly Lohan admitted her codependence on drugs as a lifestyle. She claimed that she "can't remember her life", not one day without taking her prescription drugs (Adderall, a methamphetamine; and Dilaudid, an opiate).
‘Celeb Stoner’ magazine has reported a rise in celebrity drug arrests in the summer of 2010. Some of the Hollywood stars seem to be out of control and unwilling to mend their ways. In some instances, they have been able to get away with this sort of behavior with a mere slap on the wrist. For common and boring people like the rest of us, the rules seem to be different. Offenses like DUI charges, successive probation violations, and failed drug tests would land ordinarily land one in jail for a year or so. But celebrities can afford to hire glib lawyers and the law is ready to make some concessions in their case. In Lohan’s case, her drug tests were dismissed. Her jail cell might not be swanky five-star hotel room; nevertheless, it would be a private one in order to keep her from harm’s way, and be comfy! Isolation and the ‘jail meat’ which the Socialite Paris Hilton reminisced about in a talk show might be some of the ‘problems’ Lohan might face.
Recently, the charge against the Hilton was dropped when she and her friend (former ‘Playboy’ model) Jennifer Rovero were arrested in South Africa during a World Cup match for smoking pot. Rovero paid a small fine but that was all. In 2006, Paris Hilton had to serve less than a month at the Century Regional Detention Facility for violating the terms of her probation on a reckless driving charge. Nicole Richie, another friend of Hilton, was luckier that she had to spend only 82 minutes in the slammer for driving under the influence of drugs. Talk about double standards!
The point is not that celebrities should be infallible and paragons of virtue; of course they are humans. It’s rather about image and influence. It’s about realizing that indecent, risqué, criminal, and addictive forms of behavior are bad for everyone; and all of us should avoid them - celebrity or non celebrity, it doesn’t matter.
It has become quite fashionable these days for celebrities to firstly indulge in questionable behavior and misdemeanors such as drunk driving, disorderly conduct, substance abuse, brawls, etc., and then piously commit to rehab or prison, and then to fall back to the old ways again. Somehow the horror, shame and guilt associated with drug addiction, arrests, imprisonment, and rehabilitation is no longer there, at least for young Hollywood celebrities. Any sort of publicity is coveted by them, even the negative one. These stars exhibit the narcissistic tendency to stay in the spotlight at any cost. They would indulge in exhibitionist and reckless behavior and get away with it because they know that they can.
It is precisely why rehab programs have low success rates in their cases. The celebs are sure to slip back into their old ways under the intense pressure of being in the limelight. Our celebrity-centered, paparazzi-powered media is acting as the celebrities’ mirror and empowering their bad behavior instead of shunning them. The stars are feeding on the attention and hype and sinking further. In the book ‘The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America’, Dr. Drew Pinsky and his colleague, Dr. S. Mark Young have talked about the way the media enables the bad behavior of at-risk starlets like Lindsay Lohan. In an interview with ‘Extra’, Dr. Pinsky zeroed in on Lohan, “I think Lindsay is one of my peeps. She’s a straight up addict. I’ve been saying for awhile she’s going to have a major blow out.”
But what does this mean for the rest of us? The book ‘The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America’ has also taken into account our society’s obsession with celebrities and their loop-sided lifestyles and their effect on our own behavior, choices and standards. We are equally guilty of mirroring back celebrities' narcissism by paying attention to them. This in turn would allow their dangerous sexual behavior, drug abuse and emotional instability to trickle into our own lives. As adults we are interested in knowing how much the stars are earning, whom are they sleeping with, what they are eating, where they are living or giving birth to how many (twins or not), even what their off springs are wearing. In emulating the celebrities’ lifestyles, we are at risk of endorsing and copying their values too. Most importantly, the culture of celebrity can hurt teenagers, who can very well emulate Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan’s escapades and risqué behavior and defend their shortcomings very casually. We have brand ambassadors, models, and good will ambassadors but we don’t have role models any more. And that, is a shame.
Please login to add to favorites
Already added to favorites
Added as Favorite