Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Lindsay Lohan: Court appearances are not entertainment!

In court today, a judge told Lindsay Lohan, “Don’t push your luck.” In this article on Yahoo and the LA Times, it’s reported that Lohan, who now seems to be more famous for her court appearances than any actual work in the entertainment industry, was issued a firm reprimand by the judge in her current case.  So what’s she on trial for now? Reportedly stealing a necklace from a jewelry store. This is just a long line of cases for Lohan in the past few years, many having to do with substance use and abuse.

I don’t know if Lohan stole the necklace or not, but her continual run-ins with the law and her responses to being in court are disturbing. From a freckled-faced Disney star, Lindsay Lohan has emerged as a troubled young woman who sports thigh high dresses and expletive painted nails to court.

The culture of celebrity has encouraged all of us, including former stars like Lohan, to believe that any attention is good attention. It’s fostered the belief that if a camera is going to be anywhere near, then attractive young women should be wearing provocative clothing. This self-aggrandizing culture is one built on nothing but the shallow, vapid longing for recognition. When a young woman can spend the best part of her early twenties wasting any talent that she may have once had and flailing about for attention to the point where she uses her court appearances as publicity stunts, she is on her way to being lost. When a culture can spend the money and time to invest attention in people like Snooki, Paris and others who are so desperate for belonging that they make fools of themselves for public entertainment, we are on the way to being lost.

Frankly, I feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan. As a professional who has worked with many troubled young people, I wish that she would find a way to live her life productively. I wish that she would find the help that she needs to be able to be contributing member of society. But, I fear that for her and many others, the desire for fame and attention has become addictive. The culture of celebrity is dangerous because it tells us that what’s important is the fact that we are “KNOWN”, regardless of what we are known for. When we as a society can begin to say that no, we don’t just want to see and hear anyone who is willing to stand in front of a camera, our entertainment options will improve. Until then, look out, there’s more mindless seeking for fame coming your way.

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