I tried to avoid this. Really I did. Because every person on the planet who owns a blog and writes about popular culture spent the summer blogging about Lindsay Lohan. I mean, who doesn’t know the story by now: Linds blew off her probation and court ordered alcohol classes and landed herself in jail for 13 days on a 90 day sentence (oh that wacky California! Unless you actually murdered someone, they ain’t got room for your zaney law-breaking antics! So you’ll only serve about a third of your sentence. You’re welcome!)
And then a 90 day stint in rehab turned out to be only 23 days because—surprise!!!—Lindsey, apparently, is not nearly as addicted as they thought! She is just a regular Hollywood starlet!
So yeah. This summer, I had TMZ on my screen at 4:30 to hear Harvey spew the news about Lindsey. And now, she is out of prison, out of rehab and it remains to be seen if she’ll clean her act up.
But don’t fret, folks. Because while the news on the Lindsey front may be waning while she plays new and improved, we have Paris Hilton’s latest arrest—a felony charge!—on drug possession in Vegas last week. Her (recent) mug shot:
This is all pretty big news. Lindsey’s FUBAR was all over the news for all of summer and her twitter followers grew by a good half million. The mishaps of contemporary Hollywood starlets are a boon for business all the way around; the paparazzi keep us hooked the way we like.
But here is where I have issue: that whole double standard thing. We seem to want to see our young, female stars muck up—who wasn’t rooting for another LiLo stumble so we have even more to gossip about on facebook? I mean, look at this blog post; I knew all the details of Lindsey’s case without even having to look them up.
I struggle with the celebratory moment in our popular culture when we beat the hell out of our female starlets but tend to celebrate their male equivalents. I realized this after I got a glimpse of this headline:
Moviegoers still want to see Mel Gibson films
You should have heard about Mel Gibson’s summer escapades by now. Gibson is heading to court on various charges, one of which is domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend and mother of his most recent child. There is no denying that Gibson has a temper—various people that have worked with him in the industry have admitted to seeing it come out when he drinks.
Meanwhile, a series of audio tapes have been leaked to the press—who leaked them, is still under investigation—and they are full of hate-spewing, racist and misogynistic rants. So I am not quite sure why a man that is tied to domestic abuse is still lauded by audiences.
Which brings me to a similar Hollywood star that seems to avoid any of the public distaste that the likes of Lindsey and soon, Paris, is facing.
Charlie Sheen was arrested in December of last year for assaulting his wife:
he allegedly threatened to kill her and brandished a knife after she told him she wanted a divorce.
So while Lindsey’s career has taken a nose-dive due to her various illegal activities, Sheen—who has a history of violence against women charges filed—was rewarded with the highest salary paid to a TV star, $1.25 million per episode. That’s more than this guy makes:
The point here is that we seem to have a double standard set in how our female stars are allowed to screw up. Within our ideology, we expect our male stars to be in the news for issues such as arrests due to drug and traffic violations. Because after all, boys will be boys. But not for our girls. We want them much better behaved. Consider another example. Remember this?
Miley Cyrus was only 15 when this photo was shot for Vanity Fair by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. It caused such a scandal, the starlet ended up apologizing for the shoot. Yet this is a pretty routine pic that has graced the walls of many a tween:
This is Taylor Lautner. He is 16 in this shot. No one seems to have a problem with this. Especially the adult female fans of Twlight.