The Dangers of Child Stardom

Lindsay Lohan and Lil Poopy are two child stars. (Lorey Sebastian/Walt Disney Pictures; Courtesy of


I think it’s safe to say that any child would be enticed at a chance of fame. I certainly would have, considering how the lives of kids like Suri Cruise and Alana Thompson are glamorized and celebrated by the public. From the countless blog posts documenting their stylish ensembles worn to ballet class to the TV programs showing humorous incidents from their life in the spotlight, we see these children for the innocent and playful young people that they are today. But while we’ll scroll through the photos and laugh along at the TV screen, we don’t thik about how this (seemingly harmless) early fame can affect them in the future. Upholding child stars for public amusement may be fun now, but the reality is that we’re all plucking these kids out of their childhood and imposing lifestyles upon them that hinders their personal development.

If you think I’m being extreme you probably haven’t heard of a little man named Lil Poopy. Decked out in cornrows and silver chains, nine-year old Luis Rivera, Jr. began his road to Internet fame with his music video “Pop That” in which he raps about drugs and poses in sexually suggestive positions with women, even slapping a video vixen’s backside in the final shot. But it looks like his 15 minutes are already up, as on Feb. 26, Child Services began an investigation on his parents after a concerned neighbor called to complain. French Montana, Lil Poopy’s mentor, dropped him from his world-renowned hip hop collective, Coke Boys, soon afterwards.

At least authorities are nipping Lil Poopy’s situation in the butt early on. But my favorite child star growing up, Lindsay Lohan, hasn’t been so lucky. She rose to the top with a squeaky clean image making Disney movies and singing with the help of her “momager.” However, inspite of her charm and talent, that was the extent of her popularity. Fifteen years later, she’s stuck doing Lifetime movies and is bombarded with court cases due to her habit of drunk driving and her penchant for stolen jewelry. Needless to say, she’s been to rehab so many times that I’m almost surprised she hasn’t yet paid a visit this year.

Lil Poopy and Lohan certainly aren’t exceptional examples. Try googling these old child stars that have been pushed out of the limelight by their misfortune: Brian Bonsall, Edward Furlong, Gary Coleman, Jodie Sweetin, Jamie Foxworth, Dana Plato. You’ll find their stories are filled with drug addiction, robbery, restraining orders, assault charges and porno appearances.

I’ll admit I tried to convince my mom to let me go into the entertainment industry at one point. She never took the idea seriously but I would’ve totally given Lohan a run for her money. I can envision my music video with an opening shot of me strutting alongside my mentor, Britney Spears, in three-inch golden Christian Louboutin’s. Sure, I may wobble a little the first 10 times but those pumps are worth the pain. If six-year-old Suri Cruise can pull off the look, why can‘t I? Her taste in fashion is impeccable—in fact, she could be my stylist! I could even invite the girls from “Toddlers and Tiaras” to join in on the fun. They could show me how to apply makeup and walk on the runway, while I tweet about my antics to my adoring fans.

The life of a child star sounds glamorous but it’s sadly ephemeral. I’d probably become another washed out diva who’s on her way to singing jingles. It wasn’t any different for Lohan, nor is it any different for Lil Poopy. Many child stars become washed-out and lose their fan base, but they also lost their youth and innocence in the process. It’s not to say we still can’t prance around in our rooms singing and dancing in front of the mirror and practicing our Grammys and Oscars speech; we just need to make sure we aren’t blinded with the idea of stardom.