Childhood stars’ reputations follow into adulthood


Getty Images

Legendary childhood stars such as the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan and Vanessa Hudgens left a lasting impression on viewers’ hearts. However, like any other child, these celebrities grow up and live their own lives. Audiences should not publicly shame them, as they do not hold the opportunity to learn life lessons and come into their own privately.

Erinn Gardner, Editor in Chief

Childhood stars from well-known television programs from makers such as Disney and Nickelodeon have built a name for themselves by appearing on the “big screen” growing up. Although their contracts ended years ago, their reputation as the “innocent star” remains. Media platforms such as The Shade Room typically provide trending celebrity news frequently, leaving the door open for the world to either shame or praise them. However, the current positive or negative actions displayed by the celebrities that fans know and love should not significantly affect how the public views them. 

“The example that immediately comes to mind is Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. They were toddlers when I was 13/14 watching Full House. As they got older they were always under a lot of scrutiny for their behavior. When they were teenagers, I think there were some videos of them at parties, like normal teenagers. As they’ve gotten older, one of them, I’m not sure which, married a much older man and people were very critical of her and then the other one went completely out of the spotlight because she just didn’t want to be popular anymore,” magnet American Literature teacher Alex Yeganegi said. 

At young ages, parents frequently throw their children in the spotlight either against their will or completely disregarding the child’s opinion. This leaves minimal room for their children to experience a normal childhood, forcing them to carry themselves a certain way for the entirety of their lives. Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy claims in her tell-all autobiography, “I’m Glad My Mom Died”, that her mother practically demanded that she pursue acting at the age of six. Although she wanted nothing to do with that profession, her mother continued to live vicariously through her. 

 Like all youth and young adults, celebrities make mistakes and must learn from them as well. The juxtaposition occurs when these childhood stars receive an overwhelming amount of backlash and negative attention for inappropriate behaviors, which the public constantly views. When leaked nude photos of Disney actress Vanessa Hudgens flooded the internet in 2007, she lost the respect of millions. In today’s society, scenarios of that nature persistently happen to adolescents and teenagers. However, people did not approve of their beloved 18-year-old “High School Musical” star learning life lessons. 

Additionally, these household names generally receive criticism for acting grown when individuals spot them taking part in acts that one would not usually associate with their name. Disney and “Grownish” star Chloe Bailey faced an abundance of criticism for her musical performances. Audiences accused Bailey of attempting to show off her body with risque clothing and selling herself for attention. Nevertheless, people must remember that Bailey appeared on children’s television at the age of 13, not her current age of 23. 

“I was really getting sad about it, but then I told myself, ‘Why would I let that control my thoughts and feelings when I know it’s a lie?’ I kind of had to not give it so much power. I’m not doing anything crazy. I’m just appreciating and loving myself and my body, and I didn’t think there was any problem with that,” Bailey said

While these celebrities carry a place in the spotlight for the rest of their lives, fans and audiences should not humiliate them as they come into their own. Children and teenagers who live a typical life hold the privilege of privately making common mistakes, while those with fame do not. The childhood sweethearts will live in everyone’s hearts forever, while the older versions of them will live the life that they desire.