Lindsay Lohan: That Happened


ColumnWhy we really care whether or not Lindsay Lohan is sober.

It’s easy to say we care about Lindsay Lohan and her sobriety because we hate to see the cutie from “The Parent Trap” movie remake struggling. We say we care because she was so loveable in “Mean Girls.” A few of us may even admit to being drawn to the train wreck that appears to be her life.

Watching the Oprah reality show “Lindsay“(sorry, but it’s a reality show; respect to Lady O and its award-winning director for trying to class it up), many of us are rooting for her. I am.

Not because she’s famous, but because she’s a person who appears to be struggling. Also, I did love her in “Mean Girls.”

Others are rooting for her to fail. As a famous person, she can afford an addiction treatment center that reportedly costs upward of $80,000 a month, a life coach (who dumped her), a personal assistant, and a sober coach (who also seems to have dumped her) and still can’t make it.

That’s why we really care. If Lindsay Lohan fails it will give us an out.

If she can’t do it, how can we, mere mortals, be expected to get our shit together? To quit drinking? Make time for the gym? If she loses her battles, how can we be held accountable for losing our own?

This week alone I have read that she admitted to having a glass of wine and was seen drinking at Coachella.

As a culture, we’re great at putting women on pedestals and then celebrating when they can’t balance up there.

Kim K. Looks Fat at the Grocery Store! Miley Is a Skanky Mess! Tori is Painfully Thin! Gwyneth Does a Thing and We Hate Her!

Stars, they’re just like us—and we all suck.

It’s been a year since I quit drinking. I never careened out of control ala Lindsay Lohan;  I never entered a rehab program; but I did need to stop drinking.

And you know what, as great as I feel overall, there are moments—whole entire days sometimes—when it really doesn’t feel worth the effort.

While I work hard to not make a big deal out of it, and sometimes succeed in those attempts, it is effort. Every day, I remake my choice in a million little ways.

There are a lot of factors in why I have done well so far (and I say so far because who knows). Maybe my problem wasn’t as bad as the other LL’s. My family is definitely awesome (and not trying to cash in on my fame by writing a book about me like Lindsay’s mom Dina Lohan is). And, no one made this choice for me.

Perhaps most importantly, I never had to leave the bubble of rehab and experience the shock of re-entry into life under a microscope and flashbulbs.

I’m not criticizing people for watching “Lindsay.” I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t watching myself—and feeling a little guilty about it. But, I know that my watching doesn’t impact her success getting sober. And that her success, in turn, doesn’t impact my own—or anyone’s.

Overall, watching “Lindsay” makes me sad. You can see her, in moments, really wanting more for herself. More that has nothing to do with vintage Yves St. Laurent. More than the chance to chain smoke in private. It seems like she wants to make it and be happy—whatever that means to her, and I hope she gets there.

Stars might be able to retreat to rehab centers that cost more for a month than many make in a year, but people like me have a much better chance at winning the war because there’s not a crowd of people watching me teeter on a pedestal, ready to pummel me with chants of, “I knew she couldn’t do it,” and then hand me a drink if I fall.

That Happened is Libby Lowe’s weekly column for EcoSalon analyzing media, news and pop culture through a feminist lens. Keep in touch with Libby @LibbyLowe.

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Image: Zennie Abraham