When I read a headline on any form of a journalistic publication that begins with “Lindsay Lohan,” a part of me dies inside. Lindsay’s role as Annie and Hallie Parker in The Parent Trap changed my life in 1998, as I am sure it did for many other girls who saw the film when they were between the ages of seven and ten. The mischievous and clever red headed girls were characters I aspired to be, not to mention wishing my hair were that shade of red, mastering a British accent and finding my long lost twin. There was no denying that the highlight of The Parent Trap was Lindsay Lohan’s ability to flawlessly play two different characters when she was only 12. So can someone please tell me, where did that talent go?

To get a better understanding of Lindsay’s tumultuous career I am going to draw parallels between Lindsay’s real life and her character Cady Haron in Mean Girls. Mean Girls may have actually foreshadowed Lindsay’s life, except instead of getting snapped back into reality by a good friend like Janis Ian and the Burn Book, Lindsay is at a standstill in a terrible nightmare that she can’t wake herself out of.

When the movie begins, Cady is an ordinary girl, who is recognized by the nerds for her intelligence. She is quickly discovered by the conniving Regina George for her beauty and becomes immediately intoxicated by her world. Though Lindsay Lohan was never an ordinary girl in real life, she was a model at the age of three; her real introduction to fame was after The Parent Trap. Just as Cady’s world was never the same after she met Regina, Lindsay’s wasn’t after she proved she could be a star.

The first half of Mean Girls is centered on cracking down Regina George and the plastics and in doing so Lindsay Lohan unintentionally becomes a plastic. Being plastic is equivalent to being famous. In her attempt to crack Regina she must take on another personality, which could be comparable to Lindsay working on other films like Freaky Friday, Mean Girls and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. And the process of unintentionally becoming a plastic is similar to failing to cope with the toll her rise to fame took on her. This includes, but is not limited to Linday’s dramatic weight loss and reckless partying.

As Cady embodies the personality of a plastic, she distances herself from her real friends, Janis and Damien, her family and her goals, which ultimately leads to her downfall. She breaks her plans with her parents; she forgets to go to Janis’ art show and instead throws a rager at her house where she vomits on her crush, Aaron Samuels. At this point in the movie, Cady still has not hit rock bottom, but it is where her life and Lindsay’s real life begin to deviate and the nightmare begins.

Unfortunately for Lindsay, she has been at rock bottom for a long time and has yet to rise from the ashes. In reality, being in the spotlight is not easy, especially for younger actors who need a stable environment to fall back on. However, from what I have read about Lindsay, since I unfortunately don’t know her that intimately, it seems as though her parents are simply the catalysts for her behavior. There has been no one to tell her, “Hey, buddy, you’re not pretending anymore. You’re plastic. Cold, shiny, hard plastic.”

To interpret Janis Ian’s words using the Mean Girls turned Twilight Zone version of Lindsay Lohan’s life analogy, she is telling Cady that she is nothing but the artificial aspects of fame, there’s none of her left inside of her, which is Lindsay’s acting talent. The paparazzi will keep Lindsay in the public eye, but her fans, her biggest supporters miss that cherubic freckly red head that was still lovable even in a mediocre film like Just My Luck. So as long as people continue to stalk her, it will affirm her plasticness, and we will never catch a glimpse of the old Lindsay again.


  • Sydney Ramsden
    Sydney Ramsden on

    I completely relate to this, and I always find myself reminiscing about Lindsay's glory days of The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls that defined my and my friends' youths. I remember seeing that famous image of Lindsay sobbing in a courtroom one day last summer. That same day, ABC Family was showing The Parent Trap. The juxtaposition of that image and the movie made me really sad, as I was simultaneously watching the rise and fall of an actress whom I admired so much when I was young. I would love for Lindsay to get back on her feet and make quality movies again, but unfortunately, with the way things are going for her, I don't think that's going to happen for a very, very long time, if ever.

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