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Editorial: Our Favorite Celebrities are Following Miley’s Example

Remember the song,  “Oops, I did it again”? How about The Parent Trap, The Amanda Show, Hannah Montana? Most high school students are old enough to remember at least one if not all of these pop-culture phenomena and at one point or another likely looked up to the major stars and performers involved.

In 2007, Brittney Spears shaved her head then checked into rehab three times over the course of the year after much media coverage of her excessive partying. She was 26 years old.  In 2006, at 20 years old, Lindsay Lohan was attending Alcoholic’s Anonymous meetings. She wasn’t even old enough to legally drink. In 2007 she was admitted into a rehabilitation center, but two months later was arrested for a DUI and possession of cocaine. At 27 years old, Amanda Bynes’s parents have been granted temporary conservatorship of their daughter as she involuntarily spends time in a psychiatric hospital. This stay comes after months of trouble for the once-popular teenage star, who has been charged with a DUI and marijuana usage. And last but not least in this list of child stars, Miley Cyrus, 20, has reportedly used marijuana, been seen sniffing white powder, leaked a tweet that claims she is using Xanax, and is known to have been drinking illegally numerous times. Her most recent music video has been criticized for featuring extreme suggestive dancing and references to ecstasy use.

Studies claim that it is the immense pressure of fame that caused these women to turn to drugs and alcohol and that being constantly in the public eye fed their addiction. But if this is true, it doesn’t entirely explain why 52% of high school students in Ohio have tried smoking, 43% have tried marijuana, and 24% have had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours (Ohio Adolescent Substance Abuse).

The use of illegal drugs and alcohol is neither new nor rare, and yet the media covers every celebrity drug story and every alcohol related-student crash without fail. It is as if their use of drugs and alcohol aided them in that journey to adulthood, and makes it seem as though by using these illicit substances one is conveying a more mature image. It is unfortunate that teenagers look up to and mimic these “mature” child stars, whose reputations and health are irreparably damaged, because of the popularity and attention gained from their actions.

Written by Sarah Fornshell’15


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