Disney is a powerhouse when it comes to turning out the young stars of tomorrow. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, the Jonas Brothers, the list goes on and on. For each star it turns out there seems to be a star that breaks down or burns out.
They all start out the same way. A fresh faced, adorable young person starring on a family friendly Disney show with some fun twist. Then come the Disney films first for television later for the movie theaters. If the movies are a success, they get the record deal and the tour that comes with it. They somehow end up tied to some other fresh faced teenager in their first off-screen love story. It inevitably ends and they either flourish or fall. So goes the tale of the Disney star.
While some stars like Justin Timberlake flourish in the spotlight, others cave to the pressure. Britney Spears broke down and shaved her head. Lindsay Lohan has ongoing troubles with addiction coupled with several run-ins with the law. Christina Aguilera is divorcing after a lackluster album and tour. Miley Cyrus is no longer acting her age. Now comes the news that Demi Lovato has quit her European tour and checked into rehab. It was reported that Demi Lovato left the Jonas Brothers tour over the weekend to check herself into rehab. Her representative told the press that Demi was seeking help for “emotional and physical issues she has dealt with for some time.”
MTV has reported that an unnamed source told People that Lovato was bullied in middle school and hasn’t been able to let go. “She fought through eating disorders and has struggled with cutting,” said the source. “Demi is taking control by getting help.” With all the attention being drawn to bullying with the upswing of suicides related to teenage sexuality and bullying, Lovato teamed with the PACER Center as part of their “Teens Against Bullying” campaign last month to bring some hope to kids who’ve been harassed by their peers.
For this, she wrote an emotional letter to fellow bullying victims to connect with them, writing, “I was bullied in middle school. It got so bad I chose to leave and be home schooled. Many people think of bullying as getting beat up in school, but it is so much more than that. For me it was all of the verbal harassment I had to deal with. People say sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you, but that’s not true. Words can hurt. They hurt me. Things were said to me that I still haven’t forgotten.”
It’s time to give the Disney kids a break and let them be kids rather than Disney’s big paycheck.