When did Lindsay Lohan go from ‘it girl’ to (insert-insult here)? I’ve seen some variation of that question popping up all over the Internet recently, in response to Lohan’s SNL-hosting gig and Matt Lauer interview—and I think it should stop. No matter you think of plastic surgery in general or Lohan’s sober, bleached-blond and pouffy-lipped reincarnation in pop culture, it doesn’t make it right to totally bash and snark at the way Lohan looks now.
Like the ‘when did this become hotter than this?’ meme—the ‘look at what Lindsay has done to herself!’ crowd seems quite often to have good (or ‘body-positive’) intentions. Briana even wrote here last week about how the work Lohan’s had done has only made her look older, and presents “a good case against plastic surgery.” There are plenty of corners of the Internet where the Lohan commentary is pure snarking or gossiping, but most of the posts I’ve looked at have expressed (at least faux) concern that a pretty, 25-year-old girl would feel the need to already be getting plastic surgery.
A certain amount of public disapproval of a woman as young as Lohan getting plastic surgery doesn’t bother me; like I’ve said here before, I don’t believe celebrities who very consciously put themselves in the public eye deserve complete silence on things they do that are taboo. But even if Lohan has had plastic surgery, or facial fillers, or lip injections, or whatever, that doesn’t justify bashing her or focusing so much on her appearance now. The amount of cruelty and vitriol directed at Lohan online goes far beyond ‘it’s a shame a young actress feels the need for so much artificiality to feel (pretty/worthwhile/etc.)’ to a digital freak-show—folks gawking at the worst photos of Lohan alongside the most red-haired and fresh-faced of Lohan photos from her Disney child star days.
And it’s not nice. And it’s not cool.
I also happen to think people are wrong about how much plastic surgery Lohan has had, and that bloggers exaggerate the extent of the difference between Lohan’s then and now with the photos they showcase. Think about all the times a friend’s photo has caught you mid-blink, or in the middle of talking. Sometimes droopy eyelids and other telltale signs of ‘drunkenness’ and other debauchery can just be pictures taken at the wrong moment. Imagine how often that happens when people are taking pictures of you everywhere you go. [Also: the lady got famous at, like, 17 and has gone through an eating disorder, alcoholism and drug issues in the public eye; I think we should all give her face and body a little leeway to change, okay? I know I looked drastically different at various points between 14 and 25.]
As for the overall I-date-Hugh-Hefner (or call it ‘Real Housewives of Disney‘) vibe of Lohan’s new look—I think that’s more bad beauty choices than any irreversible ‘damage’ Lohan’s done through cosmetic procedures or drug use. When you see pictures of Lohan without all the makeup, the spray tan or the trophy-wife Barbie hairstyle, she looks like more-or-less the same fresh-faced, slightly-chubby-cheeked girl people remember her as circa ‘Mean Girls.’ Maybe, if anything, Lohan just needs a (better) stylist.