Lindsay Lohan: She’s Crafty

HermioneLindsay Lohan fills cups like double D’s. She’s the new Ann-Margaret, a flashing-eyed temptress, with the kind of self-awareness to make the housepets sweat. She’s got timing as an actress, as Freaky Friday and Mean Girls attest. But damn it if her transformation from one-to-ten tweener starlet into certified twenty freak machine is askew from discernable talent and parallel to purity. None of this bodes well for Hilary Duff. For a time quite infamously neck and neck with Lohan – cue kooky “E! News Live” fodder of stage mothers egging opposing cars and hating on their girls’ chinchillas – Duff lately has become the white toast foot patrol to her peer’s fiery salsa Rolls. If Lindsay’s the new Ann-Margaret, Hilary’s this year’s Melissa Joan Hart. It’s the sad ducket truth, even amidst the fog of FCC violations and goody-two-shoesness: We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.

Ludicrous? Of course! But as an indicator of 21st century culture’s jaggedly zagging EKG, this shit’s fascinating. Lohan’s flash flood development has ushered in a further constriction of the bizarro teen celeb algorithm. Like phenoms getting drafted right outta high school, the ten-day waiting period has essentially been waived. The Olsens were the last to enjoy such a grace period, even if the leer over their pending legalization grows more shrill each day. No, the relative deference that used to be afforded has been reported missing, in favor of a constricted theorem coldly calculated by these new tweener types and their respective spheres of handlers. Make no mistake – they know what they’re doing. And they learned it all from the Britney version.

Remember the late ’90s, and the masterful tease crafted by Spears and her people? That genius mixture of sweet and tart wasn’t new. But it was expertly rolled out, and acted as a manual for a new generation of hopefuls and their attendant stage parents. However, like any second version, the new model born was streamlined and cold, built from pleasure parts for the business of now. More tart than sweet, this T1000 starlet controlled her own levers of exposure – what was seen and not seen – like never before. And, more often than not, what was seen was more than not. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. And little man, little Lola wants you. With a few well-timed roles and a few more low-cut dresses, Lohan burst out of the Disney ghetto and into the golden clamoring limelight. To the Blogosphere, and beyond!

Duff didn’t see it coming. Despite a successful album (!) and the cute-enough Lizzie McGuire Movie, she was puttering along on milquetoast vapor while her competition nodded drolly on ‘SNL’. Maybe she was still F’d up over that tow-headed android Aaron Carter, who knows. The point is that Duff’s model for success has only reached as far as nice. It’s underestimated pop culture’s demand for – however unfortunately – fresh boob content. In short, she’s so yesterday. Spears, on the other hand, did recognize this contortion of the teen ta ta bell curve; teen-pop contemporary Christina Aguilera noticed it, too. However, neither handled their ramp-up successfully. Aguilera’s dirty transformation was an arguable success, if you use Li’l Kim as the ideal. But Britney unquestionably overshot her Southern belle sweetness, retreating in little over a year from Platinum darling status into a reclusive world of Juicys and cigarettes. She’s now a toxic shock butterfly, clipped and chastened by younger, wiser filly cheese. Turns out those career crossroads can be a real bitch to navigate.

Like poor Lenny Kravitz, Britney Spears has squandered her powers of reinvention, and is left with only the husk of celebrity with which to make a dime. It’s a surreal life, but one that was created concurrently with the fabulosity, waiting in a steamer trunk below for the bling to tarnish. (It happened to J-Lo, too.) Lohan’s fatuous overexposure flirts constantly with such an implosion – she doesn’t have enough on her CV for it not to. But in this New Model Girl, there seems to be an allowance for such a backlash, a sexy Sansabelt that’ll bounce the naysayers back behind police lines. Britney’s public persona might’ve been a whipped cream bikini, but at least it was sweet. Lohan’s look is one of perpetual sloe-eyed bewilderment. “I don’t know where these things came from, either,” she winks. “Let me just undo this button.” As her career has been buoyed more by such a stance than any perception of skill – as actress, comedienne, singer, whatever – it’s likely she’ll continue as the prime apple of persnickety eyes, nip slip watchers and “Celebrities Uncensored”, and somehow make it through the goofy red carpet gauntlet unscathed. It’s a safe bet – she won’t be joining Britney in the center square anytime soon.


32 thoughts on “Lindsay Lohan: She’s Crafty”

  1. Great read! Are you the same guy who wrote that amazing Stones & Drugs piece last year that I forwarded to a 100 people?!??

    Yer dead-on about this gal.

  2. that was a really long, really thought out and well written way to say “man, that lindsay lohan is hot. i sure do feel a bit sleazy about wanting to sleep with a 17 year old.”

  3. Momma, I think Johnny’s point is that these young ladies are being packaged to get just such a reaction, to cash in on it while the cashin’ is good, and the fascinating dance between lecherous voyeurism and selling entertainment and entertainers. They’re practically selling pedophilia, and while that’s a damning commentary on the consumer, it’s also a pretty damning commentary on the calculating cynicism of the starlets and their handlers. “You’re a bad person for getting all worked up about a 17-year-old girl, consumer, she’s so sweet, and have you seen her breasts lately?” What came first, the chicken or the egg?

  4. I agree with Jaime here; i think what the article was about wasn’t so much “here i am leering after some high school tart and pretending i’m not” but rather that the commoditization of the high school tart as an entertainment trope has become so calculated to the point it’s obvious. And that undermines its own purpose.

  5. At least she’s a brunette. I find it’s a welcome change after all the ‘blonde’ jailbait harlots of late.

  6. Man, you guys are smart as fuck. I think most people saw it as Johnny trying to bag Lindsey Lohan. Her appearance on SNL is indicative of what he’s saying. They even made remarks about how smoking she was AND that she was but 17 years old. It’s a strange world we live in. I see the same weird sort of dance at Abercrombie & Fitch stores. Lots of obviously young (Barely 18!) girls rolling around with hairless boys. Are we all going to Hell now?

  7. hugh: brunette? as a redhead, i take offense at that. we have to put up with constant sunburning and huge amounts of freckles, at least let us have our identity! she may not be as pale skinned as julianne moore or myself, but i’m pretty sure she’s a natural redhead.

  8. C’mon, Derek. We’re trying to give Johnny the benefit of the doubt here. That SNL appearance, particularly the Harry Potter skit, were pretty damn funny, and pointed up the very issue we presume Johnny is writing about.

  9. OK, I admit I’m goin’ to hell, but…

    That girl does not LOOK like she’s seventeen! She’s too, um…developed for me to feel too bad about looking at her.

  10. Speaking of skin and young(ish) performers, I’m sure that you’ll all be fascinated to note that Proactiv Solution, the acne-treatment company that apparently can’t spell, has signed on as a sponsor of Jessica Simpson’s tour. In the release announcing the agreement, there’s the following:

    “As a celebrity, fans expect to see something perfect in person, and when they come face-to-face with you — without airbrushing — and you have acne problems it’s embarrassing,” says Simpson. “Since I have started using Proactiv my skin has been glowing and I finally do have the skin you see in magazines, with no touch-ups required.”

    Imagine all that clear skin.

  11. She’s a redhead? So much the better! Sorry, the photo above was inconclusive. I stand erected, err, corrected.

    Evidently, someone in marketing noticed that there was a lack of representation of non-blondes in the hypersexualized pop tart market and brought in Lindsay to satisfy a wider demographic.

  12. I think Lohan is not tarting or posing at all. She’s a femme fatale, not a brain dead slut. I find it insulting to even mention Spears in the same article.

    Oh, Bruce, the key to Lohan tawny skin is lots of bronzer to cover up the freckles…

  13. “even Leno was macking on her the other night.

    • Heitzie, Jun 9, 2004 11:42PM”

    That’s funny. Reason #7 on my list of “432 Reasons I Hate Leno” is that he hits on Every young thang that has to sit on his stupid couch. He’s not even remotely endearing about it, he’s just creepy and awkward. When I hit on her it wasn’t creepy, it was just awkward. Very, very, very awkward. There’s a difference.

  14. J franky, you got to hit on her?

    Hey, I give my props, ya gotta “be the ball” win some lose some!

    I don’t usually see J Leno since I work nights, so I’m more of a Conan O’Brien fan. I didn’t actually see the Leno “creepy” hit on Lohan but somebody told me about it.

  15. She gives me THE BIGGEST boner. Who cares if she’s not 18? After Britney all the rules went out the window anyway.

  16. Another fabulous article by johnny. Fuck the rest of you who think otherwise. I think the lesson is, that they are still sort of in the process of figuring out the proper way to market the teen slut, its been trial and error, and lohan represents the best of marketing today.

    And that nipple shot I saw makes me think they are real.

    I like my underage women with real boobs, but thats just me being old fashioned.

    Cannot wait for johnnies MTV VMA awards article.

    The pressure is on johnny, its hard to keep such a solid track record… it better be good…

  17. Still have to give props to Hilary over Lindsay on the musical front. LL has lit a couple of big singles – “Ultimate” and “That Girl” – but HD’s mind-blowing debut CD (the pop-rockingly almost-perfect Metamorphosis, as if you didn’t know) as well as her contributions to the soundtracks CDs of the Lizzie TV show and movie are much better.

    LL now is moving well over into near-skank territory. Funny thing is, she had seemingly disappeared for year after starring in the classic Disney remake of the Parent Trap. Now she’s definitely back.

    HD is taking it slower but may prove to have more staying power. Why couldn’t Claire danes have managed her own career this wisely?

  18. Mark my words. Lohan will have more staying power than duff. Lohan is hotter and a way better actress. And, I hate duff. I have friends who idolized duff, and now they all cant stand her. They all prefer lindsay now. I gurantee you that duff’s movie cinderella story will flop, you’ll see. Im sure they will be both around for awhile, but i think lohan will be around longer and be more successfull.

  19. i’m glad that lindsay lohan is a red head. i’m a brunette….but it was about time!!!!… for ppl to recognize how beautiful and hott non-blondes are. although at my school, the guys seem to have yet to realize… b/c of all the typical, generic, fake tanned blonds that make them not see, which proves how stupid guys can be to not see the beauty right in front of them. no offense to any truly cute blondes.

  20. Redheads are beautiful, but lets not forget the dark, almost black haired girls who are also the most beautiful. they’re precious gems with their raven locks against they’re soft white skin and lucious pink lips and a rarity here in the states, and i am talking about those beautiful brunettes with the prettiest faces and the bods to die for. hollywood could use a few.

  21. You guys are ALL PIGS!! Lindsay Lohan should be respected as a Lady she is. I bet if she saw u guys, she wouldnt even take a second look.

  22. Lindsay lohan is super hot!!! Met her a while ago at her mean girls premiere. she’s sweet and simply stunning. Check her out on the cover of rolling stones and a very nice surprise pic in the inside pages. Much success linds!!!

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