Taylor Momsen is a troubling creature. She is very young (17), but acts much older, like a 35-year-old woman who's been to one too many all-night parties. It's disturbing but fascinating, obviously -- she's not a pop culture phenomenon for nothing. Now in her latest soundbite spread across the Internet, the little mistress of raccoon eyeliner, cigarettes, and thigh-highs is blaming her parents for "stealing my childhood." They, she says, are they reason she's so "dark and miserable."
The Gossip Girl actress and lead singer of 'The Pretty Reckless' said, "Everyone's like, 'Wow, why is she upset and why is she so miserable about things?' My parents signed me up with Ford [modeling agency] at the age of two. No 2-year-old wants to be working, but I had no choice."
Momsen, now 17, continued, "My whole life, I was in and out of school. I didn't have friends. I was working constantly and I didn't have a real life."
Hmm. Is there something to what she says?
When my own daughter Isabella was a toddler, on the advice of a friend, we sent her photo out to a bunch of modeling and talent agencies. Of course, we thought she was adorable (still do) -- and we had vague notion that maybe she could earn some college money. And yes, we thought it would be cool, too. Isabella ended up being signed with an agency, and she even shot a cover for Parents magazine (or Parenting -- I can't remember). In the end, her photo didn't make it onto the cover; I didn't realize until I got to the shoot that they actually take photos of several children, and then from that batch they choose the cover image. I was disappointed, but also relieved; how strange it would have been to see her sweet, beautiful face plastered across the cover of all those magazines, on all those newsstands, in all those homes. But I won't lie; I was disappointed. How exciting it would have been to see her on all those magazines.
I took her on a couple of other "go-sees" and then dropped the whole thing, because it just seemed so weird. Here I was, taking my child, whom I love more than anything in the world, and whom I think of as the single most lovely, precious creature on the planet, to be looked at by strangers, who would then decide if she was cute enough for them! Um, what? No thanks.
What really turned me off, though, were the older children that I saw at these go-sees. Isabella was a mere toddler, completely oblivious to what was really going on. These kids were 5, 6 and older -- and they knew when they were being rejected.
So, Taylor, I think you have a point.
I don't know anything about your parents, or what your life has really been like, but from what I can see, growing up as a child star is a pretty tricky business. Sure, people like Dakota Fanning, Emma Watson, and Natalie Portman seem to be navigating it ok, but it's a lot easier to think of bad examples (LiLo, Miley, Britney, now Demi Lovato) -the ones that make me relieved I didn't pursue this path for my own daughter.
But the question for Taylor is, Now what, kid? You're seventeen. You're famous, rich, and talented. So you had a weird childhood. Lots of people have weird, even horrible upbringings. But now you have a choice. You're old enough take responsibility for yourself, to take everything that is at your fingertips -- the whole world your proverbial oyster -- and really make something of it.
Get some therapy if you need it. Go to college if you want to. It's up to you now to define yourself, to carve your own future, to think about what kind of mark you want to make in the world, who YOU want to be. It's not easy for anyone to do. But no one's going to do it for you, Taylor. You're a smart girl. Use that.
Seventeen? You're just a baby.
But you're old enough.
This is reposted from BettyConfidential.com