Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Ms. Lohan in India
Here's an irritating story: a former actress, who has aged herself beyond belief with alcohol, drugs and partying thinks it's a good idea for her to go to India to "save children" from human trafficking.
As if she could save anyone. As if she could find India on a map of India.
Why do celebrities think that their mere presence has the power to change all the evil in this world? Are people really going to stop wearing fur because Pamela Anderson likes to be photographed nude for PETA? Would a man really stop buying sex from child prostitutes because Lindsay Lohan says it's wrong? And because she said it while sporting a bhindi?
I imagine the total irony of her chosen charity case is lost on the actress; in some ways, Lindsay Lohan is probably so messed up because she was a child prostitute. Her parents earned a lot of money from whatever talent she used to have. Have you seen the "music" videos she made when she was still just a teenager? Tell me that's not a child being prostituted by her own parents.
If she wants to go to India, fine. If she wants to donate large sums of her fortune to Indian charities, who would I be to criticize?
But what she is really doing is something different from charity work. She is using the poverty of India as rehab. She is hoping that by going on this "mission," she will somehow become a better person, in the public's eyes and her own. She probably hopes that in India she will be able to purge herself of whatever it is that has made her so crazy. Here's what she has said about karma:
“I am all about Karma… what goes around comes around.” this, published in the Hindustani Times. I wonder what Indians think about her summation of Hinduism. I bet they wish she'd go home.
It bothers me when celebrities do this. It trivializes both the problem and those who are working hard to actually improve the lives of those living in whatever developing world the celebrity has decided to claim as their own. Why is it that this child trafficking NGO didn't get press before Lohan graced it with her coke-saturated self? Why aren't the local Indian employees highlighted in any of the stories about her trip? A big part of the problem is that Lindsay Lohan is no Angelina Jolie and she doesn't know how to spin the news of her trip into true awareness and education about child trafficking. She's a drug addict with a lot of money on what is essentially a poverty-tour. How is that going to help anyone?
For more on this thread read: Ms. Hilton in Africa and commentary on MTV's Exiled.
Here's an extremely biting article called What has India done to Deserve Lindsay Lohan?