Celebrities, They Grow Up So Fast

What happened to that cute little kid?


Last Fashion Week I found myself at the same party as Justin Bieber. A flock of photographers hovered around him, their flashing lights offering an opportune getaway for models trying to sneak by. Leandra and I stood on heeled tippy-toes to get a better look at him. But where her remark at the small gentleman covered in leather was a nonplussed “Huh,” mine was, “He’s gotten so big!” as if I were his aunt or something.

In the same way that I take on certain celebrities as my imaginary best friends (et hem, Mindy Kaling and I shopping for a Christmas tree together), it’s difficult for me to view grown up child stars without a sense of very personal nostalgia.

Do you remember The Sandlot? It’s probably one of the greatest movies of our time, replete with a cast of boys who I always assumed would grow up to become the men their characters played. They had to — these were scrappy kids who learned seminal lessons through life’s greatest metaphor: baseball. Just recently, though, Yeah Yeah was caught on film acting like a jackass, and friggen’ SMALLS was arrested for head butting a cop.

Though I’m aware that I have grown up since the movie first debuted, it didn’t occur to me until TMZ told me that they could evolve past the Sandlot vacuum. Watching their demise was like watching my children act like idiots, and I felt like I’d failed as a mother.

Which is crazy.

Then I heard about Justin Bieber and his arrest. It seems like people had been predicting this moment since he outgrew his floppy hair and “Baby” fat, foreshadowed by a series of odious events that included peeing into a mop bucket, allegedly drinking sizzurp, and egging a house. The cops didn’t find evidence to back said egging, and sure, if it were true, egging — and peeing in a bucket — are more accurate indications of idiocy than they are a much larger problem but it made me ask the parental question, “Justin. Who are these people you’re hanging out with?”

When people began posting his mug shot from the DUI arrest last week and its accompanying memes — even the one of his head on a jail house orange Prada shift — my immediate instinct was to tell Justin that even though he’d messed up, he was still my little angel. He was grounded for at least a year, but still, angel.

Then there was Gaby Hoffmann’s emotional breakdown on Girls.

I essentially grew up with Gaby — I watched Now and Then almost every day from the year it came out until my VHS irreparably broke. When I saw her on Girls, it was like I’d reconnected with an old friend on Facebook. “We grew up together!,” I wanted to brag.

Then she broke a glass with her bare, bloody hand while standing half naked in front of HBO’s viewership. Only it wasn’t Gaby, or her Girl’s character Caroline — it was Samantha. My childhood friend. With her vagina out. On HBO.

But I was shocked, I realized, not because the scene reminded me that robust pubic hair is rare on cable television but because it meant she’d grown up. And that meant that I didn’t actually know her at all.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Duh,” but I still can’t seem to pinpoint exactly why I feel so connected to these people. We don’t watch celebrities grow up any more closely than our parents’ coworkers who remember us when we were this big doSo why is it that we’re always shocked when they get a little bit taller?

I’m still rooting for Lindsay.

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  • *sigh* the good ol’ days. Just look at Miley Cyrus now…versus couple years ago. Really makes you wanna cry

    The Artistically Challenged: Beauty, Fashion, Music, Lifestyle Blog

  • maud.schellekens

    Haha, loved this article!

    XOXO Maud


  • Lindsay was such an adorable girl in the Parent Trap;
    I hope she will get back on track with acting again…

  • Katie


  • Belieber

    I hope Bieber figures it out soon. He is on a slippery slope right now…. I get the same sort of protective edge when discussing celebrities. Go JUSTIN!

  • Marty

    Love this article! So on point.

  • Élora

    This happened to me just yesterday! Learning that Lorde had talked trash on Britney Spears, my first reaction was, “HOW DARE SHE INSULT BRITNEY IN FRONT OF ME!?” capital letters and all. She was not actually in front of me, I was reading this on the internet, but my wrath was no less intense. Britney is such a big part of my childhood, she’s basically my best friend. And I can’t help but feel protective towards her.

    Oh and the Biebs, poor thing — he’s just going through his teenage phase in front of millions of viewers…

  • Quinn Halman

    1. I’ll always root for Lindsay
    2. Now and Then is maybe the best movie in existence, so many emotions
    3. I think what really upsets me about the whole Bieber thing is how he handles it. I mean, that instagram post comparing himself to MJ?! Bud, you just got out of jail! The reason I have the littlest tinge of guilt for JB is the same reason why I root for LiLo; they have undeniable talent. Lindsay is an amazing actress and I am not ashamed to admit I own her CD “Speak”, meanwhile Justin is quite musically gifted. This is why Spiderman’s uncle or something said to use powers for good

  • Jill S

    Oh geez, so am I. Rooting for Lindz, I mean. I’ve never seen any of her movies (except Mean Girls) but I want her to triumph. Same for Miley, though overall she seems less wrecked than Lindsay. I think Miley will come out okay but the jury’s way, way out on LL. And I’ve never seen the Sandlot! My husband loves it and we say, “You’re killing me…Smalls!” all the time to each other but I have not viewed it. Perhaps it’s time. 🙂

  • NPS

    Oh man I feel ya! Poor J Bieb he’s totally grounded for a year and possibly then some… It’s so sad that this kid who grew up under the spot light is giving into this bad boy image that really has been wished upon him. I let my thoughts get away with me refusing to accept all the non sense that has been written about him like the pee episode etc… He’s under spot light I figured they were going to get something but not a DUI. That’s just BAD stuff JB! Or shall I put it in simpler terms given your teenage state of mind – since science has proven your hormone levels match that of a two year old… “That’s a No, No! Time out my young JB be thankful you didn’t ruin someone else’s life or your own that early morning.” Time for this boy to regroup apologize for his abscent minded behaviour to his fans (and parents). I’m still rooting for him!

  • Sara

    haha so funny and true! Justin still looks young though!


  • CDJ

    I felt the same way recently about the Gosselin children. I don’t even think Aaden consistently wears eyeglasses anymore.

  • rachel

    This is one of ur best posts ever. And thank you for solving who Gaby Hoffman is– knew she looked familiar on Girls!

  • soledude345
  • Justin Bieber irks the crap out of me. He looks like a brat in all of his pictures.

    My mom is always saying “I’ll bet that weenie still throws tantrums.” Can’t say I disagree.

  • We love Lindsay Lohan! We are hopeful that she is finally back on the right track! http://www.LEZU.com

  • Rene Taylor

    Growing up sucks. Being adult sucks balls. The fact that the sandlot kids actually grew up is like a smack in the face.

  • Alesha Metzger

    This is seriously exactly how I feel, crazy huh? Except in my mind you are my famous best friend.

  • Michelle K.

    oh my lord, I felt the EXACT same way when I saw Gaby Hoffmann on GIRLS!!!!

  • Megan Small

    The 90’s was THE pivotal era for coming of age movies. I still watch Now and Then and The Sandlot every time I come across them. Classics.