Fifteen Minutes Of Fame: Child Stars Fade Out

Briana Erickson, Co-Editor In Chief

Remember when all that came out of youngsters’ lips were the words “Hit me baby one more time!”?  These lyrics are from Britney Spears, who was once the obsession of young girls all around the country, nearly a decade ago. The spotlight shifts quickly when dealing with teenagers and fame. It seems that from the moment that teen stars become famous, they are ticking time bombs, an expiration date stamped clearly on their foreheads.

Back in the day, we would rush to turn on the television; all so eager to watch the “Olsen and Olsen Agency” solve another crime on the New Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley.

Four years later, Lizzie McGuire was the new hit on television. We never stopped watching the heartthrob, Ethan Kraft, and were completely captivated by the witty, cute little character inside Lizzie’s mind. And, when the ever popular Aaron Carter guest starred on the show and sang “I Want Candy,” little ladies from all over fainted in excitement. The show had millions of fans. But, it ended a couple of years later when the star, Hilary Duff, left Disney Channel and pursued a career in singing. After this dramatic change, her fans stayed loyal and screaming- for a while, anyway. But, an aging star plus no more Lizzie McGuire eventually resulted in the fans’ desires to change.

And, after seeing so many different faces in the magazines, the one question most will ask when looking back is: “Oh yeah. What happened to them?”

It seems that there is a pattern in the decline of fame of younger stars.

Remember Dylan and Cole Sprouse? We were all gaga over how cute the two blonde bombshells were when they were fresh faces on the Disney Channel, and nobody could stop babbling about them.

But, once so fresh, they are now quickly ripening; their show is getting less and less viewers. And, images of them haven’t appeared in a while. The once hot flame is barely lighting up the hearts of viewers nowadays. But, why does all modern stars’ fame seem to fade, flicker, and die?

Some have moved on from their past careers and looked towards the future, making money through production; some of these are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen designing clothing, Jessica Simpson making shoes and hair extensions called “Hair U Wear”, and Hilary Duff selling her fragrance.

Although Britney Spears is making a comeback, most of those, whose pictures once had a special place on our wall, have not. One of those, maybe the most memorable of their era, is the heart-stopping boy bands.

One of the most recent popular boy bands, The Jonas Brothers, have broken up because one brother, Nick Jonas, decided to sing solo. There hasn’t been any hoopla about any Jonas anymore. And, what about Miley Cyrus- no more Hannah Montana? Little girls all over who possess those long, blonde wigs may not be watching what she’s up to anymore.

Child stars, like the MVP on a high school sports team, are at the height of their career; their charming age and youthful looks, or the athlete’s strong muscles, are where they are now. But, what happens after they get older, or they graduate from the high school team? They need to work harder to shine in a room full of competitors.

Take a good look at the people on the cover of the tabloids today.

They might be replaced by yet another aspiring adolescent, willing to step into their shoes, eager to claim their fifteen minutes of fame.