I'm old enough to remember a simpler time---when being a "stage mom" was pretty much as bad as it got when it came to the mothers of child actors.
I remember Teri Shields, the mother of actress Brooke Shields, who was vilified for being too aggressive and bossy as her daughter rose through the ranks as an adolescent.
Teri Shields was taken to task because at that time and prior (the late-1970s to early-1980s), the parents were very much in the background. You ever hear salacious stories of the moms of Larry Matthews or Jerry Mathers or any of the kids on "The Brady Bunch"?
No, you didn't.
But then came Teri Shields, who was bombastic and sometimes, it seemed, in competition with her daughter for attention.
Well, turns out that the "stage mom" maybe isn't such a bad thing. At least the stage mom keeps tabs on her child(ren), albeit perhaps in a way that prompts eye-rolling.
Brooke Shields turned out just fine, thank you. Granted, I'm biased. I'm a big Brooke Shields fan. But she certainly hasn't gone sideways, despite being in the public consciousness from before she was a teenager.
Then there's Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay just had her probation revoked because she failed to show up for her community service. Before you knew it, she was being slapped into handcuffs and led out of the courtroom.
It's just another sad chapter in the story of Lohan, who was once, believe it or not, a fresh and freckle-faced youngster with a promising movie career that was budding.
Now the only time her face appears before a camera, it's for a mugshot.
Lindsay's had six of those snapped since 2007. You can see the gallery here.
The difference between Lohan's free fall and the stability enjoyed by Brooke Shields?
Parenting. Pure and simple.
Like I said, turns out that being an overbearing stage mom isn't so bad, when compared to the Jerry Springer-esque escapades of Lohan's parents.
Parenting is the thing that I was fearful would take Miley Cyrus down. I'm still not convinced that it won't. I hope I'm wrong. But Miley's choices have left a lot to be desired. It's not a leap to conclude that Miley's broken family upbringing isn't helping matters.
Lindsay Lohan's folks' public meltdowns are well-known. Mom Dina has acted more like a party buddy than a mother. And now we're in that sad stage of affairs when dad is taking shots at daughter.
Four of the five faces of Lindsay, since 2007 (far left)
Michael Lohan says that he thinks Lindsay is smoking something---literally.
"That's from smoking a pipe with meth or crack," he said about photos of Lindsay's brown teeth. "She's smoking either crack or meth, one or the other. I'm not going to shade it."
Michael Lohan has had his shares of brushes with the law---and drugs, too. So maybe this is simply a case of "takes one to know one."
Regardless, life in Hollywood when you're on screen before you've lost all your baby teeth is tough enough with good parents and a stable home life, let alone when you've got Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as your mom and dad.
I'll take the embarrassing stage mom over that, any day.