Disney curse leads to ethical questions


Art by Krystal Nava

Disney Channel is a nostalgic part of childhoods across America. Many kids looked up to the stars on these shows and considered them role models. However, as some grew into teens and adults, their lifestyles dramatically differed from those portrayed on the Disney screen. The most notable of these rebellions are Miley Cyrus and Lindsey Lohan, but a close third is Bella Thorne. Thorne is a stark contrast to her Shake It Up costar Zendaya Coleman. After the show ended, Coleman and Thorne headed off in very separate directions, with Zendaya starring in films such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “The Greatest Showman,” and most recently “Euphoria.” She has been nominated for multiple awards such as “People’s Choice” and “Teen Choice” and is known for her elegant and trendy style. Her costar, on the other hand, has had quite a different trajectory.
Bella Thorne has experienced a similar path to Miley Cyrus. She gets involved with drugs, brags about getting drunk, dresses incredibly risqué, and dates a long list of boys and girls. There have been rumors about her cheating on some of these people, and in addition to this, she claims that she never had the desire to be a “Disney Girl.” Comparing Instagram feeds alone, it’s clear that they’re both a far cry from Cece and Rocky in 2010, for worse or for better.

This phenomenon of Disney channel child stars taking a turn for the worse has been nicknamed the “Disney Curse.” This so-called curse is possibly the result of the huge Hollywood presence these stars have at a very young age. As their fame faded, they have to cope and create a new, more “adult” image for themselves, they act out. These reasons are commonly cited by psychologists, but there are popular conspirators on YouTube citing alternate reasons for the very public meltdowns. It’s been a popular theory that these stars act out in order to escape difficult Disney contracts, which poses the question of what really goes on behind the scenes at Disney. Whatever the reason, these breakdowns raise important questions about the ethics of child stardom.