Early Fame: How Disney Shattered The Lives Of Its Biggest Stars
Many of us loved watching Disney movies and TV shows. These productions captivated millions of young viewers worldwide. However, the glamorous image we saw wasn't always the reality. Rising stars worked exceptionally hard to please their fans, often struggling under the pressure.
From a young age, Demi showed an interest in the arts. She played musical instruments, modeled, and appeared in commercials. This led her to the show "Barney & Friends," where characters learned something new in each episode.
She continued attending castings and appeared in children's channel projects. But early fame had its downsides. Demi developed an eating disorder. This was partly due to her mother's influence and classmates teasing her about her weight, leading her to opt for homeschooling.
Everything changed in 2007 when Demi Lovatojoined Disney. She started with a minor show and later landed the lead role in the movie "Camp Rock." The film was so successful that she released her debut album "Don't Forget" that same year. She joined the ranks of stars wearing purity rings alongside Hilary Duff, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and others.
Demi faced immense pressure to maintain a perfect image. She noted that Disney cared mostly about ratings, and her own perfectionism worsened her mental health. Due to wearing the purity ring, she hid a traumatic event at 15. She shared this years later in the documentary "Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil."
By 17, Demi turned to alcohol and drugs. Aware of the dangers, she still went down this path, unable to handle the stress on her own. Demi became problematic for Disney, leading them to end their partnership a few years later.
Demi went through a lengthy recovery while releasing hit albums. It seemed everyone believed in her recovery, and Demi even recorded the iconic single "Let It Go" for "Frozen."
However, in July 2018, Demi relapsed. She was found in a critical condition the next morning. After surviving three strokes, she now has driving restrictions and vision problems.
Miley Cyrus is a classic example of nepo-babies. Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, is a famous singer. As a young girl, she often accompanied him on tours and sets. Her parents quickly noticed that she was very comfortable in front of the cameras. Thus, at a young age, she started appearing in TV shows and films.
Everything changed in 2003 when she auditioned for "Hannah Montana" with classmates. As Zoomboola.comsaid, initially, Miley tried out for the role of Lilly, but producers were so impressed they considered her for the lead role.
Disney viewed Miley as an experiment to create a true superstar. She starred in the series, recorded tracks under Hollywood Records label, and toured extensively. The strategy worked; "Hannah Montana" became incredibly popular.
Miley had a rigorous schedule, resorting to homeschooling, dedicating 3-4 hours a day to studies, and attending school once a week to submit assignments. In an interview, she shared that even her sleep was scheduled.
The more famous she became, the harder she had to work. In 2007, she shot the second season of the show, recorded an album for it, and released a solo record. She was effectively working double-duty as both Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus.
Paparazzi constantly shadowed her, looking for scandals akin to those of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. For a long time, Miley remained scandal-free. But that changed in 2008 when Vanity Fair featuredher on the cover with a bare back, shocking many given that she was just 15. The backlash targeted the actress, her family, and Disney. Disney claimed the magazine was capitalizing on her fame, but Miley had to apologize. Her collaboration with Disney ended in 2010, as she felt she had outgrown the character.
Yet, she was popular enough to continue her solo career. A significant turning point came in 2012-2013 when she cut her hair, dyed it blonde, and began portraying a more rebellious image. This breaking of norms likely helped Miley achieve the independence she had longed for. She was no longer just associated with her Disney character but recognized as a successful independent singer and actress.
Selena Gomez grew up in poverty but never lost hope of becoming successful and famous one day. From a young age, she attended auditions and confidently expressed her desire to pursue both acting and music careers. Her first gig was on the children's show "Barney & Friends". She then had a minor role in "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over".
Everything changed in 2006 when Selena joined Disney. Initially, she was given minor roles in big projects like "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "Hannah Montana". However, in 2007, she landed the lead role in "Wizards of Waverly Place".
Following her ambitions, she started recording solo albums under the Hollywood Records label. Although they made it to the Billboard charts, they weren't top hits. Around the same time, she began dating Justin Bieber. Bieber, the heartthrob of countless teenage girls, brought Selena into the limelight but also attracted haters. She received daily threats, which at one point made her fearful of going out.
Selena and Justin's relationship was tumultuous. They frequently fought, broke up, and reconciled. Selena later admitted that she never felt genuinely happy with him, even describing him as emotionally abusive.
Her last collaboration with Disney was in 2013, reprising her role as Alex Russo in the second Wizards of Waverly Place movie. By 2014, her contract with the label ended. This allowed Selena Gomez the freedom to explore the directions she'd long envisioned. However, it was around this time that she was diagnosed with lupus.
Because of lupus, Selena had to undergo several chemotherapy treatments. The effects were so severe that she almost suffered a stroke. Soon after, she had to cancel her concert tour as the disease's symptoms intensified. The lupus also led to panic attacks and depression for Gomez. On multiple occasions, one of the world's most famous women found herself in a specialized Christian rehab to combat suicidal thoughts.
In 2017, the star underwent a kidney transplant. The subsequent recovery was hard for Selena: shortly after the surgery, an artery ruptured, necessitating another surgical intervention. All these challenges took a heavy toll on Gomez's mental and physical well-being.