When Selena Gomez turned 21 this week, her first legal drink was a shot of Jack Daniels. But the cute-as-a-button singer does not appear to be on the fast track to rehab.
Fellow child star Lindsay Lohan had already been arrested for her first DUI and possession of cocaine before reaching the age of legal adulthood.
The "Come and Get It" singer joked on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Tuesday she could not remember how many shots she downed on her big day, but her real celebration will be a gypsy-themed birthday party this weekend with little skirts, temporary tattoos and belly dancers.
Her passion for wholesome fun may be what sets the "Spring Breakers" actress apart from other child stars whose lives spun out of control when they left their teens behind.
So far Gomez's biggest vices seem to be fast food and lax dental hygiene. One of her 21st birthday cakes was made out of Jack in the Box tacos, and she recently admitted to Ellen DeGeneres she does not floss her teeth every day.
On her TV talk show appearances, the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star comes off as wholesome, witty and wise for her age. Despite being a big deal celebrity, she still gets star struck when she meets A-listers like Brad Pitt, who snapped a picture of the "Birthday" singer for his phone since his kids are big fans.
A super fun night for Gomez is hanging out with bestie Taylor Swift who hosts regular "lonely girls nights" at which their single gal pals feast on gab, junk food and cake.
The former Disney star is also very close to her family. Her mom and step-dad were invited to join Selena and some friends at her 21st birthday dinner at Bagatelle in Los Angeles Monday night.
Aside from being grounded by good friends and a seemingly functional family, Gomez seems to have the maturity to deal with the hazards of life instead of numbing herself with drugs and alcohol. Reflecting on her breakup with megastar Justin Bieber, she recently told Ryan Seacrest, "I'm a kid, and a breakup is normal. I have to go through the emotions and feel it out."
History reveals that being a child star is not all rainbows and unicorns when the famous child turns into an adult. "What happens when you've peaked early?" asked a writer for Hollywood.com. "When your Pavlovian response is triggered by applause in your formative years, are you just destined to be a hot mess later in life?
That is what some people may wonder about Gomez. But If she's lucky, the Texas bred brunette will take heed of the bad moves made by Lohan and other child stars on the path "from crayons to perfume," as the New York Daily News recently put it, quoting lyrics from "To Sir With Love."
Amanda Bynes has gone wild since her "The Amanda Show" days, not only racking up DUIs, but also allegedly throwing a bong out of her apartment window and, most recently, starting a fire in someone's driveway.
Britney Spears went through a rough phase, too. Though she has since bounced back, in her mid-20s the former Mouseketeer spent time in rehab, shaved her head bald and lost custody of her two boys with Kevin Federline.
But the poster child for child stars gone wrong is Lohan, who is currently completing yet another round of rehab for drugs and alcohol. Could be Gomez has taken a good look at the "Liz and Dick" star's turbulent 20-something lifestyle and said, "No thanks!"
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Selena Gomez
- Lindsay Lohan