They start as young cherubs, their round faces full of smiles and innocence. They play, and delve into anything cute and sweet. A few years pass and the Barbies are given up for boys. Life is still childlike, even with the first hints of attraction. But the good gets tired, and in a blink, it's given up for stripper poles, prostitution, degradation, and a feverish desperation to be seen as an adult -- mentally and physically.

Yes, the above path is a bit exaggerated. Young actresses often mix a little thrilling fare in with the sweetness. Nevertheless, there is almost always a swift and destructive crashing of the gate between adolescence and adulthood. One minute, the young actress is all song, dance, and smiling love, and the next, they're fighting for their own spot in the world of Mr. Skin.

We can't exactly blame them. We live in a world rife with contradictions about growing up and being taken seriously. The world of The Breakfast Club and slightly tougher teen fare was replaced with tween limbo and an elongation of sweet teen life. But at the same time, we chide those that take part in Disney's tween world, publish countdown clocks marking the days left until some young actress is legal, and as much as we might complain about them stripping for cred, our complaints fade if the project turns out to be good.

But what does it mean for actresses now and tomorrow? The path is murky.
categories Columns, Cinematical