Happy birthday to Abigail Breslin, who turns eighteen today! She may be a full-blown adult now, but the funny thing about starring in a movie as a child is that everyone’s idea of you freezes right there. No matter how many candles you’re blowing out on your cake, everyone still has to mentally adjust from you not looking the same as you did playing Olive, the adorable little girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Them’s just kind of the breaks, y’know?
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to transform your audience’s vision of you from a child star to an adult actor, but that hasn’t stopped Abigail and some of her cohorts from trying. And since there isn’t one set way to do it, everyone’s come up with a lot of different methods that I’d like to share with you today. But use them wisely in your own life, okay? Because across the board, if you really want to launch yourself into adulthood…you’re gonna end up with some pretty jarring results.
1. Show Some Skin
Nothing jolts me into reality faster than dyed platinum-blond hair, heavy makeup, and a hefty dose of cleavage. Might as well start calling her Abigail Breast-lin, am I right? (High five for a joke that I morally could not make until today.)
2. Start A Band
(Photo: A. Miller / WENN.com)
If you feel like you’re not being taken seriously as an actor, do what Taylor Momsen did to distinguish herself from Gossip Girl playing Cindy Lou Who and get yourself in a band! Nothing grits you up like not being as good a singer as you think you are — bonus points if you perform in black leather and lingerie.
3. Get Yourself Tatted
I’m not saying it’s a good theory, but it’s certainly one that Justin Bieber has been testing out pretty hard. Only big boys can get tattoos! But so far the massive amounts of ink on his body have done little to nothing to distract from his absurdly childish behavior, so this probably isn’t the best method on the list.
4. Date Someone Older
If dating someone more than ten years can pull you into the future where people take you seriously, then Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Dakota Fanning will be the first to know.
5. Twerk It Out
This one is pretty specific to Miley Cyrus, but never have I ever seen a star shed her previous image faster than Miley did after that very calculated VMAs performance last year. ‘Blurred Lines’ indeed.
6. Get Married
Pretty hard to keep thinking of Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire now that she’s married with a kid. And maybe divorcing? But maybe staying together? There are some very adult decisions to be made.
7. Get Naked
There are lots of ways to do this one. You can show it all for a project, like Daniel Radcliffe did in Equus, or you can just leak naked photos that you already have, like Vanessa Hudgens. It certainly saves time!
8. Get Smart
There are only two or three truly positive routes into Grown Up Land on this whole list, and this is one of them. If you’re intelligent enough, you really can talk your way into adulthood, just like Dylan and Cole Sprouse. They have such intelligent thoughts about everything. See also: Demi Lovato.
9. Get Arrested
Say what you will about Lindsay Lohan, but you definitely don’t associate her with that freckled set of twins from The Parent Trap remake anymore, right? If jail time isn’t available, rehab should work as well.
10. Get Your Hair Cut
It’s a simple thing, but think about how well it worked for Emma Watson with that pixie cut! And could we really have embraced Justin Timberlake the way we did if he’d still had that blond fro? I don’t think so.
11. Shit On Your Franchise
(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)
You know those people who gave you your first break? You’re not really an adult until you proof how ungrateful you are to them, ala Shia LaBeouf. (Brown paper bag sold separately.)
12. Give To Charity
(Photo: Judy Eddy / WENN.com)
You knew that if there was one more positive way to being viewed as more mature, that Taylor Swift was gonna nail it. Once you start taking younger stars under your wing and being generous with your time and money, people start taking you seriously as a performer and a human.
(Photo: Ryan / WENN.com)
And if all else fails, just take a page out of The Jonas Brothers‘ book and self-destruct. They wanted to be taken seriously as musicians so desperately that they just stopped being musicans! See also: Selena Gomez, who fired her parents as managers with nobody else lined up. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
And that’s how it’s done, friends. Make sure the door doesn’t hit your ass on the way out of childhood, and you better buckle up, because the road to maturity is hella bumpy. (Oh and you can’t use the word ‘hella’. I should’ve mentioned that.)