When I reflect upon the train-wreck that is Lindsay Lohan, I can't help but feel a tinge of pity. What ever happened to our little girl, that innocent, inhumanly freckled Parent Trap star? Since her arrival in the Hollywood mainstream, we've been invited to watch her particularly depressing family melodrama, her breakups, her wild nights out, her general fall from grace. Poor little Lohan.

Nonetheless, this Word on the Street is not about Lindsay Lohan, it's about Star Jones, who recently made an appearance at the Penn Bookstore. Admittedly, my main incentive for going to see the formidable The View star speak on a Saturday afternoon was a kind of perverse intrigue -- she is after all the brains behind the coinage of such immortal phrases as "I am the author of the dictionary that defines me." Nonetheless, the majority of the crowd came to be moved and inspired; they came to worship at the altar of STAR.

Star was in town to promote an empowerment memoir aptly titled SHINE. In the words of her publishers: "It all began when Star took a close look at herself and her life and realized she wasn't happy with what she saw: obesity precluded her from crossing her legs, she couldn't fasten her own necklace, and, worst of all, she got too tired to shop -- a disaster because Star Jones Reynolds is a seriously committed shopper." As painful as that sounds -- we'll take a moment of silence for that necklace anecdote -- Star has become a beacon of hope for those looking to make a change. Apart from discouraging obesity, Star is actually selling self-confidence to downtrodden people everywhere.

Lindsay Lohan is one of said downtrodden people. Post-Star, I discovered a small bit of New Year's hope for all those anorexic starlets out there. Maybe they don't have 200 pounds to lose or a "spiritual journey to finding love" to embark on, but there is something to her dogged pride about having made a life change, looking within, having that dream wedding or whatever.

Star may look like a mosquito and have a husband of truly questionable sexuality, but the woman is, presumably, happy.

So Lindsay, fuck Vanity Fair and your ridiculous lifestyle. Be the author of the dictionary that defines you. SHINE, Lindsay: be a star. Well, you can't be Star, but you can be a star.


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