This article was last modified on January 2, 2005.

In Mandy Moore’s Shadow: Can Lindsay Lohan Find Her Own Voice?

My two favorite young celebrities are unquestionably Mandy Moore and Lindsay Lohan. But this should not come as a surprise when one realizes that one of them, Lohan, is nothing more than a Jenny-come-lately doppelganger of Mandy Moore. While currently the bigger star, Lindsay has paved her road to success with the leftovers of Mandy’s previous endeavors.

The Milk Mustache

Lindsay Lohan

One way to gauge your success in the celebrity world is by your presence in the iconic “Got Milk?” ads of the national dairy industry. Lindsay Lohan has achieved this milestone on November 2, 2004 and has the distinction of being the 200th person to appear in such ads. But while Lindsay’s smile and infamous coconut breasts ask us to get our daily dose of calcium, another young starlet has been there before.

Mandy Moore appeared in the ads at least as early as February 2003 (probably sooner), and her milk posters continue to be sold for use in schools. Two years after the initial release, these posters assert Mandy’s dominance in the milk-selling business, while Lindsay is simply a one-month wonder in the ongoing battle for strong teeth and bones.

Film Career

Mandy Moore has had a successful film career since her appearance in “A Walk to Remember” in 2002. Prior to that, she had roles in “The Princess Diaries” and “Dr. Dolittle 2”, though her success really blossomed in AWTR. Mandy’s movies can be summarized as light, teen-oriented comedies and dramas often with an opportunity for her to sing or at least appear on the soundtrack. She does not really appeal outside of the teenager and young adult markets, and with the exception of “Saved!” you’re unlikely to find her in any controversial roles. Currently, Mandy is the only young singer-actress to pursue this strategy. With one exception.

Lindsay is following a similar pattern. While it is true that she first got noticed on the silver screen in 1998’s “The Parent Trap” her success was not sealed until 2003 when she co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in “Freaky Friday” [1]. Like Mandy, she caters to the younger audiences, primarily the preteen females and early-twentysomething males. Although we could argue many actresses cater to this market (e.g. Olsen Twins, Hilary Duff), few use it to further their musical careers. Lindsay appears in a rock band (called Pink Slip) in “Freaky Friday” and her other recent roles put a strong emphasis on her love of music. This approach is eerily similar to Mandy’s movies of just a few years ago.

On a side note, if the Hilary Duff craze does not die out, she could become the third in this trend, making her Mandy Moore’s shadow’s shadow… although most people would already agree she is the least talented of the three.

Singing Career

Mandy Moore has had a remarkable career singing chart-toppers of catchy pop and teenage romance since 1999. She does not stray far from the bubblegum pop formula. And it works for her. Almost all of her songs are something you would want to listen to again and again.

Then along comes Lindsay Lohan, with her album “Speak” released on December 7, 2004 (coinciding well with her milk ad and great damage control for her year of tragedy [2]). Based on her film appearances and alternative dress, the unsuspecting populace was left with the impression she would be releasing an edgier album than Miss Moore would ever likely appear on. However, if the first single “Rumors” is any indication, this new disc is more of the same pop beats and dance club fluff we have more than enough of on the radio. While in her defense the music is more computerized than Mandy’s tunes, the same pop formula is employed with little or no effort to hide this fact.

Robert Frost took the road less traveled, but Linday Lohan is no Robert Frost.

Wilmer Valderrama

If these other items can be dismissed as coincidence (and admittingly many celebrities could be lumped into similar categories), there still remains one solid piece of evidence. Nothing says “Mandy Moore Wannabe” more than being the rebound girl for Mandy’s ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama (best known as “Fez” from “That 70s Show”).

Mandy and Wilmer dated from 2000 through 2002, before Mandy moved on to the world’s number one tennis star, Andy Roddick. The couple seemed ideal in the public eye, with their scant media appearances together showing the two in top spirits and Wilmer pampering the much-deserving Mandy.

Lindsay Lohan entered the scene in May 2004, but her relationship with Wilmer was brief – ending in mid-November 2004. Some reports even claimed that after the breakup, Wilmer went to Mandy for consoling. Perhaps he realized he only dated Lindsay because she reminded him of Mandy? If there is any way to find out, this author will certainly be the first to comment on this matter. [3]

Can Lindsay Lohan ever break out of the shadow of Mandy Moore? With Mandy’s career seemingly slowing down and Lindsay’s steadily picking up, this might be her chance to leave an impression on the world. 2005 will be the deciding year as Lindsay either fails and falls back into obscurity or claws her way to the top using every asset available to her.

Only time will tell.


[1] Lindsay specializes in remakes of Walt Disney films. Both the Parent Trap and Freaky Friday are Disney remakes, and her primary 2005 project is a remake of Disney’s “Herbie the Love Bug.”

[2] 2004 had Lindsay Lohan involved in a Thanksgiving marijuana scandal, time spent in the hospital for a severe illness, an emotional breakup, and her father “stalking” her leading to further family strife.

[3] Continuing the possibility of Hilary Duff being Lindsay Lohan’s shadow, it is worth considering that Lindsay’s only other high-profile beau was singer Andy Carter. Lindsay and Andy broke up when it was discovered that Andy was two-timing Lindsay with none other than Hilary herself.

Also try another article under Miscellaneous
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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