As we begin to enter our teenage years, it seems that falling in love with our favorite celebrity idols is a rite of passage. They have the looks, charisma, and a whole lot of “talent.” (Okay, so the talent bar is generally set pretty low when you’re in 7th grade). In hindsight we often look back and wonder what the heck we were thinking. Many of our crushes either dropped off the face of the Earth or only remained in the headlines because of their bad or weird behavior. With that in mind, here is a list of 10 past celebrities who the 13 year-old versions of ourselves had total crushes on, but we would rather pretend we didn’t.
1. Lindsay Lohan
Remember when Lindsay Lohan was the wholesome girl next door? As a kid, she burst out onto the scene in the remake of The Parent Trap as twin sisters Annie and Hallie. But once she became a teenager, the star of Freaky Friday and Mean Girls became the kind of girl that all the guys wanted to date and all the girls wanted to be friends with. But sadly, her multiple brushes with the law and terrible career choices as an adult have put her firmly on this list. Guys, let us never speak of this again.
2. Aaron Carter
Ladies, admit it. When you were in middle school, Aaron Carter’s frosted tips and faux street credibility totally turned you on. Although he was never able to achieve the fame that his older brother Nick had with the Backstreet Boys, you couldn’t have guessed it at the time. Heck, even Shaquille O’Neal appeared in one of his music videos! Today Aaron looks totally strung out, severely underweight, and has a weird neck tattoo. Let’s just say that the crush you had on him is a secret you hope to take to the grave.
3. Jenny McCarthy
Back in the mid 90s, Jenny McCarthy was every teenage dude’s dream. She was sexy as hell, while managing to act like a hilarious goofball on the MTV dating game show Singled Out. In other words, she made you laugh and drool at the same time. Today, she is more known for her misguided understand of science, such as with her false claims that childhood vaccinations can cause autism. We definitely regret that McCarthy was once our pretend girlfriend.
4. Edward Furlong
Edward Furlong didn’t necessarily seek fame. It’s more that fame found him, at least for a few minutes. When he was discovered at the Pasadena Boys & Girls Club and cast as John Connor in Terminator 2, it was the role of a lifetime. For girls just like you, he was totally the cat’s pajamas. But his career subsequently sputtered and today he is more known for his substance abuse problems and bloated physique. Sorry ladies, unless you can manage to invent a time machine like in the Terminator franchise, there’s no righting this wrong.
5. Miley Cyrus
Once upon a time, Miley Cyrus was the squeaky-clean teenybopper sensation known as Hannah Montana. This All-American persona won her a ton of female fans as well as a ton of male admirers. Any boy who came of age in the mid 2000s had fantasies about Cyrus as their prom date. She was somebody you could definitely take home to your parents. But her decision to reinvent herself as a trashy performer has led a lot of guys to realize that their relationship with Cyrus was never meant to be.
6. Macaulay Culkin
In the early 90s, there simply wasn’t any child celebrity who could match Macaulay Culkin in terms of popularity and box office success. But within a few short years Culkin faded away. It certainly didn’t help that Hollywood filmmakers loathed his father, who used bullying tactics when negotiating his son’s movie deals. As an adult, Macaulay has faced drug-related legal issues and looks far too worn out for a guy still in his 30s. Girls who had a crush on him back in his heyday would rather not talk about it, okay?
7. Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart is the best! Simply the best! It isn’t so much that having a crush on Hart was itself embarrassing. After all, this charming, bubbly girl grew up to remain a respectable actress who has never generated any controversy or gotten herself into legal trouble. The real embarrassment here is that by being enamored by Hart, guys are basically admitting that they used to watch Clarissa Explains It All or Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or both. Yikes!
8. Mario Lopez
Better known as A.C. Slater from Saved By the Bell, Lopez won his way into the hearts of many a teenage lass. The fact that he hasn’t aged in 20 years could probably serve as proof that he’s a vampire or something. But the fact remains that any girl who had a crush on Lopez by default approved of his mullet and silly tank tops. That is unacceptable and embarrassing in our book!
9. Amanda Bynes
When she was still just a kid, people were already calling Amanda Bynes the next Lucille Ball. Talk about pressure! Incredibly, the predictions came true! Just kidding. While a preteen Bynes had a certain comic sensibility that was way beyond her years, as an adult she once set fire to some random stranger’s driveway and said/did a bunch of other weird stuff that called into question her mental state. These days she seems to be getting the help that she needs, so that’s good. But those of us who had a crush on the Nickelodeon version of Bynes can’t get past those bizarre meltdowns.
10. Shia LaBeouf
One of the many kids who made their name on the Disney Channel, Shia LaBeouf was a real hit with the girls who watched him on Even Stevens. His plum role in Transformers also won him a lot of adoring fans. But female fans who used to pretend that they would one day become Mrs. LaBeouf aren’t all that cool with the frequent drunken antics that seem to sum up his life today. Whether it is causing a ruckus at a Chicago Walgreen’s or babbling incoherently in Savannah, Georgia, ladies who once had a crush on LaBeouf are doing plenty of face-palming right now.