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Amber Tamblyn Reflects on the Pain of Show Business Parents in Britney Spears Essay

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Amber Tamblyn's parents played a major role in her Hollywood career. In light of news surrounding Britney Spears and her conservatorship, the actress shared her deeply candid perspective.

To a degree, Amber Tamblyn understands what Britney Spears has had to face. After all, Tamblyn was also a female child star managed by her parents. 

In a newly published op-ed for The New York Times, the actress, who rose to fame first on General Hospital and then in Joan of Arcadia and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, reflected on what it was like to have her mom and dad at the helm of her career and the dynamic that resulted. 

"My money paid for our vacations, dinners out, and sometimes even the bills," she shared. "When it finally came time to disentangle our personal and professional relationships, it was deeply painful for all three of us."

"Having my parents on payroll was damaging to our relationship, whether we understood that or not," she wrote. "I couldn't shake the feeling that every time I had a conversation with my parents about money it felt as if I was asking for an allowance — only the allowance came from money I'd earned."

In addition to their conversations revolving around her career, Tamblyn's income became a major factor in her interactions with those closest to her. 

"As I made more and more money, the circle of those I supported opened up to include extended family members and friends. I was the one they came to for a small loan or in an emergency, the one who always picked up the check," she explained. "At one point when I was 21, I even bought an ex-boyfriend a new car in an attempt to break up with him; I was that used to using money to make people happy, or fix problems, or appease my guilt."

As she put it, "I was everyone's A.T.M.: a bank that was, nonetheless, unconditionally loved. Still, as I got older, it got harder to trust the source of that love."

And while the actress repeatedly acknowledged that her and Spears' situations are not the same, she can relate to having her body policed by forces outside of her control. While the pop star recently spoke out about her desire to have another child and wanting to have her current IUD removed, which is allegedly being prevented by her conservatorship, Tamblyn recalled how her weight was a subject of fixation and a gatekeeper to her next paycheck. 




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