It may be perfectly normal for a parent to give a child a piggyback ride, but for Lindsay Lohan and her mother that practice is inverted -- the child is doing the heavy lifting while the mother appears happy to go along for the ride.
Dina Lohan, Lindsay's mother, has reportedly been given the chance to do a reality show with E! in which she will try to make celebrities out her youngest children: Lindsay's sister Aliana, 14, and brother Cody, 11. A spokesperson from E! said the cable channel had no comment on the reports of Lohan's show.
The prototype for her motherly celebrity-making process has certainly been made.
Sent to work at Ford Models at the ripe old age of 3, Lindsay Lohan, 20, spent her preteen and teen years doing commercials and acting in soap operas and smaller movies before catching her big break with the 2004 hit film "Mean Girls."
Lindsay has since become a household name and a tabloid regular, as much for her off-camera foibles as for her professional achievements. The not-yet-legal-to-drink Lindsay recently checked in for a second stint in a rehabilitation facility in an effort to reform her hard-partying ways.
Having pushed her daughter for so many years, Lohan seems determined not to let the fanfare surrounding Lindsay pass her by. It was one thing when Dina was photographed leaving Hyde nightclub with a boy-toy while Lindsay was attending AA meetings, but news that she is using her younger children to promote herself has caused a negative reaction from some sections of the Hollywood community.
"What I have for this woman (Dina Lohan) is loathing," said Paul Petersen, a former child star himself and the founder of A Minor Consideration, an organization geared to improving the protection and rights afforded to children in the entertainment industry. "I would like to ask her, 'Have you not seen the condition of Lindsay?'"
A member of the Mickey Mouse Club by 10, Petersen became a teenage heartthrob after becoming a star in the 1950s and '60s sitcom "The Donna Reed Show." Now 61, Petersen is aghast at what he perceives as the exploitation of minors.
"These parents do this as they're cowards who are too scared to go out there and do it for themselves," Petersen told ABC News. "These children are robbed of their right of choice, and their opportunity to learn and grow in life is stolen from them by parents who should go to jail for this treatment."
The reality of children on set has often been the cause of friction.
In 1982, tragedy struck during the filming of Steven Spielberg's "Twilight Zone" when a helicopter being used in the filming was damaged by pyrotechnics and crashed onto the set, killing three, including My-ca Le, 7, and Renee Chen, 6. The film suffered at the box office due to the infamous incident, and as a result regulations were tightened involving children on set during scenes laden with special effects and those filmed at night.
Macaulay Culkin had the world at his feet after the 1990s movie "Home Alone," but he soon fell from the limelight as his mother and father, who was also his manager, battled for custody. Considered by many as a shining example of the pitfalls of child success, Culkin married and divorced by the age of 20 and hit a new low in 2004 when briefly jailed for drug possession.
Despite sorting out his professional and personal life over the last couple of years, Culkin has yet to regain the fame he held in the '90s.