Millie Bobby Brown is aging gracefully, but the same can’t be said for the public’s reaction to her.
Like many child stars who have grown up in the spotlight (particularly female ones), the Stranger Things star has too frequently dealt with a lot of criticism, and sadly, a lot of oversexualization. Millie has discussed these things before, but now that she’s a legal adult, the scrutiny has reached a new level.
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During an appearance on The Guilty Feminist podcast, she reflected:
“I deal with the same things any 18-year-old is dealing with, navigating being an adult and having relationships and friendships, and it’s all of those things. Being liked and trying to fit in, it’s all a lot, and you’re trying to find yourself while doing that. The only difference is that obviously, I’m doing that in the public eye.”
She went on:
“It can be really overwhelming. I have definitely been dealing with that more in the last couple weeks of turning 18. Definitely seeing a difference between the way people act, and the way that the press and social media have reacted to me becoming of age.”
Other famous women like Natalie Portman and Emma Watson have spoken up about the sickening, hypersexualized reaction from a certain segment of “fans” when they reached legal age. Sadly, despite all these former child stars coming from different generations, it doesn’t seem like much has changed.
As MBB put it:
“[It’s] gross and it’s true, and so I think it’s just a very good representation of what’s going on in the world and how young girls are sexualized, and so I have been dealing with that but have also been dealing with that for forever.”
As she pointed out, though, comments on her body and appearance didn’t just begin when she turned 18. Recalling an earlier awards show moment, she shared:
“Once I was going on the red carpet and I thought, ‘Oh my god. I’m going to do a little low, just a little lower.’ I was like 16 and was like, ‘Mom, dad, please. Can I please wear this to this awards show?’”
Unfortunately, she said:
“I just got crucified. … I thought, ‘Is this really what we’re talking about?’ We should be talking about the incredible people that were there at the awards show, the talent that was there and the people that we’re representing.”
While the Enola Holmes actress can’t control the awful things that are said about her, she can control what she decides to share with the world. She explained:
“I think social media is the worst place of all time. I’m like, when people come on to my page they can be happy. And they can see people actually being helped or they can learn or they can laugh. And they’re seeing a real girl. Of course I like to post my little selfies, but like, then I get real.”
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“I’m not posting anything personal anymore. You’re not gonna see that part of me. You get to see the things I choose to put out in the world. I hope if there’s a 12-year-old that’s told Instagram they’re 18, and they’ve created an account, they’re going on my account and they’re not being exploited to the horrible world that’s out there.”
Millie is wise beyond her years — but it’s sad to think that all the attention may have forced her to grow up too quickly. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders, though, so hopefully she’ll continue to navigate this complicated industry with grace.
[Image via Samsung/YouTube & Millie Bobby Brown/Instagram]