Since turning 18 in February, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has noticed a change in the way she’s treated on social media, and it’s not a good one.
“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,” the Enola Holmes star said on a recent podcast interview. “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.”
And now that she’s a legal adult, she said, she’s “definitely seeing a difference between the way people act and the way the press and social media have reacted to me coming of age.
“But it’s gross, and it’s true,” she added. “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 also have been dealing with that for forever.”
Brown previously opened up about being sexualized at a young age when she turned 16, writing on Instagram, “I feel like change needs to happen for not only this generation but the next. Our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grow and succeed.
The last few years haven’t been easy, I’ll admit that. There are moments I get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me. But not ever will I be defeated. I’ll continue doing what I love and spreading the message in order to make change.”
Sadly, Millie Bobby Brown is far from the first young star to deal with this phenomenon. Some British tabloids published a countdown to Emma Watson’s 18th birthday in 2008, and once she was legal, took horrifying upskirt shots of her. Natalie Portman received inappropriate fanmail when she was only 13.
Can we please try to be cool to young people in the spotlight from now on? Thanx.
She wrote, “i’m already grown up, i just get older,” in the caption, a paraphrase of a line from The Professional, Natalie Portman’s first movie. Millie Bobby Brown has often been compared to Portman, both because of her dramatic maturity onscreen at a young age and because of their physical resemblance.