It was 2013 when we saw Millie Bobby Brown on the screens for the very first time. The 9-year-old made her acting debut with Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, playing the role of young Alice. Ever since then, fans have seen the actress grow up into the adult that she is now. As most child actors agree, growing up under constant public scrutiny and a high level of fame stops you from having a normal childhood. But Millie Bobby Brown’s case was much worse than others.
The Child Performer
From the entire cast of Harry Potter to Macaulay Culkin and Lindsay Lohan, we have seen many child actors grow up right in front of our eyes. Most of them have faced mental health issues at some point or the other.
Privacy is something that young children and adults need alike. Growing up famous deprives these children of their right to privacy. Add to this the fact that they must manage education and work, as opposed to most of us who struggle juggling it only during college. Young actors also constantly need to learn how to manage rejection, jealousy, self-scrutiny, and the endless need to be perfect because people are always analyzing them.
Psychology Today calls this the case of The Child Performer. Another point worth noting is that due to the nature of filmmaking and the topics it usually touches, child actors are introduced to drugs, sex and alcohol much earlier than their non-acting peers. Add to this the constant sexualization that celebrities are now used to and you realize child actors have many difficulties to face.
Why is Millie Bobby Brown different from other child actors?
Teenage can often be a very confusing period in one’s life. This transition from being a child with no responsibilities to an adult with numerous can be very daunting. One learns how to juggle work, relationships, friendships, career and essentially being an adult. The Stranger Things star, just like any other teenager, had to go through this.
Additionally, Millie Bobby Brown had to go through blatant sexualization from a very young age. W magazine has named Millie Bobby Brown one of the reasons “Why TV is sexier than ever” in 2017. Brown was only a 13-year-old at that time.
At the young age of 16, she wrote, “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.”
During the same time, she wore a low-cut dress at the 2020 SAG Awards. It appalled Brown to find out that this was all anyone could talk about.
Recently, during her appearance on The Guilty Feminist podcast, Brown opened up about being sexualized yet again. “I believe that shouldn’t change anything, but it’s gross and it’s true. It’s just a very good representation of what’s going on in the world and how young girls are sexualized.”
As dreadful and disheartening as it is, teen sexualization is very prevalent. Hence, we urge you to fight the same whenever you come across anything even vaguely pedophilic on social media. Donate to change-making organizations, if possible. Perhaps this might be a good chance to quote Einstein in saying “if I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”