With Stranger Things Season 4 nearing its premiere, Millie Bobby Brown is opening up about her experience growing up famous. Brown, who celebrated turning 18 in February, says she has observed a “gross” change in the way people speak about her on social media.
“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,” she said during an appearance on The Guilty Feminist podcast with Deborah Frances-White and Susan Wokoma.
“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.”
The actress said that turning 18 has been “really overwhelming”: “I have definitely been dealing with that, more within the last two weeks of turning 18. 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.”
When Brown turned 16, she wrote a post about the “unnecessary insults” she had received since starring on Stranger Things.
“[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,” she added.
Brown becoming a legal adult has added to the conversation about how female child stars experience growing up in an environment that sexualizes them and dismisses their concerns. It’s also shone a light on the atrocious stuff that lurks online — in particular, a Reddit forum that said it wouldn’t open until Brown’s 18th birthday. A Reddit user explained the purpose of the sub was to “post sexual pictures of her the day she turns 18.”
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