With the premiere of Stranger Things 2, a whole new crop of child stars is getting even more famous. Fans have noticed something about the way we discuss stars like 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, 14-year-old Finn Wolfhard, and 15-year-old Gaten Matarazzo, and they are certainly not liking it.
Headlines have been referring to Millie Bobby Brown as “so grown up,” thanks to the photo shoots and red carpet appearances that make her look much more mature than her 13 years. But, as a tweet pointed out, she’s still a child.
Some are worried about sexualizing a person at such a young age.
"millie bobby brown is all grown up!" she's like. 13. please could u just… for like two seconds don't be disgusting
— hashtag jopper (@zenyanna) October 28, 2017
Others think that Millie (and her team, more likely) are making too many adult decisions.
Millie Bobby Brown looked like a grown up woman at the premier and that makes me really sad
— Joyce (@intokaticx_) October 28, 2017
Millie Bobby Brown looks TOO grown up tbh like who tf slapped all that makeup on that poor kid!?
— єmmч (@iboopedyournose) October 28, 2017
Fans are right to suggest that it’s key to remember a child star’s age when talking or writing about them. “Even though she may be wearing clothing that makes her appear a lot older, she’s still a child, and that’s the key,” Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a teen adolescent, child, and family psychologist tells Yahoo Style. “Clothing may make a child look older, but it certainly doesn’t mean they have the confidence, identity, and cognitive skills of a grown-up person. Appearance doesn’t apply to everything else.”
The way we report on red carpet style is “probably never going to change, because we’re so obsessed with what they’re wearing and fashion,” Dr. Greenberg says, encouraging us to be more mindful when we discuss child stars. “Maybe we use words like ‘She looks fancy’ or ‘She looks creative’. Whatever a 13-year-old child is wearing, it doesn’t mean that they’re grown-up.”
Earlier this year, Brown shared her daily makeup routine in a video tutorial. “I wear as minimal makeup as possible, you gotta be comfortable in your own skin!” she told fans. Whether you’re reporting on Brown or dressing up as her Stranger Things character for Halloween, let’s make sure to keep things as positive as she does.
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