Millie Bobby Brown is opening up about the sexuality of young women in Hollywood and how it has shaped her growth experience.
When appearing on the “The Guilty Feminist” podcast on April 4, the “Enola Homes” star said in some ways that her coming-of-age experience is no different from that of other teens of her age.
“I deal with the same things that any 18-year-old is dealing with, navigating as an adult, and having relationships and friendships, and that’s all that matters,” Brown said. “Liking and trying to fit in, it’s a lot, and you’re trying to find yourself while doing it. The only difference is obviously, I’m doing it in the public eye.”
But as a young woman in the eyes of the public, Brown said the sexuality of her image was something she had to navigate. The “Stranger Things” star, who turned 18 this year, said, “I’ve noticed a difference between the way people behave and the way the press and social media react to aging.”
“I believe it shouldn’t change anything, but it’s gross and it’s true. It’s a good representation of what’s going on in the world and how young women get into sex,” Brown said. “So, I’m dealing with it, but I’m dealing with it forever.”
Brown recalled this early sex, citing controversy over his wearing a low cut dress at an awards show when he was 16 years old. It’s about the incredible people who were there at the awards show, ’” he said.
At age 12, Brown made his first appearance on Netflix’s “Stranger Things”, playing Eleven. At age 13, Brown was listed on W Magazine’s “Why TV Is Sexier Than Ever” and men older than her have frequently commented on her appearance online. The 2016 GQ profile called her a “very grown up child” and criticized the look on her legs.
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When Brown stepped down for 16 years, he posted a message on Instagram that had been abusing the media and the public for years.
“The last few years have not been easy, I admit it,” Brown wrote at the time. “There have been moments where I’ve been frustrated by inadequacy, inappropriate comments, sex and unwanted shame, which has ultimately caused me pain and insecurity.”
Millie Bobby Brown is not the only young female star to face sex
The sexuality of girls and young women is widespread, especially for those in the spotlight. In 2004, before Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen entered the 18th year, websites were counting the clocks until they became “legal.” Natalie Portman, who has had frequent sex in her early roles, shared in the women’s march 2018 that “the countdown to my 18th birthday at my local radio show – euphemistically, is the legal date for me to sleep.”
In 2020, Portman noted in Dax Sheppard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast that “having sex as a child turned away from my own sex because it frightened me.”
According to the American Psychological Association, healthy sex is “an important component of physical and mental health, fostering intimacy, bonding and shared happiness, and involving mutual respect between consenting partners.”
Laura Palumbo, communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, said puberty and sexuality for girls and young women deny them agency.
“It is projected as a compliment – it is a sign of maturity that you are, in some ways, different or different from other children and young women,” Palumbo previously said. “Society is a way to trap girls and young women because you are worthy of the status we have given you, whether you want to or not, this bond.”