Actress Mara Wilson has voiced her concern over the “sexualization” of child stars such as Millie Bobby Brown.
The 30-year-old made a name for herself in ’90s films Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street and Matilda but took a step back from Hollywood to build a new career as an author.
In a new article for Elle.com Mara has addressed the inappropriate focus on youngsters in Hollywood, which comes after Stranger Things stars Millie and Finn Wolfhard have come under unwelcome scrutiny for their looks, with the former named in an article about TV being “sexier than ever” and the latter propositioned by a 27-year-old model who told him to “hit her up” when he turned 18.
We need to stop sexualizing child stars. We need to hold Hollywood, the media, and ourselves accountable.https://t.co/oQtgBdXRi3
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) November 14, 2017
Beginning her piece by recalling a letter from an anonymous fan who told her he loved her legs and asked for her lip print to be sent to him when she was just 15, Mara then turned her attention to the current crop of young stars.
“Like everyone, I watched Stranger Things. Like everyone, I was impressed with the child actors,” she wrote, praising the cast – notably Millie, who plays Eleven – for their “emotional performances” and innocence as well as their down-to-earth nature.
Although Mara admitted she wasn’t “worried” about Millie at first, despite her tendency to look out for child actors, things changed when the actress became a teenager and a man wrote on Twitter that she “grew up in front of our eyes”.
“I felt sick, and then I felt furious. A 13-year-old girl is not all grown up,” Mara fumed, slamming such websites for “fetishizing” young girls.
“I never had that same sick feeling I had as a young girl opening a letter from a strange man, or checking my fan sites – or as an adult, reading a tweet about Millie Bobby Brown… What’s really at play here the creepy, inappropriate public inclination to sexualize young girls in the media,” she blasted.
Mara also insisted now she’s older she can “handle” comments online, from people calling her ugly to wanting to have sex with her.
“I am not a child anymore. Millie Bobby Brown is. Commenting on a child’s body, whether in a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ way, in a sexualizing or pitying way, is still commenting on a child’s body,” she added.