This magazine called 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown one of TV’s ‘sexiest’ stars
SHE IS LITERALLY A CHILD!
by Katie Way
It is wrong and disgusting to sexualize any of the child actors in Stranger Things. There's no world in which this should be a hot take, and yet it bears repeating, given the way certain outlets cover the young stars — especially female lead Millie Bobby Brown.
Millie Bobby Brown's name does not belong in any conversation about sex or sex appeal because she is a 13-year-old, but some outlets cannot seem to abide by this rock-bottom standard.
Spanish publication PlayFM dug up a June issue of W Magazine that ran a cover story with the headline "Why TV Is Sexier Than Ever."
The magazine listed names of these sexy TV actors, including Nicole Kidman, Riz Ahmed, and Charlize Theron. All well and good.
But what's not okay is that Millie Bobby Brown appeared in the very same column.
On the publication's website, Brown's picture is included in a slideshow with TV's "hottest" stars.
Brown is extraordinarily talented, and her performance is Stranger Things definitely warrants press coverage, but not the kind that turns her, an underage girl, into a sex object.
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) October 27, 2017
Luckily, most people seem to be onboard with protecting Brown and her male costars from those who want to sexualize them, or cover them in a way that's inappropriate for children.
Because whether or not the sexualization is intentional, it promotes a view of child stars as viable objects of affection for adults, which is pedophilia and obviously wrong.
Not ascribing intention to this tweet, but I'm genuinely bothered by how we sexualize minors in Hollywood. She's 13. She's not grown up. https://t.co/mL6cXCZGgx
— BryanEdwardHill (@bryanedwardhill) November 4, 2017
Historically speaking, we've treated child actors like shit for decades, but the rush to sexualize them is especially insidious.
— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) November 4, 2017
If you find yourself wanting to comment on the sex appeal of a child star, stop and ask yourself: Would I do this to any 13 year old I know?
— chelseigh (@cycle_song) November 5, 2017
Mara Wilson, who starred in Matilda and began acting when she was only 5 years old, tweeted some particularly pertinent thoughts on the media's treatment of Brown.
It’s really not that hard not to sexualize children and teens.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) November 3, 2017
It does not feel good to have strange men comment on your body when you are 13, whether in a “positive” or “negative” way.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) November 5, 2017
Hopefully the repeated backlash will be enough for people to reframe the way they talk about the stars of Stranger Things — we can talk about how funny they are, how cute they are, and how much we like the projects they work on without commodifying or objectifying them. It's really that easy.