Mara Wilson knows the plight of being a child star.
For an essay in Elle, the Matilda actress called for adults to stop perpetuating the trend where young stars are sexualized. Wilson has spoken from a place of experience as, when she “hit puberty,” adults felt it granted them permission to discuss her body. How awful.
The Mrs. Doubtfire star recalled:
“As soon as I’d hit puberty, it had become okay for strangers to discuss my body. Every time I stumbled across an article about myself, every fear I had about my pubescent body was confirmed: I was ‘ugly,’ which as a woman, made me useless, or I was ‘cute,’ which made me an object. I was ‘grown up,’ which made me vulnerable. Because I was a child actor, my body was public domain.”
The former child actress went on to praise the young stars of Netflix‘s Stranger Things and called out the way fans talked about the show’s 13-year-old lead, Millie Bobby Brown. Specifically, Mara was irked by the way one grown man commented on Millie’s appearance at the season 2 premiere.
The adult fan apparently wrote on Twitter:
“She just grew up in front of our eyes.”
In response to this particular tweet, Mara hit back with:
“Commenting on a child’s body, whether in a ├óΓé¼╦£positive’ or ├óΓé¼╦£negative’ way, in a sexualizing or pitying way, is still commenting on a child’s body.”
Fair point. It’s important that we don’t dehumanize these stars before they even have the chance to reach adulthood.
Wilson concluded her essay by advising those on social media to avoid talking about child stars altogether. Especially since they’re at an impressionable age. Not to mention, we are the adults, and the child stars are not. She noted:
“It’s never a bad idea to assume whoever you discuss on the internet can and will see what you say about them, and this is doubly true of children. We ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ the public, the media ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ are all grown up. We just need to act like it.”
Well said. Be sure to read Mara’s powerful essay in its entirety HERE.