ATTENTION: This is a rant-filled, longer than usual article.
The disgusting habit of the industry, media, and fans overstepping their boundaries with child stars has been happening since, well, forever. Sure, the issue seemed like it maxed out in the 90s, but it has only continued to escalate since.
You ever wonder why an abundant amount of child stars inevitably lost their minds and retired entirely too early? This is why.
These media monsters, unlike full-blown serial killers, don’t follow a specific pattern in that they stalk all sorts of money making figures. Child actors, pop stars, Hollywood heir and heiresses, even the children of the royal family are not safe. Sometimes, the victims don’t completely lose it until they are young adults, but their anxiety and abnormal behavior definitely stems from the frenzy of fame that surrounded their younger selves.
Gary Coleman, River Pheonix, Drew Barrymore, Haley Joel Osment, Macaulay Culkin, Aaron Carter, Mary Kate and Ashley, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato are just a few examples of child entertainers who at some point in their careers, majorly suffered from the battle of being young and famous in Hollywood.
The best example of abusing child stars today is the bullying of The Stranger Things kids. Let’s walk through just some of the pressure and criticism these kids have – very maturely – dealt with since the first season aired in summer of 2016.
Who Wore It Best?
Who cares? Children shouldn’t be exposed to criticism of this kind. Evaluating an appearance of someone who is at such a young age will only end badly. This is how serious body dysmorphia and self-image issues are created. At the MTV Movie Awards this past May, Millie Bobby Brown was critiqued on her outfit. An article from INSIDER named her one of the Worst Dressed, stating, “Millie Bobby Brown looks comfy but lost in a shapeless white dress…”
Shapeless???? She is 13 years old!!!!!!
Don’t encourage young girls to over sell – or over expose – themselves any earlier than they will eventually feel obligated to.
Expectation To Pose
Just recently, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard was given a hard time for not stopping for fans outside of his hotel. His decision to head straight to the car resulted in “fans” (I say that lightly, because what true fan would behave this way?) vocally expressing their disappointment to his face, and on social media shortly after.
Rightfully, many of his co-stars such as Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) and Shannon Purser (#JusticeForBarb) came to his defense, both saying how wonderful of a person Finn truly is. They also added that any kid, or human for that matter, that works as hard as they do DESERVES A BREAK. None of these cast members are obligated to pose for pictures, give a signature, or even look your way to be honest.
Each of the core kids have been stalked and taunted by the media outside of their hotels, their cars, and on the streets, which they were probably hoping they could still openly walk down. Multiple adult celebrities in Hollywood have spoken out on why this NEEDS TO STOP. Games of Thrones star Sophie Turner took to Twitter, tweeting how “super weird” it is to treat kids this way. It is absolutely not okay for grown adults to follow and harass children, even when said children are in the spotlight, and even if it’s the paparazzi’s “job.”
It’s time Hollywood starts RESPECTING and PROTECTING these child stars, who are just trying to follow their passions and apply their talent to the world. At this point, so early on in their hopefully long careers, it hardly feels like work for these 11 to 15-year olds. Why should anyone take that blessing away from them?
So, what do you say Hollywood? You wanna stop ruining lives and ending careers?
THEY ARE KIDS FIRST.