The child actors on Stranger Things are some of our favorite young people in the entertainment industry. They’re incredibly talented, charming, funny, and seem to be getting a real kick out of the immense fame being on the show has brought them. But make no mistake: these are kids. Actual children. They range in age from 13 to 16 years old. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on the show, is 13. But in an industry that sexualizes goddamn nearly everyone (remember the countdown to Emma Watson turning 18?), she’s being called “sexy”.

Can we just not? Can the kid just be a goddamn kid for as long as possible?

She’s stalking me… 🙄

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For some inane and disgusting reason, Millie Bobby Brown was included in a slideshow of TV’s hottest stars. The slideshow appeared on the website for Spanish publication PlayFM.

millie bobby brown

Image: PlayFM

If the slideshow was called ” Most Talented Young TV Actors” or “Up and Coming Stars”, sure, including Millie Bobby Brown makes sense. But including a 13-year old in a slideshow that features “sexy” TV stars? No. Not ok, not here, not in The Upside Down, nowhere.

But it isn’t just some Spanish mag focusing on the physical appearance of a literal child.

She didn’t just grow up in front of our eyes. She is still very much a 13 year old kid. She’s just a 13 year old kid who gets to play dress-up in MUCH fancier clothes than other 13 year old kids. The sexualization of kids in Hollywood has been an issue for a long time. Mara Wilson, the former child actress who starred in Mrs. Doutbfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda, took to Twitter to share her perspective on how and why this sort of behavior can be so damaging.

“Happy girls are the prettiest.” -Audrey Hepburn 🐥

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Handling the level of fame the kids of Stranger Things have attained (and in such a short amount of time) cannot be easy. Add to that the regular insecurities of being a teen girl or boy, figuring out all the shit that comes with THAT, and trying to just live your life and have a little fun with it all seems absolutely insane. The media, and fans, need to do better, and treat these young people like the kids they are. And if the media could just move away from EVER making someone’s appearance the topic of conversation, no matter what their age, that’d be real swell, too.

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(Image: Facebook/Millie Bobby Brown)