Millie Bobby Brown was 12 when she first came into our lives as Eleven in the epic first season of Stranger Things. Three years later, the Stranger Things fandom has grown into a cult obsession, and Brown is beloved by many. But she’s also disliked by many, more than your average child star.
There’s no arguing with the fact that as a performer, Millie Bobby Brown is extremely talented. The widespread dislike for the now-15-year-old is actually targeted at her personally, and people are exceptionally vocal about it to the point where hating on Millie Bobby Brown is an online movement.
There are countless YouTube videos where people declare their distaste for the young star and give their various ‘reasons’. It’s a topic people are oddly passionate about, and it can only be described as bullying.
The aversion towards Brown is unfounded and unkind, and it’s bizarrely popular. So I dived into some of the simple things that are motivating this trend to unpack how people are rationalising an irrational feeling towards a 15-year-old stranger.
I’ve broken it down into three key reasons.
#1. She’s a tween on the internet
With great fame comes great social media presence, which is why Millie Bobby Brown posts so much content online. The fact that her content is often cringe should be a given, because we have been observing her using social media during her tweenybopper years.
Do you remember the stuff you posted during your tween years? Thinking back to the Myspace and early Facebook days of your online existence can really help put things into perspective.
So consider it through a tween lens when Brown posts things like the Instagram video compilations of her singing in the car, and statements like the one she shared (and has now deleted) on Twitter about shaving her head.
“The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life. The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. As I looked in the mirror I realized I had one job to do. Inspire.” – Millie Bobby Brown, January 2018.
Or when Brown shared the most terrible take on Joe from You being an alright guy (he’s literally a murderer).
There’s a false sense of Millie Bobby Brown being an adult, when really she’s tween on the cusp of teenhood and should be treated as such. Over the past three years she’s been the normal amount of cringe on the internet for her age.
#2. The MBB-sucks propaganda
All those videos of people explaining why Millie Bobby Brown sucks are inundating the web with bias takes on the her, and they are straight up bullying. There’s a lot of videos accusing her of talking too much and interrupting her co-stars, which are used to build a case for her being selfish and arrogant.
Except, besides the fact that she’s a tween and most adults don’t even know how to handle that level of spotlight, a lot of the videos are highly edited to vastly exaggerate the amount that MBB talks or interrupts. The trend of doctoring Stranger Things cast interviews to make Brown look bad is explored in this video:
So any little embers of dislike for Millie Bobby Brown can be fanned into full blown flames with just a quick peruse of the hate propaganda out there, and that’s how online bullying can become such a powerful force.
#3. She’s already rich and looks like a young Natalie Portman
She’s SO rich. Her Stranger Things season three pay cheque is reportedly US$3.15 million (AU$4.4 million), matching the salaries of the adult stars on the show David Harbour and Winona Ryder. She’s 15 and has more money than most of us will probably ever see.
Also she really has been blessed with a face that fit the socially accepted standards of beauty. She looks like young Natalie Portman, and she has high fashion experts dressing her to look great.
I think we would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that feelings of dislike towards Millie Bobby Brown are motivated at least a little bit by jealousy. Hating is a coping mechanism, but it’s not a valid opinion.
As much as it may pain you to surrender your irrational dislike for Millie Bobby Brown, the truth is she doesn’t deserve it. She’s a stage kid acting the way stage kids do, and that confidence that rubs people the wrong way is part of what makes her such an incredible performer.
Plus she’s doing some great work as UNICEF’s youngest ambassador and getting behind good causes, so let’s leave the kid alone.