During it’s golden years and even now there was never a more-famous child star than Shirley Temple, and her life, unfortunately, set a precedent on how child actors would be treated in Hollywood in the coming years. Natalie Portman, a veteran child actor who is still very active told NBC that
“Sexualized roles as a teen harmed her. We have thankfully begun talking about the need for consent in relationships, starting at a young age, but that can’t stop when the cameras roll.”She said.
Another excellent example that recently spoke up is Matilda star Mara Wilson who blasted sexualization of Young Girls in Hollywood. Wilson spoke out against the sexualization of young girls and shared her own experiences of being objectified as a child star in an essay for Elle. She explains that someone wrote her fan letter,
“His name was Don, or maybe Doug. He was a grown man, one I’d never met, and he wanted me to answer his fan letter. His writing was hard to read, but I could make out just enough: I love your legs, and can I have your lip print on the enclosed index card?”She told in an interview.
In all honesty everyone has the right to be who they are, wear what they want and identify as whatever they’d like to. However, when these things lead to the sexualization of children and minors, then we know there are major problems in the society.
Take for example when Priyanka Chopra said,
“I think I just stopped and stared for a second”
About Billie Eilish’s Vogue cover. She was 19 when the photoshoot took place and yes, that age is considered adulthood but it bothered the hell out of me when Chopra said that. The thought crossed my mind multiple times that, was Billie not stunning before such a transformation? Was it necessary to boobify her innocence for someone like Chopra to be astonished?
Another heartbreaking thing is we are seeing more and more sexualized images of children and teens in media not only by Hollywood but self-sexualization of these kids. Proof of this is the 2018 report The New York Times published which stated “in 2018, tech companies uncovered over 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused — more than double what they found in 2017.”