Millie Bobby Brown turned 16 on Wednesday, and in a candid post on Instagram, the Stranger Things star reflected on what has been a difficult "last few years." The teenage actress has been the subject of scrutiny, both on social media and in the press. Brown said "change needs to happen" for this generation and the next.
"Our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grow and succeed. the last few years haven't been easy, I'll admit that," she wrote. "There are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me."
However, Brown said, she will "never" be defeated.
"Let's focus on what needs changing and I hope this video informs you on the things that go on behind the scenes of the headlines and flashing lights," she noted.
The caption accompanied a two-minute video featuring screenshots of negative (real) headlines about the actress — like "Millie Bobby Brown CRITICIZED for Adult Style!" and "When did Millie Bobby Brown go through the change??? (Menopause)" — plus clips of her life in the spotlight. Brown is seen interacting with fans, signing autographs, appearing on TMZ and being hounded by the paparazzi.
The video is set to the tune of Justin Bieber's song "Changes." It's a fitting choice with lyrics like, "And I just wanna be the best of me / Even though sometimes, I forget to breathe / ... Though I'm going through changes / Don't mean that I've changed."
Brown, who plays Eleven on the hit Netflix show, ended on a positive note assuring fans she'll "always find a way to smile."
Many of her celebrity friends left notes of encouragement and wished Brown a happy birthday.
"Sending all the love to you and join you as a change maker and giver of kindness," wrote Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi.
"I love you Millie, happy birthday baby girl," added Bella Hadid.
Brown's Stranger Things co-star, Noah Schnapp, commented, "Happy bday millie this year is gonna be your year. AGAIN. here’s to 16 years old!"
Singer Lauren Jauregui wrote, "Send you so much love angel!! Happy Birthdayyy!! Keep thriving and being exactly who you need to be."
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