Millie Bobby Brown reflects on difficult 'few years' on 16th birthday

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."

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Cast of 'Stranger Things' at Hollywood events
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Cast of 'Stranger Things' at Hollywood events
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: Millie Bobby Brown (L) and Gaten Matarazzo attend Netflix's 'Stranger Things' For Your Consideration event at Netflix FYSee Space on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images For Netflix)
Cast members Caleb McLaughlin (L), Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo from the television series "Stranger Things" pose during a Netflix/Fysee event, California U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Cast members Caleb McLaughlin (L), Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo from the television series "Stranger Things" pose during a Netflix/Fysee event, California U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
FILE PHOTO: The cast of "Stranger Things" poses with the awards they won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series backstage at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
The cast of Stranger Things accepts their award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: (L-R) Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin attend the 'Stranger Things' FYC event at Netflix FYSee Space on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Gaten Matarazzo attends the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: (L-R) Actors Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, and Caleb McLaughlin attend the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Cocktail Reception at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: (L-R) Actors Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo and Noah Schnapp attend the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Actor Gaten Matarazzo attends Camp IZZE to celebrate the launch of IZZE FUSIONS on April 8, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Izze Fusions)
(L-R) Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Millie Bobby Brown arrives for the 68th Emmy Awards on September 18, 2016 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. / AFP / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0524 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actors Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on August 31, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0524 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jimmy Fallon as Steve Harrington, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Millie Bobby Brown as Jane 'Eleven' Ives, and A.D. Miles as Barb during the 'Stranger Things' parody on August 31, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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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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