Opinion: Young actors are subject to too much pressure

Young actors should not be subject to all of the hate, pressure, and inappropriate attention that they receive


Beth Brackmann

Young actors are often sexualized and harassed at a young age, which adds extra pressure onto their lives

Alayna Majkrzak, Features Editor

News article after news article scrolls past with headlines covering how childhood fame broke Hollywood stars.  Whether it is a disney star who turned to drugs or a nickelodeon star who ended up quitting acting all together. No matter the outcome, the reason this happens is due to societal pressures and hate. There is no reason for people to hate on young actors or even child actors, especially since they are at such a vulnerable and impressionable age. 

Actors ranging from Demi Levato, the star of “Camp Rock” or Jannet Mcurdy, everyone’s favorite from “ICarly”, or even more current stars like Jenna Ortega and Noah Schnapp. They all have one thing in common, a societal pressure and constant hate that has been placed on them from a young age. People become obsessed with these child stars and delve into their social lives outside of acting, sexually harass them from a young age and more. All this while they are still just kids. 

Many actors who start as children grow up in the spotlight. Due to their young age and seemingly high social status people think it is okay to pick apart everything that they do, both in their careers and personal lives. Every young kid makes mistakes, but those mistakes are exploited and used to add to lists of reasons why people should hate certain child stars. Child actors aren’t allowed to make the normal mistakes that everyone makes, like accidentally saying something mean, because people exploit it and use it to fuel their personal hatred. This blocks many child stars from making essential mistakes that will help them grow as a person due to fear of backlash. 

Not only are these young actors not allowed to make mistakes because of their platform, their lives also seem to simply be a free for all. Many people, ranging from press to the general public try to see into these actors complex social lives and figure out their lives outside of acting. The public doesn’t only invade privacy when it comes to friendships outside of the acting world but also the relationships that young celebrities are in. People tend to obsess over the romantic lives of these young actors, most of whom are not legal adults, and try to see who they are having a relationship with. This invasion of privacy happens often with many modern day young actors from Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) to Jenna Ortega (Wednesday). These are just kids and their personal lives are being preyed upon in order to make more interesting headlines and for essentially no other reason.

Romantic relationships are not the only thing that gets encroached on by society and the media, but their bodies also get picked apart. Young actors are essentially preyed upon by the media, constant paparazzi and red carpets allowing for people to get their hands on pictures of young actors. For many child actors these constant photos and appearances on social media and on screen lead to their sexualization from a young age. People talk about young actors in an often disgusting way. 14 year olds being called hot and the paparazzi having the day a 17 year old actor turns 18 marked down on a calendar. This sexualization of a young actor the moment they turn 18 shows that people were thinking that way about these actors in a sexual way for years prior to the celebrity’s 18th birthday. 

Many people do try to justify this invasion of privacy as well as an odd infatuation with these actors by highlighting that they put themselves in the public eye so people are allowed to judge and look in on their lives. Just because these young actors, sometimes just kids, are in the spotlight does not mean that they can be bullied or sexualized for doing nothing other than just being kids. Young people are allowed to make mistakes, and these mistakes shouldn’t make or break the way people view them because they are just kids. Kids are allowed to make mistakes without risking their career, and young actors’ lives shouldn’t be preyed upon for content even if they are almost 18 or in the public eye. 

At the end of the day these actors are human. Not only are they human, they are, a lot of times, kids. These young actors are thrust in the public eye, but they are not there to be subject to public humiliation or sexualization. All they are there to do is act. Being a public figure at a young age is hard, but what is even harder is dealing with constant invasion of privacy and harassment.