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By Marie Claire Dorking, Yahoo Style U.K.
Millie Bobby Brown has marked her 16th birthday by sharing a powerful message addressing the online criticism and sexualization she’s received growing up in the spotlight.
The “Stranger Things” actress marked her milestone birthday on Instagram with a video montage of clips of her over recent years and some of the headlines she’s faced.
Alongside the video, which featured Justin Bieber’s new song Changes, the British actress penned a caption calling for change.
“16 has felt like a long time coming. I feel like change needs to happen for not only this generation but the next. Our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grow and succeed,” she wrote.
She also called out the social media abuse and inappropriate comments she’s received growing up in the public eye.
“The last few years haven’t been easy, I’ll admit that,” she said.
“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.”
But, despite her frustration, the young star is determined not to let it get her down, she just hopes shining a light on what goes on away from the cameras could help bring about change.
“But not ever will I be defeated. I’ll continue doing what I love and spreading the message in order to make change,” she added. “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.”
“Don’t worry I’ll always find a way to smile ;) leggo 16 [SIC],” she ended her post.
Since sharing her post, Brown has been flooded with messages of support, encouraging the star to keep being her.
“You’re showing tremendous poise in this business that has such built in scrutiny!” actress Octavia Spencer wrote.
“Enjoy every facet of being 16. Trust me it doesn’t stop even when you’re 35 like me. Ok I’m NOT 35. But hang in there sweetie.”
“People will always try to knock you down...Lucky for us you’re stronger than them!!!” another post read.
“You are amazingly inspirational to everyone!” another agreed. “Especially young women!! You seem to be yourself in everything you do! That is incredibly hard to do with everyone criticizing you all of the time!! Keep doing you girl!”
Read more: Millie Bobby Brown’s best fashion moments
After sharing a picture of herself on Instagram in a leopard print silk summer dress, Paris Hilton commented “that’s hot” under Millie Bobby Brown’s post.
This prompted Evan Rachel Wood to remind Paris Hilton that Millie Bobby Brown was, at the time, 15.
Bobby Brown became one of the youngest nominees in Emmy history when, aged 13, she was shortlisted for her performance in “Stranger Things.”