As a little girl Mara Wilson acted in family movies, never reached tabloid level fame, and always dressed as the young, innocent child she was. But, creeps still found a way to sexualize her.
Wilson’s New York Times piece, “The Lies Hollywood Tells About Little Girls,” is a heartbreaking look at the truths of the “media and the public.” Wilson recounts “The Narrative” she and other young actors were expected to live and how to this day, she still suffers from the destroying culture she exhibited in the industry.
Before Wilson was even a teenager, her feet were uploaded to foot fetish sites and her face was manipulated into child pornography by little girl fetish perverts. Even though she never wore “anything more revealing than a knee-length sundress,” she was still subject to sexualization.
At six years old, interviewers would ask her “Do you have a boyfriend?” and 50-year old men would send her love letters. And no, not in a sweet admiration of her work. In a disgusting, pedophilic way. Wilson describes The Narrative as a story “someone else is writing” and says, “The Narrative often has far less to do with the child than with the people around them.”
It’s a sad reality that kids who simply want to act, are subject to the scrutiny of lowlifes that aim to sexualize their every move. Her piece brings up Brittney Spears and the “terrifying” reality of her life as well:
The way people talked about Britney Spears was terrifying to me then, and it still is now. Her story is a striking example of a phenomenon I’ve witnessed for years: Our culture builds these girls up just to destroy them. Fortunately, people are becoming aware of what we did to Ms. Spears and starting to apologize to her. But we’re still living with the scars.
Wilson goes on to say how there is an “assumption that famous kids deserve it. They asked for this by becoming famous and entitled, so it’s fine to attack them.” There is a disgusting level of truth in her words. While she admits that the over-sexualization came from the hand of the media and public rather than a film set, hypersexualization is apparent in shows like Cuties, Big Mouth, and RuPaul’s drag queen comedy where a 10-year-old is referenced as a “top.” The media endorsement of these shows encourages hypersexualization.
Wilson’s recount on her lived experience is evidence of the disgusting nature of the media towards child sexualization. There is an expectation that “anyone who grew up in the public eye will meet some tragic end” and it’s a shame that she’s right.