Millie Bobby Brown, the phenomenal 13-year-old who plays Eleven in Stranger Things, is a very talented actress (and rapper). Her dedication has already taken her to the point of shaving all her hair off for her role, and following the recent controversy around Emily Ratajkowski’s Instagram comment declaring hair “a fundamental part of beauty, femininity and identity,” Brown has taken to Twitter to celebrate her shaved head.
Brown did not explicitly call out Ratajkowski’s remark, but the model's Instagram comment blew up into a controversy that had essentially all of Twitter denouncing the model, who has recently become the new face of Kérastase. Her Instagram comment stated that hair is a fundamental part of beauty. The backlash came from people who (correctly) pointed out that beauty comes in many shapes and forms, and if a woman does not (or cannot, due to disease, for example) have what is deemed to be the “accepted” kind of hair, then she is missing a fundamental part of being beautiful.
Brown has been outspoken about the process of shaving her hair for Stranger Things in the past. She has shared the original video footage numerous times, and her recent Twitter comments, whether prompted by the Ratajkowski controversy or not, are inspiring still. She said shaving all her hair off was the “most empowering moment of my whole life.” When she looked in the mirror and could not “hide behind [her] hair like [she] used to,” she realized she only had one job: to inspire. In a separate tweet, she says “you don’t need hair to be beautiful. You are beautiful with or without.”
Of course, Brown could just be trying to inspire her young fans—which is an amazing instinct for such a young artist to already have—but if we're being totally honest, that phrasing does makes it seem like she is throwing shade at Ratajkowski.
The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life. The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. As I looked in the mirror I realized I had one job to do. Inspire. pic.twitter.com/k65c7dGId1— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) January 14, 2018
shaving your head is so empowering. You don't need hair to be beautiful. You are beautiful with or without. I learnt that too x— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) January 14, 2018
Brown was having a particularly nostalgic day, it seemed. On top of a few tweets about missing her shaved head and what the experience meant to her, Brown also tweeted an Eleven GIF and revealed that she definitely threw in a few head scratches disguised as acting moves while filming the show.
i miss my shaved head— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) January 14, 2018
the only reason i did this was because i needed to scratch my head... looks cool tho... ha pic.twitter.com/BIKkUrOR7t— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) January 14, 2018
In the summer of 2016, Brown spoke to Vulture about how it felt to cut her hair at such a young age, as well as how her family reacted. “I read the script and I was so happy with my character and I thought, This is how it's gotta be. My mom and my grandpa were like, ‘No, you can't do that,’” she said. “It took me 12 years—well, 11 years—to grow something. [My hair] wasn't thick, but it was long. And then they shaved it all off and it was very hard for my parents. But I convinced them. I was like, ‘Dude, it grows back. It's fine.’”
May we all learn to be as chill as our girl Millie in our lives from here on out.