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Why the Internet Loves Millie Bobby Brown

She turns 13 years old today, btw

02.19.17

The internet often feels like a pitch-black cave we’re all just bumbling around in without flashlights. There are lots of sharp edges (i.e. the “news”), and most of the news these days is a pulsating trash fire of terribleness.

Which is why the good stuff really stands out. After adjusting our eyes to the brief flash of light, we re-share and retweet and re-meme and re-chew the little crumbs of joy scattered like manna (matcha-flavored) from the digital trend heavens: #LEMONADE. Melissa McCarthy. The “salt bae” gif. Accidental reunions of celebrities from beloved childhood television programming. High-profile fertility tidings. Improbable athletic comebacks. Anything and everything Millie Bobby Brown says or does.

Millie has captivated the entire internet seemingly out of nowhere. Every time she appears on a talk show or gives an interview, it goes viral. It’s not just because she has a starring role on a hit TV show, because lots of cute pre-teens do that and no one cares about them.

Speaking of which, her name definitely deserves some credit for her rise to internet darlinghood. Millie Bobby Brown. What a moniker! It almost sounds made-up — like something you would have called your imaginary friend when you were five years old and didn’t know about kale stems or bikini waxes or of the adult world’s other miscellaneous secrets. Very pre-internet chic.

Sure, playing Eleven on Stranger Things was a great springboard: The badass shaved head. The Eggo waffles. The supernatural powers. Her character was basically tailor-made for memes. But it’s her IRL persona that clinched things. Here is a list of some of Millie’s most endearing gifts to the public, in no particular order:

  • Wearing sneakers to multiple red carpet appearances
  • Singing a rendition of Adele’s “Hello” to a very confused Starbucks drive-thru employee
  • Firmly declaring that “KISSING SUCKS”
  • Telling Vogue UK that she wore “a Pikachu onesie” to dinner at a restaurant the previous night
  • Interrupting a GQ interview to teach the editor a few boxing moves (Millie takes boxing lessons several times a week and allegedly has a punching bag in her backyard)

Honestly though, all of that is just gravy, the type of stuff that trends and dies within a matter of hours. I have a theory that Millie’s staying power stems from something a bit subtler. It’s apparent when you watch videos of her appearances or interviews: she’s not afraid to take up space — figuratively speaking, that is. In a world where girls are indirectly taught from a young age to keep themselves small, Millie looms large. She’s goofy and loud. She makes funny faces. She stakes her claim on the center of attention in a room full of boys, and she doesn’t let up.

We root for that subconsciously. Or I do, at least. Because when you’re wandering around the cave of the internet and you find a glow-y corner, you return to it again and again.

I’ll leave you with this very important quote from Millie in an interview with Vulture: “Sharks freak me out. I love whales, and I’m very intrigued by whales. I write many essays on whales.”

The internet loves Millie like Millie loves whales. That’s pretty much all you need to take away from this.

Photos via Getty.

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  • Meg S

    Millie is the 13 year old I wish I was. Sadly, I was none of those things. I didn’t get to be those things until my late teens/early 20’s. Going to tell all my nieces to be like Millie.

  • Lucinda Bayly

    “In a world where girls are indirectly taught from a young age to keep themselves small, Millie looms large. She’s goofy and loud. She makes funny faces. She stakes her claim on the center of attention in a room full of boys, and she doesn’t let up.” – THIS! Thank-you for offering real insight on why Millie has captured the hearts of the internet instead of simply discussing her surface affability – although her penchant for sneakers & Adele also makes her just as loveable.

    The eloquence of a newly 13 year old has seldom been seen, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. Not to mention, she’s probably the only person I’ve seen who rocks a shaved head better than Natalie Portman…

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  • Chloe

    So borring. What happened to the M.R???

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