13 Going on 30: Are Young Actresses Being Styled Too Maturely?

Fashion knows no limits. To many, it’s a freedom of expression, a craft, and an art. For celebrities, the fashion risks they take and their overall personal style can become their signature. The red carpet, in specific, is where fashion goes to thrive or die, all depending on how it’s received by the watching eyes of adoring fans and style connoisseurs. Whether it’s The Met Gala, known for its annual extravagant themes, or The Oscars, a night of timeless, Old-Hollywood glam, we are always looking to celebrities for the newest trends and styles. However, the artist must know their audience.

Growing up in Gucci…

Young adult and child stars were being styled by glam teams at the same age we were discovering Maybelline Great Lash mascara and Lipsmackers. Do you think Selena Gomez was shopping with her mom at Justice in between filming “Wizards of Waverly Place” in 2006? Probably not. Now, in 2022, not only has it become easier than ever for younger generations to gain popularity through social media, but they also go to extreme lengths to look, act, and dress more maturely in order to keep up with current trends, which are constantly evolving due to the rapid fast-fashion cycle we have created as consumers. Don’t get me wrong though, the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards were my Met Gala back in 2008.

Miley Cyrus red carpet 2006
Miley Cyrus red carpet 2006 Photo credit: Vince Bucci & Getty Images

A million watching eyes…

The concept of child actors and actresses is not new. The modern day Olsen Twins may as well be Dixie and Charlie D’Amelio. Although we are familiar with young adults in the spotlight, these adolescent stars aren’t gaining their fan bases through television shows and movies like they used to. Instead they have amassed huge followings of similar aged kids on social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. In the 2000s, child stars were only expected to appear once a week on their designated TV show or possibly as a contestant on a Disney Channel game show. Now, young creators are expected to be constantly interacting with their audience and posting to numerous social media outlets. They must always be “on”. As previously mentioned, this forces young stars to be on their best behavior at all times in an effort to fit the mold of a “perfect” role model for their audiences. Especially attempting to look the part through their fashion choices. In turn, they lose the chance to make standard mistakes–whether fashionably or otherwise–we all made at that age. Like knee high, lace up Converse. Ew.

Millie Bobby Brown red carpet
Millie Bobby Brown red carpet Photo credit: Koimoi

Avoiding the “Awkward Phase”…

Of course, the way teenage stars dress is not completely up to them. Multiple stylists and glam teams elect to paint these teenagers in an older, more mature fashion in order for them to be taken seriously in the media industry and not seen as merely children playing a role. Although this is helpful for their professional careers, younger fans take inspiration from their favorite celebrities’ style and fashion choices, just as we did trying to replicate Miley’s concert outfits in Hannah Montana. Consequently, younger generations begin to dress more and more maturely in an effort to keep up. It’s pretty awkward when a group of 14-year-old highschool Freshmen dress the same as 18-year-old college Freshmen.

We all wish we could’ve skipped our “Awkward Phase”. Braces, cakey foundation, and a Lululemon headband craze? Count me out. Unfortunately, though, the experience is an inevitable rite of passage for all preteens, whether you have one hundred or one million followers on Instagram. As this prominent pre-teen period goes more and more extinct, so does the appearance of an “average” teenager. I’m not expecting Olivia Rodrigo to make her next red carpet appearance adorned in Pura Vida bracelets and I’ll happily save my 14-year-old sister from wearing Converse to her first school dance, but wearing drugstore concealer that is two shades too light is a pivotal moment for every pre-teen girl. What world would we be living in if we progress past that?

Lizzie Sexton

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