Stranger Things actress Natalia Dyer says the media is “oversexualizing” young stars.
During an interview with The Independent, Dyer, 25, said that she is “protective over” her younger co-stars. The conversation came about when she addressed sexuality in film, highlighting films like “Yes, God, Yes,” in which she acts out masturbation in a scene.
Dyer has been in all three seasons of Stranger Things, but according to her, “no one had any idea how successful the show would be.”
The main cast includes Noah Schnapp, 15, Millie Bobby Brown, 16, Finn Wolfhard, and Gaten Matarazzo, who are both 17. Brown and Wolfhard have spoken out about not wanting to be sexualized at such a young age. But, Dyer says that she has been a witness to the strange sexualization of the children in media.
“I generally feel like, to me, it’s oversexualizing them. I feel protective over the younger kids even though they’re not kids anymore; they’re teens,” she said. “They’re all great people and all having to grow up in very crazy circumstances. As a private person, I just feel like, leave people alone – unless you’re talking about their work or what they want to talk about. It’s a very tricky and complex issue.” Dyer went on to say that the over-sexualization of the actors is “a cultural issue” and said, “there must be a bigger concept behind it as to why.”
“Just let people be the people that they are, without any judgement,” said Dyer. She added that fame has also been a struggle for her since the show’s debut.
“It’s lovely to meet fans, but it’s very like, ‘Oh my gosh, I just want to go to the grocery store and get some milk. I don’t want to take a photo everywhere I go.’ At first, it was jarring. There are fans everywhere. It’s a difficult thing to navigate. It’s been like five years since we started ‘Stranger Things,’ and I’ve become more confident in how I handle situations. At first, I had quite a few bouts of anxiety just as the show was coming out because there’s this mentality of letting people down and not giving enough,” said Dyer.
“I feel like my work is what I did. I don’t owe somebody a photo. I gave them my work,” she explained.