The actress just became the youngest person ever to be named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Millie Bobby Brown has always spoken up for the issues affecting young people, whether through her acting work, in interviews and on her social media, where she raises awareness for the struggles that adolescents face.
This week, she cemented her position as one of the world’s youth’s biggest advocates when she was named UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador. At just 14, the British actress is the youngest person ever to hold that title.
Speaking at a press conference, Brown said she was honoured to take on the role and follow in the footsteps of one of her biggest inspirations, “the late, great Audrey Hepburn”, a woman she called “a hero of mine.”
“[She] once said ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping others and one for helping yourself.’ And that’s exactly what I intend to do.”
Brown joins a diverse range of ambassadors for the global organisation advocating for the rights of children including Katy Perry, Serena Williams, Liam Neeson, David Beckham, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg, Jackie Chan, Orlando Bloom and Priyanka Chopra. Previous ambassadors have included Hepburn, Jessica Lange, Richard Attenborough, Roger Federer and Roger Moore.
“I will speak out for the millions of children and young people whose voices have been silenced for far too long,” Brown said, of her appointment to the role. “I will shine a light on the issues that vulnerable children and young people have suffered around the world including representing them at places where they haven’t yet had a seat at the table and most of all, I will make sure children and young people know their rights.”
In particular, Brown said that she wanted to shine a spotlight on access to education for children around the world, ending bullying, ending violence against children and providing all young people with access to “a safe environment and clean water.”
In the past, Brown has spoken up about issues including partial deafness, which she herself suffers from. The actress is deaf in one ear, but she is emphatic that she will never let her disability slow her down. “I just started to sing,” she told Variety in 2017. “And if I sound bad I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love. You don’t have to be good at singing. You don’t have to be good at dancing or acting. If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it. No-one should stop you.”
Brown’s strength of conviction and fierce attitude is just one of the reasons she has become such a powerful role model for women and girls. Speaking of shaving her head for the role of Eleven on Stranger Things, Brown wrote on Instagram: “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.”
She has also started and manages a Twitter account dedicated to ending bullying called @milliestopshate where she offers to advice to her followers experiencing bullying and spreads messages of positivity. “Be nice every day,” one of the tweets reads. “Kindness is the key to a happy life.”
With Brown, the idea that the kids are going to be alright has never been more apt.