Being a star in Hollywood has never been easy, but when you're thrown into Hollywood at a young age, it takes that struggle to an entirely new level. Recently on Youtube, former Disney Star Alyson Stoner has opened up about the struggles of growing up in the spotlight as a child star – revealing a darker side of the industry that isn't often discussed.
Best known for being the pig-tailed little girl in Missy Elliot's video for "Work It", Stoner spent a great deal of her youth in front of the camera working on projects like Cheaper by the Dozen, Super Short Show and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Now, 24 years, Stoner took to Youtube to look back on her celebrity childhood.
"Being famous as a kid is weird and unhealthy ... I was a pack mule growing up. Living in that little box? Being a part of that little machine? It takes a huge toll on you. The competition, narcissism, perfectionism, the pressure, schedule, the traumatizing experiences that we can never talk about, because we’re either under contract or we’ll get shot or other things will happen to us if we open our mouths."
Although her more recent acting credits includes voice acting for Disney and Nickelodeon, Stoner still feels that her career as a child star set her on a bad path. However, she's now ready to move forward without worrying about the public's opinion.
I'm done waiting, hoping that the politics are going to change. I want to be able to show you who I am, not giving a damn about whether it matches what you wanted me to be [while] building a true community of people where we can talk about shit that matters.
Stoner is ready for the world to see the woman she's become without being tied down to the image that many fans still hold on to while she was a Disney starlet. To shed the child star persona, she also shared several projects that she's excited to be involved with.
Over the last couple of years, Alyson Stoner has put together a great collection of work that showcases her singing, dancing and acting - much of which can be seen on her Youtube channel. Outside of her social media presence, Stoner has been active in Hollywood, taking voice acting gigs like Young Justice, Disney's Milo Murphy's Law and Phineas and Ferb. But she's also claimed roles in several films over the last few years like The A-List, Summer Forever, and the Step Up franchise.
Stoner is currently working on a project with Adi Shankar called Gods and Secrets, which looks at the much darker ramifications of a world filled with superheroes - specifically how the hero's actions impact their lives and the people they claim to protect. It's an interesting project for Stoner to attach to considering most of her past work is lighthearted and upbeat, pointing to a new direction for the Disney Star.
What was your favorite Alyson Stoner project? Tell us in the comments below.