Olivia Rodrigo is determined to change the way that people treat young female celebrities.
In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the pop star opens up about the pressures of fame and the unique challenges that many female artists face in her industry. For instance, the 18-year-old is sick of the way that Hollywood pits women against each other and celebrates their failures.
Britney Spears is a clear example of the harsh scrutiny that female artists can encounter, and Rodrigo shared that she’s been closely following the #FreeBritney movement.
“I’m so excited to see her making leeway in her case,” she told the magazine, referring to Spears’ conservatorship case. “I’m so happy that Britney’s case is getting so much attention, and I just hope that she gets all the justice she deserves and lives the best life she possibly can.”
The “Drivers License” singer thinks Spears’ case is just one example of the way our culture “tears down women in the spotlight for sport” and she feels strongly that it needs to stop.
“As a society we definitely have to reexamine the way we treat women in the entertainment industry, and not just for ourselves — it’s unhealthy for young girls to be looking at all that stuff in the media. It paints a bad picture,” she said.
Rodrigo grew up during the social media revolution and she can certainly understand how these sites put all sorts of extra pressure on girls as they’re growing up.
“It’s so frustrating to see young girls held to a completely different standard than other people. Social media is making it even harder for young girls to grow up,” she said. “It’s really toxic for young girls to open their Snapchat app and see the articles about young women who are just sharing their art and existing in the world, and watching them being torn apart for doing absolutely nothing.”
Rodrigo has had quite a year with three No. 1 singles and a debut album that broke records, and she said she finds the most joy in songwriting since it helps her tap into her emotions.
“I hope people know that deep down, all that I do is write songs and talk about how I feel, and that’s the most important thing to me. Everything else, I think, is not so important,” she said.
The budding songstress has been in the spotlight over the past several years as a Disney Channel star and she said she’s still learning how to navigate being a teenager in the public eye.
“When you’re in the industry, you’re sort of treated like a child but expected to act like an adult. That’s a really terrifying thought, to think that I’m not allowed to make any mistakes, because I think that’s how you grow as a person,” she explained. “I’m no different from any other 18-year-old out there. I’m definitely going to make a lot of mistakes in my life and in my career probably too. That’s just life.”
Still, the 18-year-old seems to be wiser than her years and said she surrounds herself by people that aren’t afraid to dish out a bit of constructive criticism.
“My favorite people in the world are people I feel like will be totally honest with me and care about me enough to be like, ‘Oh, you can do better,’” she said. “It’s just about finding people you can trust and whose opinions you can trust.”
By Chrissy Callahan