“Mary Kate and Ashley Olson’s Upsetting Careers”

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Isabelle Anderson, Staff Writer

It’s likely that you’re part of the 20 million people who watched Full House from 1987 to now in 2021 and with watching that, you’re bound to know the adorable actresses Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. You know their bouncy blonde ponytails, wide smiles, and famous Michelle Tanner catchphrase: “You got it, dude!” However, not many know what they’ve gone through due to being child stars all their lives and what many other children like them have had to face.

From as young as 6 months old, they were cast in Full House and then started filming at 9 months old (1). Without being given a say, they were thrust into the spotlight and cast into a lifetime of acting. By the end of Full House, they were around 8 years old, but would continue to film other movies such as New York Minute, It Takes TwoMary Kate and Ashley Adventures, When in Rome, and many more. Around 2010 they had their last acting gig and in 2013 announced why they had moved away from their acting career (1). Although they said it was because they “didn’t have a lot of control in entertainment,” it can be assumed that there were many other reasons. 

Imagine working before you even could think, before you could walk, before you could talk. Working would be all you know. For these child stars, fame was all they knew. Although many could make the argument that working prepares children for adulthood, it’s unacceptable that they were working after not even a year of being born. This did indeed force them to grow up at a young age though; Mary Kate shared that “With what we were doing in business when we were younger, I don’t think it ever felt like we were actresses”(1). Ashley said that “I always looked at myself, even as a kid, as a businesswoman”(1). Talk about depressing. When you work, you’re supposed to enjoy what you’re doing, especially being an actress. When you’re a kid, the whole point is to avoid adulthood, to play at the park and not work, to make good memories with friends and family, to “be a kid!” Unfortunately, the Olson twins had these luxuries stripped away from them 6 months after they were born. Working was all they knew and will continue to be all they know. 

In other interviews there are other examples where they clearly state that they didn’t like working as children. Mary Kate explains how she and her sister felt like “little monkey performers” and that “[she] look[s] at old photos of [her], and [she] [doesn’t] feel connected to them at all. [She] would never wish [her] upbringing on anyone”(2). 

Apart from the fact that they were working at such a young age, there were other factors that they hinted at indicating why they didn’t enjoy the fame. At 16 years old, they were asked inappropriate questions by interviewers regarding their virginity (2) and they were joked about (though it might not be a joke) in sexual ways by other cast members in Full House. In addition to all that, Mary Kate had supposedly been struggling with an eating disorder and possibly an additional drug addiction and the press was on top of it (2). Interviewers would bring up the rumors and leave the twins in an uncomfortable spot when expected to answer. 

The Olsen twins’ privacy was stripped away from them at such a young age and all they knew was the stressful life of fame. What they’ve had to go through is ridiculous and has affected and continues to affect them today. Although some people may dream of becoming famous, they don’t realize all they have to sacrifice in order to be in the spotlight. 

(SOURCE 1) https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-olsen-twins-quit-acting-little-control-entertainment-industry.html/

(SOURCE 2) https://www.nickiswift.com/209769/the-tragic-real-life-story-of-the-olsen-twins/