Why Is Oscar Nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis, Public Enemy #1?

Quvenzhané Wallis, the pint size star of Beast of the Southern Wild, was the youngest actress to be nominated as Best Actress for an Academy Award at the tender age of 9. She swelled with pride on the Oscar red carpet with her puppy purse. The young dynamo can also lay claim to being the first person to get a public apology from the satire site, The Onion.

By now, the story is as fabled as any film that was nominated this year at Hollywood’s grand affair. The Onion, in all its esteemed humor, thought it would be funny to call the Oscar nominated girl a “cunt.” Their crude attempt at a joke went over like a lead balloon; well meaning people, despite their tolerances, tend to find it offensive when a kid is insulted with vulgarity. Apologies ensued; the backlash to the backlash followed but at the center of the controversy is just a precocious girl who is living out her potential. She stayed up past her bedtime to be celebrated but was instead torn down. John Legend’s fiancée, Christine Teigen, also saw fit to attack a child by tweeting, “is it okay to call a small child cocky?” and “i am forced to like Quvenzhané Wallis because she is a child right? okay fine.”

Christine’s fame doesn’t extend much beyond who she is engaged to and that may explain why she felt the need to pick on a little kid, but she seems to be one of many that want to take the smile off Quvenzhané’s face. As the star of an acclaimed movie, she had every reason to walk around feeling good and as she next tackles the title role in “Annie,” those positive feelings should remain interred in her bones for as long as possible. There is still time for her to become jaded, balancing the reality of life and the remnants of a hoping child in her later years.

When we know the truth, we should walk in it. Quvenzhané Wallis is stepping into her light and accomplishing what many twice her age may never do. She’s an example that one is never too young to walk in God’s promise. Unfortunately, one can also never be too young to be the center of gravity when others try to dim a soaring, shining star. It’s my sincerest hope that Quvenzhané will keep her head towards a sky that seemingly has no limit for her.

Follow Stephanie Guerilus @ qsteph and Parlé Magazine

 


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