This past week, Netflix's "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown posted a photo on Instagram with her boyfriend Jake Bongiovi, son of singer Jon Bon Jovi.
In the picture, they're embracing one another with the caption reading: "I've loved you three summers now, honey, I want 'em all," referencing Taylor Swift's song "Lover." What caught people's attention was the sizable, shiny rock on Brown's left ring finger.
At first, many were skeptical that the pair were actually engaged as it wasn't explicitly stated in the Instagram post. It wasn't until some of Brown's famous friends began to congratulate them in the post's comment section and on their own socials that it became evident that Brown and Bongiovi were planning on getting married.
Noah Schnapp, a long-time friend of Brown and her "Stranger Things" co-star, confirmed the engagement on his Instagram story, saying, "My best friend is engaged."
Brown and Bongiovi have been romantically linked since June 2021, when shared social media activity suggested a relationship between the two. Since Brown has been famous from a young age, her romantic relationships have always been examined through a magnifying glass.
It seems as though she could never catch a break, whether she was dating Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius or Romeo Beckham, son of power couple David and Victoria Beckham. The public has been quick to scrutinize all of Brown's relationships, even though she was still a child and experiencing young love.
Imagine being 14 years old and having everyone in the world judge who and how you date. Despite having to contend with the stresses of adolescence while juggling the pressure of being in the public eye, Brown has seemingly remained level-headed.
Naturally, she was heavily criticized once the news of her engagement broke, with many pointing out how young Brown, 19, and her fiancé, 20, are. Many Twitter users pointed out that "she hasn't (yet) had three summers as an adult" and said they don't know "whether to congratulate her or say sorry."
But the issue is that these comments only look at the engagement from face value. Despite Brown being young, she's experienced a lot for her age in such a short period of time.
Many still view Brown as the little girl playing Eleven on "Stranger Things." And while 19 is still an extremely young age to get married, Brown is an adult who can legally make her own decisions. She has her own company, is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and now works as a producer in addition to being an actor.
Most 19-year-olds haven't even completed college or gotten full-time jobs, but Brown is miles ahead in terms of professional experience. Although it might not make sense for the average teenager to get engaged, it does for Brown. She's mature beyond her years and has prioritized her career from age 10, meaning that, in many ways, she's been living as an adult for a long time.
Additionally, Brown isn't being manipulated into this marriage. All too often in Hollywood, we see the pattern of an older man taking advantage of a young woman, which can create marital issues down the line. But Bongiovi and Brown are around the same age, and he seems just as invested in getting married as her.
Ultimately, we don't know Brown or Bongiovi personally, so we have no right to pass judgment on their engagement. Even if the marriage doesn't work out, it's really not anyone's business except the couple's own.
There are many examples of young couples like them lasting for the long haul and many examples of young couples like them splitting after a relatively short period of time. So at the end of the day, it's only up to the individuals in a relationship to make decisions regarding it — not Twitter users.
All that matters now is that Brown and Bongiovi are happy and making choices for themselves. So as the collective audience to their engagement announcement, all we should be saying is "congratulations."