Oh, to be a teen again. Some of us would love to go back to the more carefree days of middle and high school while some (most?) of us probably never want to return to that awkward age again. No matter where you land on that spectrum, your teen experience probably was nothing like Maddie Ziegler's.
The aspiring dancer has been on TV since age eight via Lifetime's Dance Moms. She had her big break at age 11 when she starred in Sia's incredible "Chandelier" music video, going on to do the "Elastic Heart" and "Big Girls Cry" vids. Needless to say, the girl's had an atypical childhood and she's dancing out her feelings about it in a mind-blowing new film titled Lucky Thirteen, which dropped six days before Ziegler's 13th birthday.
In the i-D–premiered visuals' opening monologue—narrated by actress Chloë Sevigny—Ziegler alludes to being bullied for her superstar rise in a speech that could have only been written by a tween. Though a very, very smart tween who's proud of her uniqueness. It goes:
"In a parallel universe, I was never hated in junior high. I was never the most popular, but definitely not the most hated either. I would go to a state college and find a boring job one day where I'd sit in a cubicle. This is how I always pictured my life would turned out had my junior high school experience not been so traumatizing. So every day I thank God I was miserable. Seriously. I'm so glad it was a nightmare—could have been a lot worse. And sometimes when I feel like I'm boring, I actually wish it were."
Then, of course, Maddie begins flipping, twirling and rocking out inside a diner, her junior high and on her bed over noisy punk music.
It's stunning, it's expressive and, most importantly, gives a look inside the mind of a modern-day tween who, despite bullies, is still confident in her individualism. Rock on, Maddie.