The latest installment of California Sunday Magazine’s Q&A series “The Thread” features a conversation between actress Molly Ringwald and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. Both bastions of alternative girl-culture from different decades, the two icons exchanged emails about what it means to be admired and criticized at a young age, the lack of privacy wrought by the internet-age, and horoscopes. Cosentino begins the conversation by talking about her hectic press cycle:
How do you feel working in the spotlight at such a young age molded you into the woman you’ve become today? I always wonder that when I’m speaking to fellow females who are in “the business.” I started Best Coast when I was 23, and now I’m 28. I have for sure done a lot of growing up since then—but at times I found it incredibly hard to “grow up” knowing there were people watching me and critiquing the things that I was doing. I feel like now, as a 28-year-old woman, I’m a lot more confident, and I try to pay less attention to the media, etc. It can be really hard to grow when you’re under a microscope of sorts. What advice would you give to girls in their teens who want to “make it” in this industry? Whenever young girls ask me for advice about trying to become a musician and what it’s like to deal with life in the spotlight, I always try to tell them to just follow their intuition and don’t let what other people say affect them or bring them down, and to always be proud of who they are, because who you are makes you special and unique. Of course that statement is much easier said than done (!), but I feel like after a while, you really do learn how to kind of navigate your way without letting every single thing thrown at you affect you.
Ringwald followed up on Cosentino’s concern with the spotlight:
In terms of “growing up in the spotlight,” I think it’s a dangerous way to grow up. Especially now, with the internet, TMZ, etc. I have an 11year-old daughter, who is incredibly precocious and talented and absolutely DYING to be in the spotlight. But having gone through it myself, I want to protect her from all of that, have her get to a place—or a level of maturity—where she feels like she can handle the rejection and the incredible loss of privacy that you have to accept once you step into the public eye. It’s hard because of course I’m really proud of her (she’s a filmmaker and artist…a ukulele player!) and her films are getting better and better. Part of me just wants to go all stage-mom on her. But then I think if she has all of that talent, it doesn’t go away. Whatever is there will still be there later. Maybe this sounds like a hopelessly idealistic mom talking…but again, I’m at a place in my life where I’m still trying to figure things out myself. Maybe that never ends.
UPDATE 8/19: “The Thread” just published a second installment of Cosentino and Ringwald’s conversation, in which “we dive deeper into their shared obsession with ’80s film soundtracks, Molly’s work as a writer and advice columnist, and why Bethany herself could have made a great John Hughes character…” Read it here.