Nice try, haters. Maddie Ziegler and her sister, Mackenzie Ziegler, responded to backlash that they’ve “changed” since their early days in the spotlight. “I try to stay out of drama always,” Maddie, 17, began, in a video posted to TikTok by a fan account on May 17. 

“Everyone has been saying that we’ve changed and that we’re not the same girls and that we’ve stopped smiling a lot and that we’ve stopped being fun and happy,” the Dance Moms alum continued while Mackenzie, 15, nodded in agreement. 

Maddie went on to explain that the pair’s “more serious” photos on social media have caused fans to react negatively. “Literally, we have not changed as people,” the Pennsylvania native assured. “The only thing that’s different is that we’re growing up and we’re starting to look older and more mature and so we’re not going to be taking ‘as cutesy’ photos.”

Mackenzie and Maddie Ziegler
Courtesy of Maddie Ziegler/Instagram

“I still look 12,” Mackenzie interjected. “No, you don’t, you look older than me!” Maddie laughed, adding, “The thing is, I just want to address that we’re not trying to look older, we’re not trying to look more serious or grumpy, we’re literally just growing up.”

The Ziegler sisters have been public figures since their reality TV debut in 2011. At the time, Maddie was 8 years old and Mackenzie was 7. Though they both retired from the ALDC in 2016, the now-teenagers went on to have prominent careers in everything from dancing and acting to singing and being social media influencers.

Unfortunately, that has come with some unnecessary criticism, especially regarding their love lives. Maddie, who began dating boyfriend Eddie Benjamin in 2019, received a lot of hate over a selfie of the couple in bed. 

After one user called the photo of Maddie and the Australian musician, 17, “inappropriate,” the starlet’s mother, Melissa Gisoni, jumped to their defense. “He has his shirt off for God’s sake! He’s a boy!” the 51-year-old wrote.

You tell ‘em, Melissa! We’re glad Maddie and Mackenzie have a strong support system.

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