Dakota Fanning: I'm Learning to Wash Clothes

11/14/2011 at 01:30 PM ET

Dakota Fanning, Elle FanningMario Sorrenti for W

“Before Somewhere, they asked me if I was Dakota Fanning, because we looked alike,” Elle Fanning recalls in the December issue of W. “I’d say, ‘No, I’m her younger sister.’ And they’d say, ‘Oh, okay.’ But now I think they are starting to realize I’m my own person.”

It’s true: Elle has had quite the year, with a breakout role in Super 8 and a fashion star that’s on the rise. She even met Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld during Paris Haute Couture Week in July on her first-ever trip to the City of Light. “When I found out that I was invited to the Chanel show — that was the loudest I’ve ever screamed in my life,” she says. “That was the best day of my life.”

As Elle finds her footing in the world of fashion, big sis Dakota is settling comfortably into the role of college student at New York University. “Because I’m only 17, my mom is staying with me in my apartment for a little bit,” Dakota shares. “She’s teaching me how to wash clothes and such. But I’m so excited to be on my own.”

Dakota Fanning, Elle FanningMario Sorrenti for W

Dakota says she wanted to go to college for the same reasons she wanted to go to high school. “You hear people say, ‘Oh when I was in high school’ or ‘When I was in college,'” she says. “That defines a lot of who people are, and I didn’t want to miss out on that.”

She’s not your ordinary college student, though: Dakota has been modeling for Marc Jacobs since she was 12 (Elle just started, too). “When I did that first campaign for Marc Jacobs, I really wasn’t old enough to wear the clothes,” she recalls. “He made all the clothes from the runway in my size. I still have them.”

Unfortunately, she wasn’t always able to wear them. “They were too adult, and my school had uniforms,” she continues. “But on Fridays we could wear anything we wanted. There would always be at least one Friday where you’d forget and show up in uniform. It would be so embarrassing. I did that once actually and made my dad drive me back home to change.”

Read more with Elle and Dakota in the December issue of W and on wmagazine.com.


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Showing 58 comments

KC on

Dang…you’d think if they are capable of being the family cash cow that they would be self sufficient enough to do their laundry before the age of 17.

Me on

Shoot, I wasn’t doing laundry before the age of 17….guess that means I suck too.

Darian on

This girl is too pretentious…

kells on

I really like Dakota, and she seems like a sweetheart- but her parents should have taught her to do laundry by now. Come on. It’s like not knowing how to wash the dishes.

Valerie on

Oh, don’t be too hard on her! Most of us don’t really learn to do laundry until we’re on our own…how many people just bring their laundry home to mom in college? She just sounds normal. I’m happy she went to high school and is college. We have had enough LiLo syndrome with this young starlets. Nice to see one who wants to live a normal existence.

DizNuts on

Damn some people are so heartless to understand what its like to be a teenager in a BIG world.. I had to teach my bestfriend when we graduated high school how to do laundry when she went away to college… That does not make anyone heartless, some people just had there mothers do it, like mine did mine, but I learned at a young age and my bestfriend family was just messed up from abuse, so i had to teach her some new things when she moved out, I dont find it heartless at all….

Olivia on

Come on! I’m 19 and I knonw how to wash my clothes (with or w/o machine) since I was nine, n i’m not some poor girl who had no other choice.
It’s so obvious they’re not blonde, look at their eyebrows. Never understood why people who dye all their hair don’t dye their eyebrows too, to make it credible

Nikki on

I don’t think it’s uncommon that kids learn to do laundry right before they go off to college. Sure, some may have had to do it when they were younger, and some may have had other chores. I remember being 18 and calling my Dad the first time I did laundry alone because I was worried I would ruin everything.

Glad she’s at least doing her own laundry, instead of relying on others to do everything for her. Good for her!

jmmmtxx on

I never did Laundry when I was in highschool. Not that big of a deal people.

Lisak on

two more celebrity brats who never have nor ever will know what it is like to suffer. I really don’t know what is supposed to be so attractive about them. Sure Dakota was cute in I am Sam, but remove all that make-up and they are both quite homely looking.

Eric on

Unlike most of us, she’s been working and making a lot of money since childhood. Cut the kid some slack, learning how to do laundry is probably not on her bucket list.

Jeanine on

Really you guys…..she is 17 not 37! A lot of 17 year old people don’t do their own laundry. People seem to forget that she is still a child! On that note, both these young girls are stunning!

Jennifer VT on

I think it is fantastic that Dakota was able to experience high school and is now off in college. So many of the young actors quit school early on to be to take on any role thrown their way. It’s good to see that she is eager to take the experience has to offer and the education to go with it.
To the grumps that grumble about a 17 yr old doing laundry, come on! There is more to laundry then throwing all the dirty clothes in the washer and turning it on and the majority of 17 yr olds do not know that. Besides I am sure her mom is showing her other things as well, cooking for example??

Rae on

I’m 23 and don’t really know how to do laundry. My mom was a stay at home mom so she always did it, and now I have moved out with my boyfriend and he does the laundry. Not to say I was useless and spoiled or still am. I just take care of different house hold chorse. Dokota is amazing. She is a good role modle. I think people need to stop nitpicking at everything somone from hollywood does. At least she isn’t a crack w**re

Boo on

@Olivia – sorry, but the eyebrow colour means NOTHING. A lot of blondes, my sister included, have very dark brows. They obviously lighten their hair, but you don’t have to be Einstein to know they are blondes.

Not being able to do laundry at just turned 17 means nothing. She’s been working since she was a child – gee, I guess her mom did her laundry for her all that time. All I can spell on this page is some hatred for someone being perceived as spoiled. Give it up.

Noodles on

I think she was cute, I think I am just burned out of her. If theres ever a role for a tween/teen, she is automatically it. By the time she’s in her 30’s I think I will be boycotting her movies just on the principle alone of wanting to see other new talent….There’s just too much of her.

Bree on

She is not the first 17 yr old who doesn’t know how to do laundry. I didn’t know either when I was 17 so she beat me.

Noodles on

@ Rae… Hmm. In addition to learning to do laundry, you could add grammar check to the list of things that might benefit you to look into doing =)

azjeff on

She’s a sweetie.

17-Year-Old Dakota Fanning Is Just Learning to Do Her Own Laundry–What’s Next? Brushing Her Own Teeth? | The Foundist on

[…] Source: People StyleWatch Tags: absurdities , celebrity , Popular Posts Posted On November 16, 2011 var switchTo5x=true;stLight.options({publisher:'wp.0846a083-5055-4686-b790-91e856a56680'});var st_type='wordpress3.1.3'; […]

Sara on

It is SO refreshing to hear a young ACTRESS and MODEL talk about WANTING to do regular everyday things and have life experiences as close to what the “typical” kid has. Her parents haven’t turned her into some LiLo train wreck and that is GREAT. So she hasn’t lived on her own or HAD to learn things at a young age. Lets flog her because she happens to be an actress and model who was successful as a youth and is trying to go through what is already a tough transition in life. Come on folks, lets be a little less destructive and instead praise the girl for taking the road that most in her shoes would choose to forgo.

CaraE on

Wow, some of you are such jerks! I’m sure that most of you are older so you were taught to do laundry when you were young but I’m 33 and my parent’s never made me do laundry either until I was going to college. Instead of ripping them apart, why don’t you congratulate them on staying normal? Dakota stayed at her high school and graduated with honors. She was a cheerleader and in Honor Society. She didn’t move away and have tutors and become a drug addict like Lindsay Lohan. She worked hard and is now going to college rather than just living off of her movie money. She’s not a spoiled brat and they both are super grateful for what they have. Their parents keep them grounded and that is so honorable in a time where so many take advantage of their children. I feel so sorry for those of you who are judging them so harshly. You sound more like a jealous fool than anything. Great job girls! Thank you for being GOOD role models for my daughters!

randall allen on

Watching Dakota Fanning over the years, she has always appeared polite and unaffected by her actress stature. At 17, I also never knew how to wash clothes or iron until I went to college. Unless you’re applying for a job to do her laundry, who cares?

Tracey on

I didn’t do my own laundry @ 17, as I lived at home and Mom took care of me :) However, it took about 4 minutes to learn how to do it LOL it’s not like you have to beat it against a rock anymore. Insert clothing, soap, hit a button. Leave.

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MK on

seriously stop hating on these girls, they’re gorgeous and talented. to the people calling them “brats” and stating they have never had to “suffer” how the heck do you know what they have or haven’t been through. As for laundry I never really had to do my laundry growing up until High School that doesn’t mean anything. It’s one thing to say something bad about the Lindsay Lohan’s of the world but another when you start criticizing the Fanning sister’s, get a life you losers!

stephanie on

oh come on, you know that most of you do all your teenagers’ laundry too and spoil them in other numerous ways. just because she’s a rich kid, you jump all over her. at least she’s going to college and paying her way. i bet you don’t make your kids pay their way. she’s out in the public eye, hasn’t been in the news for drinking and driving or drugs or sleeping around. what do you want from her?

Mae on

My mom made me do my own laundry when I was 10!

Ra on

I really like Dakota and Elle and think they are both beautiful!

Please stop picking on them!

Also @olivia, having dark eye brows and light hair means nothing, I swear ive always had darker eye brows than my blonde hair even as a child and people thought it was dyed. To each is own…mind your own business!

Stella on

What is with all you people calling them spoiled and pretentious for having money. They earned their money. And they are far from pretentious. They are fairly normal by Hollywood standards. Who cares what they look like without makeup… I’m pretty homely without mine… so what exactly was your point?

b on

well.. lets see.. she 17.. just learning how to do laundry.my boyfriends 25 and he still doesnt know how..

thinking shes not that far behind..

Crystal on

She’s 17 and can’t do her own laundry? That’s the problem with today’s kids they are so spoiled. I was doing my own at 12 years old. My kids are 14 and 16 and both have been doing their own laundry for years.

Jane on

Pathetic, she’s 17 and she doesn’t know HOW to do the laundry?! Bad mom! My mom taught us and we were helping and doing our own when I was 13, taught us how to cook, bake and everything. Parents need to RAISE their kids to be self sufficient, sad she had such a sorry mom who didn’t teach her such basic things, Good Lord she’s 17!

M on

agreed,I never did laundry growing up. My mom did it all. I rarely even did it in college! Now I’ve done my fair share as a mom of four ;)

Dawn on

I didn’t learn how to do laundry until I went away to college at the age of 17. I had chores growing up but, laundry wasn’t one of them. It’s no big deal, the point is she’s learning how to do it now.

dslfjsdf on

Oy sheesh! The TV remote controls are more difficult to figure out than washers these days! My 6 year old and my 10 year old do their own laundry. Naturally, they are not thrilled about it, and never volunteer for household chores, but when they’re 17 Mommy will not have to stay in their college dorm with them to show them how to separate white underwear from black socks.

pjanr5@msn.com on

We have 3 kids and the ages are 14,13 and 12. My kids do dishes, laundry and clean the cat litter everyday we have the means to hire a housekeeper but we dont because chores are a necessary part of growing up….

Lauren on

Elle could play Elin Nordegren’s daughter in a movie; she looks so much like her. Together, they would also make for a beautiful photo spread in W.

Megan on

People are rude. I’m in college too and my roommate and i both had to learn how to do laundry online… it’s not uncommon…

Lucy to Olivia on

If you watched any of Dakota or Elle’s movies since they were children, you would know that they are and were in fact blonde… Uptown Girls? Dr. Seuss? Daddy Day Care? Deja Vu?

Kat on

Wow, seriously? people make such big deal because she didn’t know how to do laundry at the age of 17? That’s the most common thing for teenagers… I have dealt with many family that adults messed up the washer because they didn’t read the manual. I, myself know how to do laundry at the age of 7 or 8 but because I am weird ( I like to separate my clothes by colors and by type which drove my mom crazy)… My sister and brothers still depend on my mom to do their laundries and they are all over 21. I have read so many mean comments regard to “she is 17 and didn’t know how to do laundry”… she is rich… compare to most common/average families who have kids who are adults and still do not know how to do laundry (my family included)… geez BIG DEAL…

T.M. on

By the time you leave for college you should be able to do your own laundry. And what is with her mom living with her in an apartment? Is she too big to live in a dorm? Plenty of other celebrities have lived in dorms, why can’t Dakota. It seems to me that she doesn’t know how to fend for herself.

BoFan on

God, so judgmental! Who cares when a child learns to do their own laundry. It’s an individual choice for the parents. Why do we have to be so cookie cutter?

BoFan on

And, in addition, if you’re so over the celebrity brats, why are you reading People??

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Rae on

@ Noodles.
I’ll learn proper grammer when it suits me. First off, english isn’t my first language. Secondly I thought the points of the comment section was to post your opinion on the above article not someones grammer/spelling (how childish). Thirdly I am sure I am not the only person who has bad grammer. English being there first language or not, it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. and I may not have as good of grammer as you do, but I sure have a better personality. :)

TheRealDeal on

Why did she point out that her mom’s staying with her “because I’m 17”? So what? Lots of people are that age in college (I was). Who cares?

I used to think she was down to earth but she, like most celebrities, seems pretty clueless about how the rest of the world works.

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Fiona on

My mother would not let me touch the washing machine. Even when I was 30. She was always convinced I’d break it somehow! Fine with me. I didn’t know how until I was 17 and went away to college, either.

Fiona on

As for all the people saying they did their own laundry at 10, etc.–I’m guessing you also didn’t have your time taken up with a successful acting career.

Fiona on

And when I say my mom still wouldn’t let me do laundry at 30, let me clarify that I was visiting and she wouldn’t let me use the machine!

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bhietlap on

Laundry? I did mine at 17, but I ruined some cloths for sure lol.
Her mom is a stay at home mom, Dakota being busy with lots of things, makes sense how she just wouldn’t have needed to do that as of yet.
Plus, there is probably less of a need for her to do laundry since she probably has a lot of dry cleaning cloths.

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Vince on

Good Morning Carole I hope you had a decent tnhgis sleep or at least got some rest,I read about your stress test, I know they can take a toll but your strong!!Carole you’ve heard this before & I’ll say it again, you’re a very strong Lady, you have many many people surrounding you that love you & many you don’t know like me lol my heart is with you sweetie, you hang in there, you WILL get through all of this!I’ll be back later to read the updatesMuch LoveAngie

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