This Netflix Star Is Begging Fans to Stop Commenting on Her Body
"If you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me."
With over 1 million followers on Instagram, it's no surprise that Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan receives a lot of comments and messages from fans and followers every day. But, when it comes to one topic, the Irish actor is asking that people keep their mouths shut for her own wellbeing. In a message posted on both her Instagram and Twitter accounts on Jan. 30, Coughlan asked that people stop messaging her about her body, even if they aren't trying to be offensive, because it's a lot for her to handle.
In her message, Coughlan explained that she understands that people have opinions about her because she's in the public eye but shared how she feels when she receives so many messages about the way she looks. Read on to see what the 35-year-old star had to say.
Coughlan came to fame on two popular series.
Coughlan has fans around the world thanks to her starring roles in two very popular series. Since 2018, she has played Clare on Derry Girls, a comedy about a group of teenagers living in Northern Ireland in the 1990s. Coughlan also stars as Penelope Featherington on Bridgerton, which became a hit on Netflix in December 2020. The show will return for its second season in March.
She's begging people to stop commenting on her body.
Since becoming a well-known actor, Coughlan has received comments about her body from followers and in the media. In her Jan. 30 post, she asked that people stop sharing their thoughts with her directly.
"Hello! So just a thing- if you have an opinion about my body please, please don't share it with me," she wrote. "Most people are being nice and not trying to be offensive but I am just one real life human being and it's really hard to take the weight of thousands of opinions on how you look being sent directly to you every day. If you have an opinion about me that's ok, I understand I'm on TV and that people will have things to think and say but I beg you not to send it to me directly."
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She's spoken out about her body being centered in the past.
In 2018, Coughlan wrote a piece for The Guardian in which she talked about a theater critic commenting on her body in his review of her play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, calling her character an "overweight little girl." The actor noted that the original text the play is adapted from includes no mention of her character's weight. "Everything I'd done to create my character had been reduced to a hurtful word and casual comment on my appearance," she explained. In a review of another play, the critic had called her character "a fat girl."
In response, she got an apology from the British Theatre Guide, which drew attention that she didn't want. "It created a social media storm, the kind I'm not used to being in the middle of," she wrote. "I had support from people I know, and so many I didn't; and while I appreciated that, it was overwhelming. I'd inadvertently opened myself up to the kind of scrutiny I'd been trying to say was irrelevant to my work. The focus was on me, not my acting."
She thinks interviewers need to stop asking women about their bodies.
In March 2021, Coughlan posted a series of tweets about how women are often asked about their bodies in interviews and how uncomfortable it makes her. "Can we please stop asking women about their weight in interviews, especially when it completely irrelevant. I'm seeing a lot of interviews from 10 years ago where people go 'Oh weren't the questions so inappropriate!' unfortunately it's still happening," she shared. "Every time I'm asked about my body in an interview it makes me deeply uncomfortable and so sad I'm not just allowed to just talk about the job I do that I so love."
Coughlan added, "Also, and I mean this in the nicest way ah [sic] possible, I'm not a body positivity activist, I'm an actor I would lose or gain weight if an important role requirement. My body is the tool I use to tell stories, not what I define myself by." She also posted a link to her Guardian article in the thread.
She stands up for herself.
It's clear that Coughlan is not afraid to speak out when it comes to comments about her appearance. In 2019, an article in the Daily Mirror criticized her look at the BAFTA TV Awards. "Nicola Coughlan brought a welcome dash of colour to proceedings but her plain pink outfit was not the most flattering," the article reads. Coughlan responded on Twitter, "I mean incorrect @DailyMirror look smokin, sorry bout it."
According to The Guardian, Coughlan later auctioned off her dress from the awards show and raised €5,000 for a children's hospice charity.