“I’m not a body positivity activist, I’m an actor”


Bridgerton Star Nicola Coughlan is tired of answering questions about her body.

The Irish actress, who plays Penelope Featherington in Netflix’s hugely popular Regency romance, took to Twitter to ask invasive weight questions and ask people to “judge actors for their work, not their bodies.” .

“Can we please stop asking women about their weight in interviews, especially when [it’s] completely irrelevant, ”Coughlan tweeted. She noted that the old, detailed interviews – presumably those involving young female stars like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton – were given recently, but stressed that “inappropriate” questions are not simply a thing of the past.

“Whenever I am asked about my body in an interview, it makes me deeply uncomfortable and so sad that I am not only allowed to talk about the work that I do and that I love so much” , Coughlan, who also stars in Derry Girls, continued.

“It’s so reductive for women when we make great strides in diversity in the arts, but questions like this set us back.

“Also, and I say it in the nicest way possible,” she added, “I’m not a body positivity activist, I’m an actor. I would lose or gain weight if it was. an important role requirement My body is the tool I use to tell stories, not what I define myself by.

Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, calls “reductive” attention to the actress’ bodies. (Photo: LIAM DANIEL / NETFLIX)

“So yeah, it’s 2021, it would be nice if we didn’t have to keep having this conversation. I really wish I wasn’t asked about that again in an interview. I have too. so many other things I love to talk about. I’m Irish so I can talk until the cows come home. “

The 34-year-old asked fans to read it 2018 Guardian opinion piece, which she wrote in response to a theater reviewer calling her an “overweight little girl” while reviewing the play she was playing in at the time, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The same reviewer, Philip Fisher, had previously described her as a “fat girl” when reviewing another play.

“Everything I had done to create my character had been reduced to a hurtful word and a flippant comment about my appearance,” Coughlan wrote in the editorial.

“I know I’m not alone; women in my industry are constantly watched for their appearance,” she said later in the essay. “It affects male actors as well – I’ve received messages from them – but the vast majority of comments are from women. Something in our society tells us that women’s bodies are fair game for consideration in a way that men just aren’t. “

Years later, focusing on its size remains a problem. After Sunday’s Golden Globes, the actress responded to a tweet commenting on the Ply-Knits cardigan she paired with a Molly Goddard dress for the occasion – a style choice the commentator, who runs a podcast “on being the fat kid, “attributed to her for being a” fat girl “.

Coughlan defended the designer’s look – which received rave reviews on Instagram – and replied “I have a name.”

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