Daisy Ridley isn't taking the words of body shamers on Instagram lightly, and the 23-year-old has fired back to defend herself to those who claimed she sets "unrealistic expectations" for women. In an empowering post, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actress insisted she will "not apologize for how I look" and urged fans to "celebrate each other."
"What's weird is most of the time I see such gorgeous messages from people around the world," she wrote to her 1.4 million followers, before adding that her character Rey was an empowering female figure. "People who relate to something in Rey they haven't found in a female character before. People who's daughters now think they can do things without the aid of a man, but who wouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. People who loved that The Force Awakens has multiple incredible female characters."
Daisy then addressed the "hurtful" comments made about her appearance in the image which featured a screenshot of the actress in a scene from Star Wars, alongside a speech bubble reading "I can’t believe the unrealistic expectations I’m setting for young girls. Who cast me anyway? Don’t they know real women haves curves?".
She wrote: "It is much more hurtful to continue to slate other women than BE a woman, BE a character, BE whoever you want to be. I'm a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey. I will not apologise for how I look, what I say and how I live my life cause what's happening inside is much more important anyway and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way.
"It seems apt I get tagged in this a day after I received misogynistic comments on my #IWD post. For all of you who celebrate each other, celebrate the ones you love, love yourselves, work hard, are kind, thank you for your continued support and the social media love."
She added: "For anyone who has a problem with ANYONE in life, be them someone you know or someone you don't, remember that expression, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin."
When the image first appeared on social media, Daisy responded directly to the user. "'Real women' are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave, have families, don't have families," she wrote in the comments. "I am a 'real woman' like every other woman in this world."
While Daisy was flooded with messages of support from fans, she also asked them to "refrain" from sending mean messages to the "poor person" who had posted the original image.