Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley has hit back at body shamers and misogynistic comments on Instagram with a powerful piece in which she refuses to “apologise for how I look”.
The 23-year-old Brit, who was catapulted from unknown actress to breakout star last year following her casting as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, initially responded to a meme in which she was tagged, accusing her of failing to represent ‘real women’.
Sharing the image on her Instagram account, Ridley wrote: “What's weird is most of the time I see such gorgeous messages from people around the world.
“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.
“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, because 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.
“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.”
Ridley’s post quickly amassed praise from supportive fans, but also saw a barrage of negativity directed towards the original poster of the meme.
In a move that clearly demonstrates the responsibility Ridley feels to lead by example, she later deleted the post in order to prevent any further criticism being thrown at the author.
Clarifying her position on the importance of kindness, the actress then shared a second post, this time screen-grabbing her original response and adding:
“Guys it was not my intention for anyone to send messages to that poor person that posted the original picture. My whole post is about being kind to each other, so please refrain!”
She may not have been a Hollywood heavyweight for long, but she clearly knows how to handle herself under the spotlight of scrutiny.
Images: Rex Features / Lucasfilm Ltd