Nicola Coughlan, star of Derry Girls and Bridgerton on Netflix, is an absolute treasure. She stole everyone's hearts as Penelope Featherington on the period drama, and now she's reaching out to her fans and followers for an important reason—please stop commenting on her body. And especially stop body-shaming her in private messages.
In her most recent Instagram post, Coughlan very kindly asks that anyone who's thinking about sending her a comment about her body or her weight should just, uh, go ahead and avoid it altogether (also a great rule of thumb when anyone feels compelled to talk about anyone's body in general).
"Hello! So just a thing—if you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me," she writes in the caption. "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."
Coughlan shouldn't have to remind anyone of her humanity, but sometimes it is easy for people to forget that celebrities are real people with real feelings. And they have the capability of reading all of the comments and messages that come their way on social media.
She's one of a few female celebrities who have had to call out body-shaming. Recently, Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey revealed her weight was criticized by a crew member during production. Since the show premiered and became an instant hit on Showtime, Lynskey also says she's been inundated with people who have concern-trolled her over her appearance.
As for Coughlan, she was very gracious in her messaging—despite the fact that she's been on the receiving end of some serious cruelty—and even understands that fans and followers have opinions about her.
"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 ❤️."
This isn't the first time Coughlan has had to address the never-ending commentary on her body, the kind of commentary anyone in the public eye has to face when they're not Hollywood-thin. After receiving unsolicited criticism about her fashion choices at last year's Golden Globes, she took to Twitter and shared a 2018 essay she wrote entitled "Critics, judge me for my work in Derry Girls and on the stage, not on my body."
As a not-skinny woman who has dealt with my own fair share of body commentary, and as a huge fan of Derry Girls, Bridgerton, and Nicola Coughlan above all, I'm thankful that she continues to call out the body-shaming she receives. I just wish she didn't have to.