Daisy Ridley — the star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — has hit back at internet trolls who accused her of setting “unrealistic expectations” by being too thin in the blockbuster space opera.
An Instagram user posted a meme of Ridley’s character Rey in JJ Abrams’ film, complete with additional speech bubble stating: “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?”
Londoner Ridley, 23, initially responded directly to the user, writing: “’Real women’ are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave, have families, don’t have families. I am a ‘real woman’ like every other woman in this world.”
She later deleted the post after the meme’s author came in for severe online criticism, but posted a second statement clarifying her views.
Ridley wrote: “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 [International Women’s Day] post.”
Ridley went on to encourage her followers to “celebrate each other, celebrate the ones you love, love yourselves, work hard and [be] kind”, adding that she did not want the “poor person” who posted the original meme to come under attack. She continued: “My whole post is about being kind to each other, so please refrain!”
Ridley is the second high-profile female star to find herself at the centre of a social media storm this week. On Tuesday, Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones said she was considering taking a break from Twitter after becoming the victim of extreme trolling over her “street-smart New Yorker” character in the controversial remake.
In other Star Wars news, the Derry Journal reports Rian Johnson’s upcoming Episode VIII will film in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland in May. The shooting location is reported to be Malin Head, a rugged, rocky outcrop of coastline which is the island’s most northerly point.
Episode VIII is currently shooting new scenes featuring Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and Ridley’s Rey on the island of Skellig Michael in County Kerry, Ireland, where Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ final scene was filmed.