Ridley responded to negative comments about her body after an Instagram user accused her of setting “unrealistic expectations” by appearing too thin in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In a meme the user posted to their own Instagram account, the caption reads, “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?” over a photo of Ridley in character as Rey.
The actress 23, reposted the Instagram, and fired back at the meme, writing: “Real women are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave, have families, don’t have families. I’m a ‘real woman’ like every other women in this world.”
She later deleted the post after her fans sent a slew of hateful messages to her online critic. Ridley posted a second statement to her Instagram clarifying her views and asking her followers to stop sending hurtful messages.
“Guys it was not my intention for anyone to send messages to that poor person that posted the original picture,” she wrote. “My whole post Is about being kind to each other, so please refrain!”
In the lengthy post, she defended not only her own appearance, but her character’s position as a role model.
“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,” she wrote.
A photo posted by @daisyridley on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:13pm PST
“I’m just a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey,” she added. “I will not apologize 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.”
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Ridley concluded her message by calling for more kindness and continued support among women.
“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,” she wrote. “Kindness isn’t going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it’s a good place to begin.”