Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton has some words for people who keep asking about her weight.
She opened up about this via Twitter on March 1. “Can we judge actors for their work and not their bodies?” she wrote. “Also, can we please stop asking women about their weight in interviews, especially when it’s completely irrelevant?”
She continued, “I’m seeing a lot of interviews from 10 years ago where people go, ‘Oh, weren’t the questions so inappropriate!’ Unfortunately, it’s still happening.” (Coughlan is most likely referring to the resurfaced Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton clips making the rounds in light of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which shed a light on the media’s gross treatment of women in the early aughts.)
The actor said that every time she’s asked about her weight in interviews “it makes me deeply uncomfortable and so sad I’m not just allowed to just talk about the job I do that I so love.”
She called these types of “backwards” questions “reductive,” especially because “we’re making great strides for diversity in the arts.” (Bridgerton has particularly garnered acclaim for its inclusive casting.)
Nicola Coughlan ended her Twitter thread with an important message: She’s not a body-positivity activist. She’s an actor trying to do her job.
“I would lose or gain weight if [it was] an important role requirement,” she said. “My body is the tool I use to tell stories, not what I define myself by.”
This is a great point. Often the media puts labels on celebrities—role model, body-positivity activist, advocate, etc.—to fit a certain narrative. But we need to remember these actors and singers didn’t ask for these titles. They’re just trying to do good work.