'Kindness... is a good place to begin' - Daisy Ridley shuts down body shamers with inspiring Instagram post
Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley reacted with grace when confronted with online body-shamers.
Ridley came under attack when one Instagram user posted an image of her as her Star Wars: The Force Awakens' character Rey and accused her of being too thin to play the role.
"I can't believe the unrealistic expectations I'm setting for young girls. Who cast me anyway? Don't they know real women have curves?," was the message that appeared in the meme.
The London girl didn't shy away from the criticism and replied by saying: "'Real women are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave.
"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 from trolls, but posted a second statement expanding on her views.
"What's weird is most of the time I see such gorgeous messages from people around the world," she wrote. "People who relate to something in Rey they haven't found in a female character before...It is much more hurtful to continue to slate other women than BE a woman, BE a character, BE whoever you want to be."
The defiant 23-year-old went on to insist she is completely comfortable with her body and revealed she is more focused on her own personal growth.
"I'm a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey," she continued. "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."
She encouraged her followers to "celebrate" each other and gave some advice on how to foster a more empathetic online environment.
"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."