Nicola Coughlan is hoping you’ll keep your attention focused on her body of work as opposed to her physical appearance.
The Irish actor, best known for playing Penelope Featherington on the smash Netflix series “Bridgerton,” urged fans to keep their opinions on her body to themselves in a short, emotionally succinct note posted to her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
“If you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me,” she wrote. “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 acknowledged that physical scrutiny was inevitable given the nature of her profession, but stressed that anyone planning to comment publicly should consider the power of their words.
“If you have an opinion about me that’s OK,” she wrote, “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.”
Coughlan, who rose to fame on the British comedy series “Derry Girls,” has frequently spoken out against unfair scrutiny of women’s bodies in show business. In 2018, she responded to a theater critic who called her an “overweight little girl” by writing a lengthy essay for The Guardian.
“I’m very lucky to get to use my body to become all these fascinating women. But the prism through which my body is viewed is inescapable,” she wrote. “Something in our society tells us that women’s bodies are fair game for scrutiny in a way that men’s simply are not.”
She reshared the article on social media last year after a Twitter user referred to her as “the fat girl from Bridgerton” while commenting on her appearance at the 2021 Golden Globes.