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Pop Culture

Fans had the best response after Emilia Clarke was mocked by gamer for sharing candid selfie

The comment sparked a bigger conversation about how we react to women aging.

emilia clarke, jon miller twiiter, aging
Fandom.com, @MillerStream/Twitter

An innocent selfie became the subject of harsh criticism.

Emilia Clarke is best known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” Clarke was 24 years old when she took on the iconic role, and during the filming process, she survived two life-threatening brain aneurysms. The actress has since become an advocate for other survivors of brain trauma, not to mention a fabulous role model for relentless optimism.

It is now 12 years after “Game of Thrones” premiered. Understandably, Clarke does not look the same way she did when she was a younger woman (after a lengthy stint in the makeup chair and under well-curated lighting, no less). And yet, a candid selfie that was posted to her Instagram received multiple remarks lamenting that her face looked different than it did over a decade ago.


Fans were quick to rush to Clarke’s defense, and in the process it led to a more universal conversation about how society often views women as they grow older.

The post in question was a photo sharing a gift from Clarke’s mom—a mug which read “You’re doing f**king great.”

“Mum got me a mug. I felt it was important to share this new found wisdom. Use it and reap the rewards 🤌💪🏻🥳❤️” Clarke wrote in the post’s caption.

While many fans shared their appreciation for Clarke’s infectious positivity, a few were, shall we say…not so kind.

Gamer Jon Miller shared a screenshot of Clarke’s post to Twitter, writing, “Lmao wow Daenerys Targaryen didn’t just hit the wall she flew into it full speed on a dragon.” While Miller’s wasn’t the only rude comment, this one in particular went viral.

Many people felt this was further proof that, especially with the rising popularity of cosmetic procedures and extreme beauty filters on social media, we have collectively forgotten that aging is a completely natural process.

One person wrote in a Twitter comment: “The rise of surgical and procedural interventions has seriously warped people’s perception and acceptance of other people.....checks notes..... aging naturally.”

Another quipped: “hitting a wall apparently means your eyes wrinkle a little when u smile now.”

And another added: “This is a normal looking woman?? Do people not know anymore how people outside of edited social media posts look like?????????”

As many pointed out, Clarke is far from the only woman to be criticized for showing a wrinkle or two. “This trend of shaming women for aging (which is uncontrollable and happens to everyone) is really weird,” wrote one person.

Thankfully, plenty of people noted how bonkers this viewpoint is.

One fan wrote: “Emilia Clarke was beautiful when she was 22, she’s still an extremely beautiful woman here. She’s just aged…which hasn’t made her any less beautiful. I fail to see the problem with this picture.”

Another said: “Aging is a privilege and doing it so naturally and with such grace in a world of filters and plastic surgery is even more so.”

Clarke herself has previously shared her own thoughts on aging, telling Elle: "You've got this idea of aging, and then you've got the idea of what aging makes you look like. At 34, I am wiser, more intelligent, I've had more experiences, I've done all this stuff, and I'm proud of that. You can only do that because you are the age you are. Time is the only thing that allows you to do those things. So, if my face is gonna reflect the time that I've spent on this earth, I'm down for that.

While it seems like the Mother of Dragons is far from fazed by any criticisms of her appearance, many people are impacted (and harmed) by unfair beauty standards. That’s why it’s important to bring these types of conversations to light. For as much progress as there has been, clearly there is still some work to do if we want to collectively move past treating women as though their value comes with an expiration date, and instead, let them just live their lives.

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