+
upworthy
Well Being

'Bridgerton' star Nicola Coughlan's pleas for fans to stop commenting on her body

Nicola Coughlan, Nicola Coughlan weight

Bridgerton actor Nicola Coughlan in 2021.

The internet, for all its many wondrous things, can also be a cesspool of body-shaming, both outright and insidious. We see this most persistently perhaps with celebrities, who take on the role of dissection subjects regarding their weight. Whether being deemed “too thin” or “too fat,” comments about a public figure’s weight seems acceptable to some, simply because they signed up to be in the spotlight. But our better judgment knows this is not the case.

Nicola Coughlan, who plays the plot pivotal role of Penelope Featherington on the hit Netflix show “Bridgerton,” is no stranger to being inundated with this type of harmful, completely unnecessary feedback from fans.

So much so, that she recently posted her own truly heartfelt plea to her Instagram, asking for people to stop commenting on her body. Though we've seen multiple celebrities justifiably speak out against this, it’s hard not to be moved by her words in a whole new way.

Coughlan began her post with both civility and directness. “Hello! So just a thing- if you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me.”

This was apparently after receiving messages every single day following her breakout role.

She continued:

“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.”

Her approach reminds us of the very real people we are often damaging through projections of outdated beauty standards and downright unfounded opinions.

Yellowjackets” star Melanie Lynskey had also recently been invaded by an influx of supposedly well-intentioned spectators since the hugely successful Showtime series premiered.


“Most egregious are the ‘I care about her health!!’ people,” Lynskey tweeted. “You don’t see me on my Peleton! You don’t see me running through the park with my child. Skinny does not always equal healthy.”

And of course, she’s not wrong. Despite our general assumptions, being thin is no real indication of a person’s health. And in some cases, it can reveal a risk for certain diseases. Even the formerly gold standard of measuring a healthy weight, the BMI, aka body mass index, is considered flawed today by experts.

Clearly, the only weight needing to be shed is our truly unhealthy relationship with outdated body expectations.

Coughlan knows that being a public figure often invites a public examination. “If you have an opinion about me that’s ok, I understand I’m on TV and that people will have things to think and say,” she wrote, with the caveat, “but I beg you not to send it to me directly.”

Certainly, Coughlan shouldn’t have to resort to begging. But here we are. And maybe this is how the message needs to be heard. When it’s so easy to leave thoughtless or downright toxic messages on social media, we need to be reminded how it affects the hearts of real people on the receiving end. Empathy online is just as important as it is IRL.

That’s what makes her plea a masterclass in grace. She speaks out without anger or accusation, though she could. Instead she comes from a place of compassion.

Coughlan ended her post by saying, “anyways here’s a pic of me in my hotel in NY about to go to SNL, it’s unrelated to this post but delighted with my hair in it.”


Even in a battle for boundaries, Coughlan’s never one to refrain from having a sense of humor (she did also star in the hilarious “Derry Girls”, after all). And, she wasn’t wrong about the hair.

Reading Coughlan’s post, I can’t help but wonder, if she was able to treat perfect strangers with so much respect and kindness, can we not return the favor?

Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Things new parents think they need but don't.

There's nothing like preparing for a new baby. The excitement and anticipation take hold and before you know what's happening, your baby registry is five pages long full of things you've probably never heard of. I've been there before, and now, four kids later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are tons of things you actually don't need. It's easy to get carried away when everything is so tiny and cute, especially 'cause marketing around baby stuff is bananas. The following offers some alternative items to the ones you'll likely only use a limited number of times before practicality takes over.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man breaks down how living in an all-inclusive resort is cheaper than his average apartment

"I just might find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT."

Representative Image from Canva

Are resorts the new retirement homes?

Don’t know if you heard, but the cost of living is pretty high these days. Prices for groceries, restaurants, gas, and other necessary items just to, you know, live in the world, reaching an all time high is already making what used to be a decent wage barely enough to get by.

And let’s not forget the biggest financial whammy of all: rent prices. According to Zillow, the average rent price in the US was $1,958 ( recorded in January 2024). That a whopping 29.4% price jump since pre-pandemic times. And of course, that not even taking larger, more expensive cities into account.


It’s enough to make you wonder: “Is it actually cheaper to just live in an all-inclusive resort at this point?”
Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People kept telling me to watch 'Bluey.' I still was not prepared.

Some adults say it's healing their inner child, but there's something in the popular Australian kids' show for everyone.

"Bluey" is popular with all ages, despite being aimed at kids.

I have a confession to make. I'm 48 years old, my youngest child is in high school and I can't stop watching "Bluey."

For the uninitiated, "Bluey" is a kids' cartoon from Australia aimed at 5 to 7-year-olds. It's been nearly a decade since my household has seen that demographic, so when people kept telling me I should watch "Bluey," my reaction was basically, "Yeah, I've already done my kiddie show time, thankyouverymuch."

Then my almost-15-year-old started watching it just to see what the fuss was about. And as I started tuning in, I saw why people love it so much. I figured it was going to be a wholesome show with some good lessons for kids, and it is.

But it's also laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Video shows 80 years of subtle sexism in 2 minutes

Subtle, persistent sexism over a lifetime is like water torture.

via HuffPo

Condescending sexism is persistently cliché.

Subtle, condescending sexist remarks such as "When are you going to have children?" and "You'd be so pretty, if you tried" are heard by women on a daily basis. Like water torture, what's subtle and persistent can become debilitating over a lifetime.

Making things more difficult is the contradicting nature of many sexist clichés that women are subjected to starting in childhood, such as "Is that all you're going to eat?" and "You eat a lot for a girl." Then there are the big-time, nuclear bomb sexist remarks such as "Don't be a slut" and "What were you wearing that night?" that are still shockingly common as well.

Keep ReadingShow less