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Her approach reminds us of the very real people we are often damaging through projections of outdated beauty standards and downright unfounded opinions.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Clearly, the only weight needing to be shed is our truly unhealthy relationship with outdated body expectations.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?

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Keep Reading Show less

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less