This viral post perfectly captures why Carrie Fisher will be missed so dearly.

Far more than just a princess, Carrie Fisher was an icon.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Carrie Fisher died at age 60.

Her death comes four days after she suffered a heart attack. Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars film franchise, it's hard to overstate just how inadequate that basic description of her is. In addition to being an actor, Fisher was also a best-selling author and a mental health advocate. To her fans, she was even more than that: an idol, an inspiration, and even a lifesaver.

Fisher attends a screening of "The Empire Strikes Back"  in 1980. AP Photo/Dave Caulkin.


This viral Tumblr post from user angelica-church explains just what made Fisher so special:

Originally shared on Dec. 23, 2016, the post has racked up more than 116,000 interactions as of this writing.

"Carrie Fisher isn’t just Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher isn’t just an actress we all admire from a famous series of movies made a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Carrie Fisher isn’t just another name on the list of shitty things 2016 has done to people I admire.

Carrie Fisher is a woman who struggled with addiction and mental illness and never sugar coated it — she spoke honestly, openly, about every ugly truth, and made me so much less ashamed of the things I struggle with in my daily life."

John Boyega and Carrie Fisher attend the world premiere of "“Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Hollywood, California. Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Disney.

"Carrie Fisher is a woman who fought back against body shaming and misogyny, against agesim, who looked at critics and said, 'Yes, I am a woman who has aged, and had children, and struggled with depression* and addiction and my body has changed, so you can just shut the fuck up and deal with it,' and it was absolutely beautiful.

Carrie Fisher is a woman who was placed in the role of 'princess,' but didn’t conform to the typical Hollywood idea of what a princess should be. She’s loud, brash, crass, and unapologetic for being so."

Fisher with her dog Gary in 2015. Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney.

"She’s an idol and an inspiration and she’s a woman who saved my life many times just by being who she was and never shying away from it or feeling the need to say sorry. Carrie Fisher is so much and more and I cannot begin to stomach the thought of 2016 taking her away from me, from her family, from the rest of the world and those of us who love her so dearly.

I love you, space momma. We all do. Keep fighting the good fight."

Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Fisher attend a Star Wars fan concert in 2015 in San Diego, California. Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney.

Fisher is just the latest in what seems like an unending list of cultural icons lost during 2016. Like others, her influence will live on for generations to come.

We all draw our inspiration from somewhere. For many of us, that means looking to athletes, actors, entertainers, and other pop culture figures for guidance. Maybe Leonard Cohen's music helped you understand heartbreak; maybe David Bowie's carefree approach to fashion and gender expression helped you relate to the world in a new way; maybe Muhammad Ali's willingness to stand up for what he believed in helped you find a resolve deep within yourself you didn't know you had.

Carrie Fisher showed us that being a princess is about so much more than a crown.

Fisher at age 16. AP Photo/Jerry Mosey.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

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The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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