'Bridgerton's' Nicola Coughlan Has Had Enough Of People's Comments On Her Body

by Julie Scagell
Nicola Coughlan in a pink dress standing in front of a wall of white roses.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Nicola Coughlan is not here for anyone’s opinions about her weight

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, has had enough of unsolicited advice coming from fans of the show, especially when it comes to her body. The actress posted on Instagram with a plea for people to kindly stop sending her comments about her weight.

The Irish actress posted a gorgeous picture of herself on yesterday asking fans to think before they type. “Hello!” she captioned the post. “So just a thing- if you have an opinion about my body please, please don’t share it with me. 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.”

This isn’t the first time Coughlan has spoken up about the ridiculous notes and comments she receives from fans. In 2018, Coughlan sat down with The Guardian to talk about the show and the immense pressure that comes with being in the spotlight when you aren’t a size that’s “acceptable” to others. “It was wild because I was size 10 filming series one and I got called ‘the big one’! I was like, ‘Are you serious?!’ I’m not this gigantic sumo wrestler, and even if I were, would it matter? Would it be relevant?”

She went on to say she’s appreciative of the directors and producers of the hit Netflix series not caving to body image standards, saying, “It’s referenced, but it’s not the defining characteristic of Penelope. I think that’s what bothers me: we try and reduce women to the size of their body and there’s so much more than that.”

She’s also been vocal on other social media platforms, tweeting last year about the continued comments she receives. “Also, and I mean this in the nicest way ah possible, I’m not a body positivity activist, I’m an actor I would lose or gain weight if an important role requirement. My body is the tool I use to tell stories, not what I define myself by.”

Anyone who thinks they have the right to comment on another person’s body is truly mad. No one owes you an explanation about they way they dress, eat, move, or weigh. It’s no one else’s business, and they aren’t there for your concern, amusement, admonishment, or critique. It says more about the person making a comment than the person themselves, and to be in the spotlight and have that happen repeatedly is unacceptable.

Coughlan finished her post asking people in the nicest possible way to please back off: “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 but I beg you not to send it to me directly.”