Twenty-three year-old Daisy Ridley went from unknown to the first female lead of the Star Wars franchise this fall. The role earned her a lot of attention―much of it positive, she says, but not all of it.
Daisy spoke out this afternoon in response to commenters posting misogynist messages on her International Women's Day Instagram and others making body-shaming comments. "'Real women' are all shape and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave, have families, don't have families," she wrote on one critic's Instagram. "I am a 'real woman' like every other woman in this world."
She then reposted her comment on her own Instagram:
And further clarified that yes, the shaming gets to her: "It is much more hurtful to continue to slate other women than BE a woman, BE a character, BE whoever you want to be," she wrote in her caption. "I'm a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like [my Star Wars character] Rey. I will not apologize for how I look, what I say, and how I live my life cause what's happening inside is much more important anyway."
Her full post:
What's weird is most of the time I see such gorgeous messages from people around the world.
People who relate to something in Rey they haven't found in a female character before. People who's daughters now think they can do things without the aid of a man, but who wouldn't be ashamed to ask for help. People who loved that The Force Awakens has multiple incredible female characters. It is much more hurtful to continue to slate other women than BE a woman, BE a character, BE whoever you want to be. I'm a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey. I will not apologise for how I look, what I say and how I live my life cause what's happening inside is much more important anyway and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way. It seems apt I get tagged in this a day after I received misogynistic comments on my #IWD post. For all of you who celebrate each other, celebrate the ones you love, love yourselves, work hard, are kind, thank you for your continued support and the social media love. For anyone who has a problem with ANYONE in life, be them someone you know or someone you don't, remember that expression, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin.
This article originally appeared on ELLE.COM