With the unexpected news of Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing this past week, it seems unbelievable that just one year ago, the iconic actress was making news for an entirely different reason: body shaming. Just days after the release of the wildly successful seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, Fisher took to Twitter to fight back against online trolls who didn’t like the fact that she looked different than she had when the original Star Wars films debuted nearly 40 years before.
As The Guardian reported on December 30, 2015, Fisher was quick to call out the fallacy of holding up beauty as something to be prized, even by those in the public eye.
“Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well. Unfortunately, it hurts all three of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.
“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments, they’re the temporary happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.”
Fisher, who became well-known for her books such as the novel Postcards from the Edge and her stage show Wishful Drinking in her post-Star Wars years, told her social media followers that she did not prize her body as much as what it contained.
“My body is my brain bag, it hauls me around to those places and in front of faces where there’s something to say or see.”
In a Good Housekeeping UK interview she admitted she was asked to lose weight for the role in The Force Awakens and it was not an easy task, but it was part of what was expected in the entertainment industry.
“They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters! Nothing changes: it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.”
Even though Fisher was joined by other Star Wars veterans Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill in The Force Awakens, she lamented they received less blatant criticism for their looks. In an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the film’s release, Hamill admitted he had to drop some pounds as well, even though, as it turns out, he appeared only in the film’s closing scene. The magazine speculated he’d lost 50 pounds and the actor, then 64-years-old, said it was because he was choosing to snack on vegetables. He also said he didn’t want compliments on the weight loss.
“It implies that I looked so dreadful before! Look at what I’m eating now instead of potato chips and bagels. I’m on the ‘if it tastes good, don’t eat it’ diet.”
Fisher also told Good Housekeeping she didn’t like the compliments, as she saw herself as more of a brainiac than a performer. In addition to writing books, she also retooled several successful movie scripts, often without credit.
“[W]hen I do lose the weight, I don’t like that it makes me feel good about myself. It’s not who I am. My problem is they talk to me like an actress, but I hear them like a writer.”
Fisher’s death came just as the latest installment of the Star Wars series, Rogue One, hit theaters. Billed as a standalone story, the film’s ending makes reference to Fisher’s iconic character, Princess Leia. Variety reported after Fisher passed away that she’d finished work on Episode 8 of the franchise, but that General Leia was also supposed to have some involvement in Episode 9. How that story will change is not yet known.
Carrie Fisher was 60-years-old. She passed away just one day before her mother, screen legend Debbie Reynolds.
[Featured Image by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]