A Thank You Letter to Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher has always been my icon. From playing headstrong Princess Leia to speaking out about her mental illness-something that was practically unheard of in Hollywood- she has been a prominent figure in my life, as well as in the lives of many others. Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon, and with Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia, young girls everywhere had someone to aspire to be. She showed everyone that a woman can lead a revolution and do it just as well, if not better than any man. Many fans were excited about the new Star Wars reboot, especially because the original characters we fell in love with were coming back. Since her role on Star Wars she’s written a semi-autobiographical novel "Postcards from the Edge", she’s starred in other movies like "When Harry Met Sally", and she’s written scripts for movies ranging from "So I Married an Axe Murderer" to "Sister Act." She’s even had a daughter, Billie Catherine Lloyd who stars in "Scream Queens." She’s shown that people, even famous actors in one of the most iconic roles, can be human.


And now she’s outdone all of these achievements by starring in the much anticipated new Star Wars film. Leia is no longer a princess, she is the general of the rebel force. She doesn’t wear pretty white dresses or her iconic gold bikini, she wears regular grey clothing. Leia has matured and Fisher did a phenomenal job portraying her. Yet, instead of commenting on the marvelous job she did in the film or how she transformed scripts or raised awareness for mental health, critics are talking about her weight. They’re commenting on how she’s a grown woman and not a young beautiful twenty something year old anymore. Keep in mind that she had to lose 20 pounds for her role.


Fisher has achieved so much in her life, yet the focus right now is on her age and weight. Our culture is one where being young and thin means being beautiful, and being beautiful is the most important quality that people want in women. Aging is natural and happens to everyone, but for some reason it’s more accepted when men gain weight and age. There were next to no comments about Harrison Ford's, Han Solo, aging, with grey hair and wrinkles prominent in the movie, because men are allowed to be human. Women aren’t allowed to age in Hollywood because our culture values beauty. No matter that Carrie Fisher is a brilliant actress and writer, and is overall an inspiration to so many. The most relevant thing to critics is that she aged, a foreign concept in an industry that only values beauty.


Fisher responded to her critics on twitter with such fire that they quickly blew up.


So this is a thank you letter to Carrie Fisher. Thank you for inspiring generations. Thank you for firing back at critics with no real claim. Thank you for showing everyone that women are not objects to appease people’s eyes. They are human and deserve to be treated as such. Aging is natural and something that happens to everyone. But most importantly, thank you for teaching us that beauty is subjective and isn’t the most important quality someone should have. There is more to a person than their age and weight. Thank you for transforming from a beautiful headstrong princess to a beautiful headstrong general right before our eyes and teaching us that it’s okay to be human.


You are truly a treasure and those critics can suck it.