This week on Tantrachick we have been discussing body image issues and a variety of related topics. With this in mind, I thought the following attack on actress Carrie Fisher was perfectly on topic.
While we were talking about this important topic, Carrie has received an onslaught of negativity because of her recent debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, Carrie Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress and writer. She is best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, and her more recent portrayal of General Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Carrie’s original appearance as Princess Leia was in 1977, nearly 40 years ago.
I watched the original Star Wars movies and I watched The Force Awakens at our local theater with my family on Christmas Eve, 2015. The topic of Princess Leia vs. General Leia came up on the ride home from the theater. Personally, I thought Carrie Fisher rocked her role as General Leia. I felt like she found herself in the past 38+ years. Her gentle confidence was engaging, I saw the increased wisdom in her eyes and the confidence she exuded was far beyond what the original Leia was able to convey (makes sense since the actress is now 38-years wiser).
I think that people were so focused on comparing the younger Carrie to the current Carrie that they lost track of the trials General Leia faced in the nearly 40 years that passed (movie time). Did everyone forget that, beyond her duties as a General, Carrie was playing the role of a mother whose son had literally gone to the dark side? Were the millions of viewers who flocked to the theater so caught up in assessing Carrie’s on screen appearance that they didn’t realize that in her role as General Leia, Carrie also played a mother who had suffered the unimaginable pain of watching her son murder the love of her life? How exactly was Carrie supposed to look during these heart-wrenching scenes? Like a whimsical damsel in distress?
If she had attempted to turn up the heat and play the role of a well-seasoned sex kitten, the posts about Carrie Fisher would likely be focusing on what a bad actress she was because she was flaunting her looks rather than taking her role seriously. I mean for Pete’s sake, let’s cut the woman some slack! She did a damn good job in my humble opinion. What does it say about us as a society that we feel entitled to even comment on how a woman ages? I personally find it appalling and totally unacceptable. To those of you who attacked this beautiful, lovely soul, I say shame on you. How about we check in with you in 40 or so years and criticize you for any imperfections we perceive? I don’t imagine you would like that, now would you?
Carrie is facing this rude attack with grace under pressure. I love her Twitter response“My body is my brain bag, it hauls me around to those places & in front of faces where there’s something to say or see.” In another witty Twitter post, Carrie said, “Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well, unfortunately, it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My body hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.”
The bottom line to me is this; we should be talking about how well Carrie Fisher played her role as General Leia in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, rather than talking about something as petty as how well she has aged. I mean for real folks, what is she anyways, a bottle of red wine? I applaud Carrie for her bravery in speaking out against ageism. Bravo Carrie; you go woman!