Derry Girls and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has called out a podcast host who body-shamed her following her appearance at the Golden Globes Awards.
The breakout Irish star took to the virtual red carpet in a canary yellow tulle gown by London-based designer Molly Goddard. The 34-year-old actress accessorised her look with a short black cardigan by Ply Knits and De Beers jewellery, completing the ensemble with striking pink eyeshadow.
But American podcaster Amanda Richards took to Twitter and branded Nicola “the fat girl from Bridgerton”, while critiquing her choice of cardigan. After being pulled up publicly on the same platform by Nicola and dozens of disgusted Twitter users, Amanda admitted to a “flippant” remark about “a celebrity and their outfit on a red carpet” but refused to apologise for using the word “fat”.
In her original tweet, Amanda wrote: “The fat girl from Bridgerton is wearing a black cardigan at the Golden Globes, bc no matter how hot and stylish you are, if you’re a fat girl there will always be a black cardigan you think about wearing, then decide against, but ultimately wear bc you feel like you have to.”
Nicola was unimpressed with the comment and responded: “I thought the cardigan looked ace. Molly Goddard used them on her runway with the dresses, that’s where the idea came from.”
She added: “Also, I have a name.”
After the podcast host was called out by other Twitter users too, she wrote: “Nicola Coughlan is fine. She will now continue being a successful, interesting human with dope style, regardless of what a writer on Twitter had to say.
“And yeah, it sucked that I didn’t user her name and I’m sorry I made that choice. But I’m not going to apologise for using the word fat. Ever.”
Nicola, who was styled for the Golden Globes by Aimee Croysdill, was chosen as one of British Vogue’s Best Dressed at the awards and Vogue in New York said her gown was “fit for Bridgerton royalty”. The style bible also said: “No longer just everyone’s favourite headstrong Bridgeton debutante, Nicola is firmly staking her claim as a red carpet star in the making too.”
Local fashion designer and creator of the Eadach collection, Sara O’Neill, designed fellow Derry Girl actress Siobhan McSweeney’s red kimono for the 2019 BAFTA Awards. Sara, whose range is inspired by Irish mythology and the rugged coastline, applauded Nicola’s Golden Globes look, describing it as “incredible”.
And she said she was “disappointed” that people were still body-shaming today.
“I loved everything about the dress; the colour, the shape of it. I thought she looked amazing,” she said.
“Fashion should be fun and creative and Nicola’s dress was a work of art. It was incredible.
“I’d really hoped that we were beyond commenting on women’s body shapes but there will always be someone who says something like this to gain attention.
“As much as I love fashion, it’s not about being in trend. People should wear what they feel good in. If you love a piece, wear it and Nicola obviously styled the dress with the cardigan in the same way Molly Goddard did.”
It’s not the first time Nicola, who plays Clare Devlin in Channel 4’s Derry Girls and Penelope Featherington in Netflix period drama Bridgerton, has tackled someone for body shaming her.
She also expressed her disappointment on Twitter when a British Theatre Guide critic, who was reviewing her performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar Theatre in London, called her overweight.
Nicola went on to write an article on body shaming in the Guardian newspaper and the British Theatre Guide apologised for the remark.
Following the latest incident, Nicola took to Twitter again to repost her article, writing: “Every time I’m asked about my body in an interview, it makes me deeply uncomfortable and sad.”
She continued: “My body is the tool I use to tell stories, not what I define myself by.
“It’s 2021. It would be nice if we didn’t have to keep having this conversation.”