Standing Up to Body Shamers and Showing Her Strength: 5 Times Daisy Ridley Spoke Out for Girl Power

5 Times Daisy Ridley Spoke Out for Girl Power
Daisy Ridley
Disney/Image Group LA/Getty

03/11/2016 AT 01:15 PM EST

Looking for a young female star who's smart, humble, tough and not afraid of haters? Daisy Ridley's your girl.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens star is just as strong and powerful as her character Rey, something Ridley showed when she spoke out against body shamers on Wednesday who said she was too thin.

That incident was one of many times that Ridley, 23, stood up for herself, and showed that women deserve more respect. Here's five of her best girl power quotes.

1. When she was proud to be the female lead Star Wars needed
"She's not royalty, she's not a princess, she's just an ordinary girl," Ridley told PEOPLE of Rey. "She has her own strength, though. I couldn't have asked to play a better role."



"She's brave and she's vulnerable and she's so nuanced," Ridley added at a press conference before the premiere. "That's what's so exciting playing a role like this. She doesn't have to be one thing to embody a woman in a film, and for me she's not important because she's a woman. She's just important."

2. When she was hopeful about Rey's impact
"Well, obviously Princess Leia and Carrie are a source of inspiration for girls for the past 30 years," Ridley said at the same press conference. "I'm definitely not quite there yet but I hope Rey will be something of a girl power figure."

RELATED VIDEO: Lupita Nyong'o and Daisy Ridley Dazzle at Star Wars Events in Mexico and South Korea

3. When she wouldn't let herself become sexualized
Carrie Fisher gave Ridley some important advice in October: don't let anyone put you in a gold bikini.

"No, they always talk about how you’re a sex symbol, and how do I feel about that," Ridley told Fisher, adding, "I’m not a sex symbol!"



4. When she fully embraced strength training to become Rey
To prepare for the role, Ridley spent three months doing extensive physical training and stunt practice for five hours a day, five days a week. And she's working on maintaining her progress to stay in shape for the next film.

"It became my solace," Ridley said. "It's the only thing structured in my life right now. Training is sort of a therapy session, I guess."

And her workouts informed how she approached the role.

"She is so strong," Ridley says. "She's cool and smart and she can look after herself."

5. When she emphasized what's really important in life – what's on the inside, not the outside
After an Instagram user made a meme of Ridley making fun of her slim figure, the actress used it as a teachable moment.



"I'm just a normal girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, just like Rey," she wrote in her own Instagram post. "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 and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way."

"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," she added. "Kindness isn't going to cure the world of all its awfulness but it's a good place to begin."
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