As if 2016 wasn't already the worst year ever, Carrie Fisher died on December 27. I'd be lying if I said I was a huge Star Wars fan. I've seen the movies, and I enjoy them, but I'm not anywhere near as big of a fan as most people.
Despite that, I have always found Carrie Fisher to be very inspiring. When I got the Twitter update on my phone that she had passed, I started crying. At first I felt stupid for crying over a celebrity's death. I mean, I didn't even know her. After Alan Thicke and George Michael died, I can't even say I was surprised by the news — celebrities tend to die in threes. Then I realized that Carrie Fisher made a great impact on the world, and just because I didn't know her personally doesn't mean I can't be upset that she's gone. Carrie Fisher was a gift for more reasons than I can even list, but here are the top reasons the world is at a huge loss without her.
1. Her mental health advocacy
Carrie Fisher had bipolar disorder. She wrote books in which she discussed her struggles — whether in her autobiography Wishful Drinking or in her fictionalized story in Postcards from the Edge. She talked about her bipolar disorder in interviews, recounting her manic episodes and discussing the medications and treatments she was on and what it was like to live life with this disorder. This kind of visibility is so important for others who have bipolar disorder or any other mental health issues. Not only does it show that you can struggle and still succeed, but having someone as famous as Carrie Fisher speak openly about her illnesses opens up conversations for other people and works to ease the stigma around mental health. Her openness has undoubtedly helped numerous people speak out about their struggles and seek help when needed.
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2. Her openness about addiction
Not only was she bipolar, but Carrie Fisher also struggled with addiction to cocaine and prescription drugs. She admitted to doing drugs while filming Star Wars and to using drugs as a way to deal with her mental health problems before she was properly diagnosed. In 1985, she overdosed on prescription medication and sleeping pills and was rushed to the hospital. Addiction is no joke, and she went on not only to become sober but to write about her experiences in her two books and their subsequent film or state adaptations. She showed the world that she had intense issues, but she was able to overcome them. By writing about them, she helped spread the truth about what it was like to live with and overcome addiction.
3. Her feminism
Not only did she play a strong woman in Star Wars (and if you don't think Leia is strong, come fight me), but she also was an amazing feminism in her real life. She carved a space for herself in a male-dominated movie franchise, where her character had to be strong and fight despite being created as a "male fantasy." When Princess Leia's slave outfit was criticized, she responded:
"To The father who flipped out about it, -"What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?" Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage."
When people took to social media to tell Carrie Fisher that she, a 60-year-old woman, "did not age well," she responded by saying that physical "beauty" really isn't everything.
Youth&BeautyR/NOT ACCOMPLISHMENTS,theyre theTEMPORARY happy/BiProducts/of Time&/or DNA/Dont Hold yourBreath4either/ifUmust holdAir/takeGarys
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) December">https://twitter.com/carrieffisher/status/682031270... 30, 2015
Please stop debating about whetherOR not👁aged well.unfortunately it hurts all3 of my feelings.My BODY hasnt aged as well as I have.Blow us👌🏼
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) December">https://twitter.com/carrieffisher/status/681738143... 29, 2015
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Basically, Carrie Fisher was a kickass feminist. If you want to know more about that, just Google her.
4. Her writing
I've already mentioned two of her eight books, but Carrie Fisher also worked on a lot of scripts. She was one of the top script doctors, meaning she helped write many scripts without receiving a credit for that film. She Lethal Weapon 3, Hook The Wedding Singer, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the Star Wars prequels, Coyote Ugly, Scream 3, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and plenty more.
5. Star Wars
It's no secret that Star Wars had a huge impact on culture and in the lives of many people. Carrie Fisher said that no matter what, she would always be Princess Leia. She said she believed in the series from the beginning and knew it would be a hit. Without her, who knows what the franchise would be like.
Then she came back in The Force Awakens as the incredibly badass General Leia Organa. Her name switch from Princess to General shows how she took the character from the damsel who gets herself — and others — out of distress to the ultimate leader of the Resistance. I wish there was a stronger word than badass because that just doesn't do justice to what Carrie Fisher did with this character.
Although she filmed the 8th film in the franchise, we currently don't know what'll happen to the future of Star Wars. All we can say for sure is that this next film is going to end with a dedication to this amazing woman, and I will be sobbing.