5 Things We Can Learn From Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was a kind, hilarious, outspoken actress and mental health advocate. While she was best known for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars, she was so much more than that. There are countless lessons we can learn from her and how she lived her life, but these are some of the ones that resonated with us the most.

#1 Speak Your Mind

Fisher was never afraid to confront any naysayers or those who commented about her weight, mental health, and prior struggles. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, she spoke candidly about the movie industry, particularly being pressured into losing weight. She said, “They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters! Nothing changes: it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say ‘get younger,’ because that’s how easy it is.”

#2 End the Stigma

Fisher was an outspoken advocate for mental illnesses and finally ending the stigma surrounding them. In order to normalize mental health, we need to speak more openly about it. And when we speak up about it, those suffering need to be greeted with empathy and understanding rather than cruelty. 

In a 2000 interview, Fisher spoke with Diane Sawyer about having manic depression. At one point she blatantly said, “I am mentally ill. I can say that.” She also went on to talk about her time in the hospital. By speaking so candidly about what she experienced, she opened the door for others to follow suit, which is exactly what the world needs.

#3 Tell Your Own Story

Once the media gets a hold of something unsavory from a celebrity’s past, it’s easy to run away with the story. The more outlets pick it up, the harder it is to escape past mistakes. But, Fisher never let incidents like that slow her down. As a matter of fact, she confronted them head-on and addressed what the media brought up. 

In a 2016 interview with CBC, Fisher mentioned how if stories were going public, she’d rather address them head-on. In an effort to avoid others making unwanted assumptions, she made it known that “shame is not something I aspire to.” She was never afraid to speak up about what she experienced, stopping rumors in their tracks.

#4 Have a Sense of Humor

She was well-known for having a great sense of humor. Whether it was in her funny tweets or her hilarious portrayal as Angela in Family Guy, Fisher wanted the world to know that she knew how to laugh. Twitter is perhaps where her humor shone best, which is why dozens of lists were compiled featuring some of her best moments. In any case, she said it best when she tweeted, “If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true and that is unacceptable.”

#5 Be Brave

Above all, her lessons taught us that we need to be brave. While it’s easier said than done, watching Fisher tackle tough issues allows us to find our own voice. Don’t be afraid to call out those who get in your face. Speak up about mental health. Tell your own stories before someone else does, potentially making you look bad. You’re in control of your own life and you should live it unashamedly.