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Carrie Fisher 'pressured' to lose 16kg for new Star Wars movie

A world where women aren't cast on their appearance? Apparently that place only exists in a galaxy far, far away.

We'd like to think we've come a long way from women being cast for movie roles based on their appearance.

In 1977, Carrie Fisher was asked to lose weight to play Princess Leia in Star Wars. For a woman who was only 19 years of age, 1.54m and 48kg, that seems both unnecessary and impossible!

But that was nearly 40 years ago. Surely we've come a long way since those days?

Not so.

In her mid-50s, Carrie Fisher was allegedly asked to lose 35 pounds (15.8kg) to reprise her iconic role.

"They don't want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!" she told Good Housekeeping, which wrote that Fisher "was pressured" to lose the weight.

"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."

"We treat beauty like an accomplishment and that is insane," she said. "Everyone in LA says, 'Oh you look good,' and you listen for them to say you've lost weight. It's never 'How are you?' or 'You seem happy!'"

Fisher recently tweeted this message about Hollywood's obsession with appearance:

Fisher plays a general in the new Star Wars film. After taking over the helm from George Lucas, JJ Abrams has been public about his desire to make the new episode female-friendly.

"Star Wars was always a boys' thing, and a movie that dads could take their sons to," Abrams told Good Morning America on Monday. "And although that is still very much the case, I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well."

In light of this, it seems unfortunate that one of his female stars was asked to lose weight to appear in the film. It's not clear who asked Fisher to drop the pounds and Abrams has not been available for comment.