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‘Bridgerton’ Fans Divided Over a Detail About the New Central Couple

The third season of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” has garnered critical acclaim and record-breaking viewership. However, recent discussions surrounding the series’ central couple have sparked a wave of discontent among fans.

Season 3, which premiered in May, revolves around the evolving romance between Colin Bridgerton, portrayed by Luke Newton, and Penelope Featherington, played by Nicola Coughlan. As with previous seasons, viewers witnessed an intense and passionate dynamic between Colin and Penelope, affectionately called “Polin” by fans. Nonetheless, a Forbes article published last week ignited a debate by questioning whether audiences were “ready” to see a “mixed-weight romance” on screen.

“If this romance upsets you, it says more about how deeply you’ve internalized fatphobia than it says about the bodies of the actors playing Penelope and Colin,” the article stated.

The Forbes piece also referenced two other articles to bolster its argument. One, published by the U.K.’s The Spectator in May, bluntly referred to Coughlan as “not hot.”

“She’s not shapely ― which can work as sexy even in Hollywood; she’s fat,” the Spectator article said. “There’s nothing wrong with fat ― it’s hardly a moral shortcoming ― but a zest for equality and diversity (and in this case good acting) just isn’t enough to make a fat girl who wins the prince remotely plausible.”

The second article, which appeared in The Guardian, defended Coughlan but still described her as “a little bit fat” in its headline.

Despite ending on a positive note about both “Bridgerton” and Coughlan, the Forbes article received a chilly reception online.

“This only applies where the female character is bigger,” one user posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. They pointed to shows like “The Sopranos” and “The King of Queens,” where larger male characters were paired with smaller female characters.

Another user added, “a ‘mixed-weight’ relationship?! surely this applies to in the overwhelming majority — pretty unlikely coincidence that two people would be of identical weights. weird suggestion to imply people should partner up by weight!”

Nicola Coughlan appears unfazed by criticism about her appearance and has emerged as a vocal advocate for body positivity.

In an interview with the U.K.’s Stylist in May, she revealed that she had requested some of her “Bridgerton” scenes to be especially steamy in response to trolls who have criticized her body.

“I specifically asked for certain lines and moments to be included,” she said. “There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice. It just felt like the biggest ‘fuck you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering.”

Source: HuffPost, Forbes, The Spectator, The Guardian, Stylist UK