Why Jameela Jamil’s ‘I Weigh’ Movement Is About So Much More Than Body Positivity


Jameela Jamil just isn’t afraid of taking over body-shamers. At the age of 26, the actor — now greatest recognized for her function on NBC’s The Good Place, however on the time, a BBC Radio 1 DJ — addressed the House of Commons of the United Kingdom about “the disgusting way we value women,” she tells SheIs aware of. On high of that, she has launched 3 plus-size clothes traces to make sure ladies of all dimensions and shapes have an area in excessive vogue and has been publicly campaigning for physique positivity for almost a decade.

So when she noticed an Instagram publish earlier this yr that includes the feminine members of the Kardashian-Jenner household every labeled with their physique weight, Jamil (now 32) was not a fan.

In response, she posted a photograph to her personal Instagram web page itemizing all of the methods she valued her life, together with her relationship, mates, job and monetary independence, amongst others.

Without any prompting from her, by the tip of the day that she posted her “I Weigh” picture, greater than 1,000 different ladies had achieved the identical factor on their very own social media feeds. At that time, Jamil knew it was greater than a singular Instagram publish: It was a motion that wanted a house. In March 2018, she created the I Weigh Instagram account, which shares a number of posts from folks world wide daily.

“I only started the Instagram account because there were so many amazing posts and I didn’t want them to disappear,” Jamil explains. “I wanted them to live somewhere and it turned into an online museum of self-love.”

The Good Place's Jameela Jamil is the body image hero we've been waiting for

More: Why Are We So Fascinated by Celebrity Body-Shaming?

Interest within the I Weigh motion exhibits no indicators of slowing down, both. Jamil says that she receives 50 to 100 posts every day from men and women world wide “from every age, every background, every size and shape and height.”

Although she says she did not begin out with the intention of making a motion, the timing was proper. “I think it coincides with a moment where women are starting to take a look at what’s going on around us and realize that we’re being treated very unfairly, even in this day and age,” Jamil notes.

Not solely was it the appropriate time for this explicit model of physique positivity, however the truth that it was Jamil’s real response to ladies being valued by our physique weight that basically resonated with folks.

“It was very organic. It was very from-the-heart,” she explains. “I was just very, very upset and I felt like my gender was belittled yet again. And I think that a lot of people feel that way, so it just resonated with them. And the fact that it felt real and didn’t feel contrived or like a publicity stunt must have spoken to people. Then everyone just sort of joined me.”

Even although all of us have these genuine not-going-to-take-it-anymore realizations, Jamil knew she was ready to make use of her social media following for good.

“I think we all have those moments, and I think it’s just very rare that someone with a platform just says it, because we’re all so brainwashed into conforming to it that we’re too scared to fight back,” she says. “But this industry doesn’t mean enough to me to be a bad role model. Nothing means enough to me to abuse my position and not speak up for those being damaged.”

The Good Place's Jameela Jamil is the body image hero we've been waiting for

Jamil hasn’t all the time felt this manner about her physique. She says that she had extreme anorexia between the ages of 14 and 17 due to the pictures of girls’s our bodies she noticed in magazines and on tv.

“It was just constant subliminal messaging and shaming when it came to having any fat on your body whatsoever and not just succumbing to the pornographic patriarchal gaze,” she says.

Then round 5 years in the past, when she gained 75 kilos rapidly because of taking bronchial asthma medicine, Jamil says she was ridiculed publicly by photographers and magazines for about 4 months. She was supplied every little thing from weight reduction DVDs to train campaigns and promptly “simply advised everybody, en masse, to ‘fuck off.’”

“I stated, ‘I’m not going to go to the gymnasium. I’m not going to go on a food regimen. I’m simply going to see what occurs, and perhaps that is my physique now, and I’m going to embrace it,'” she explains.

Jamil says that she knew that if she misplaced a number of weight actually rapidly, it might ship the message that there is one thing fallacious with being curvaceous and that it is one thing to be ashamed of. Instead, she “held onto it” — the load, that’s — so long as she may. It got here off itself, slowly and naturally, over 5 or 6 years with out her doing something aside from ensuring she was consuming healthily.

And in relation to the I Weigh motion, Jamil is fast to level out that she feels as if she has been healed by the individuals who have participated and has by no means felt so robust and comfy in her personal pores and skin.

“I didn’t make the motion: Women made the motion,” she clarifies. “I form of lit the fuse, mainly, after which the motion was taken over by everybody else. This just isn’t my motion — it’s our motion, collectively. It is a collective of people that’ve simply had sufficient. They’ve all woken up and realized that they didn’t have a powerful perspective on their self-worth, ever.”

Jamil — who’s at present engaged on a e book she describes as “a revolution in opposition to disgrace” — asks others to post their own I Weigh images and to encourage their favorite celebrities and role models to do the same: “Let’s take this so far as we are able to collectively in order that we are able to lastly have sufficient energy and affect to alter every little thing on the high.”

(Editor references)

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