This is Jameela Jamil. She is currently slaying everything and I’m all for it. You might recognise her from hit show The Good Place in which she plays perfectionist and socialite Tahani Al-Jamil. Yes she is fabulous and the show wouldn’t be the same without her but I’m here to talk about her influence and drive and conscientious efforts as a life positivity and body empowerment activist.
In 2018, Jameela launched Instagram account ‘I Weigh’ encouraging people to post a picture of themselves along side a list of things they were grateful or proud of that made them who they are. This was in response to an Instagram photo which showed all the Kardashians and compared their weights which Jamil exclaimed “Who gives a fuck what weight you are?”. The ‘I Weigh’ movement is inspirational and a big leap forward from the media’s constant scrutiny of women’s bodies and their pessimistic body shaming attitude. This movement may have originally focused on women but Jamil has encouraged users of any race/gender/sex to submit posts and thus a variety of individuals from different backgrounds are celebrated on the account.
Having suffered from an eating disorder as a teenager, Jamil’s preaching of self-love and acceptance comes from personal experience and a desire to right the wrongs of the media and society. She has criticised the media for creating unrealistic expectations for women, focusing on so-called ‘influencers’ who advertise detox teas and weight loss products which claim to be a magic solution to people who want to lose weight. Jamil called out US rapper Cardi B and stated “they got Cardi B on the laxative nonsense “detox” tea. GOD I hope all these celebrities all shit their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do”. To further her point Jamil posted a short clip of herselves acting out a celebrity who was endorsing a weight loss product but has to stop when she barely makes it to the bathroom in time. It’s no-nonsense, straight to the point and hilarious. Adding fuel to the fire she voices her disbelief with “I’ve got abs, but I’ve never done a day’s exercise in my life and I haven’t been on a diet. I ate five hamburgers last night”.
Although Jamil has a massive following on ‘I Weigh’ with over 300,000 followers she is no stranger to controversy. She has been labelled ‘privileged’ because of her looks which have been deemed ‘socially acceptable’ and that she is too skinny to be an advocate for body positivity. Jamil put up a powerful Twitter post responding to these criticisms by acknowledging her privilege but explaining that she is using it to do good by paving the way for change and uprising against societal norms of beauty.
There have been many rebuttals against her stance and suggestions that she is not as inclusive as she could be but Jamil has taken these views on board and responded to many of them labelling herself a ‘feminist in progress’ as she continues to work on herself as well as her movement. She is responsive to people who don’t like her, comedy gold and always willing to spread love when she can which is why she takes is officially my reigning WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday)
And if you don’t like her? I don’t give a fork.