As social media has become a more integral part of society, activist movements have taken center stage, specifically those that focus on body positivity. With so many social media influencers posting highly edited photos and videos, many of their fans, especially those who are younger, try to emulate these photos by going on different diets, using weight loss products and trying out extreme fitness regiments.
At the same time, however, there are some notable celebrities who have openly announced their criticism of these practices, advocating for young people to have a more positive perspective on their bodies. One of these celebrities is British actress Jameela Jamil of NBC’s hit comedy “The Good Place.”
Once known for her acting skills, Jamil is now best-known for her work as an activist, working to debunk societal stereotypes of adhering to a certain body type. The actress does so by providing candid examples of her own experiences with body image and eating disorders on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
In March of last year, Jamil created an Instagram account called @i_weigh, which currently boasts over 600,000 followers and has over 2,600 posts. The account was created after Jamil saw a post on her Instagram explore page that detailed how much the Kardashians weighed. Jamil described her disgust and thoughts on the picture in a blog post, which she posted on her 32nd birthday.
In addition to the blog post, Jamil posted a response on her Instagram story that started with the phrase “I weigh.” But instead of stating the number of pounds she weighs, the actress stated all the things in life that she is grateful for and achievements that she accomplished, suggesting that life is about more than just your weight. At the end of the post, she fired back at the original post of the Kardashians and stated that she loved herself despite what the media says.
In turn, many of Jamil’s fans saw this post and were inspired to create their own posts on their Instagram stories stating their accomplishments and important aspects of their lives. As of now, the account continues to post positive affirmation stories, reminding fans that they should never be ashamed of who they are. Jamil has also posted interviews with celebrities such as Sam Smith and Lizzo, where they discuss their views on body image and becoming confident with themselves.
More recently, Jamil took part in a heated battle with the Kardashians, criticizing their promotion of weight loss products like Flat Tummy Tea. In her comment on Khloe Kardashian’s post endorsing this product, Jamil wrote, “If you’re too irresponsible to: a) own up to the fact that you have a personal trainer, nutritionist, probable chef, and a surgeon to achieve your aesthetic, rather than this laxative product…and b) tell them the side effects of this NON-FDA approved product, that most doctors are saying aren’t healthy […] then I guess I have to.”
Jamil took her stance on the issue one step further in tweeting that the Kardashian’s “pockets are lined with the blood and diarrhea of teenage girls.”
As someone who, as a teen, was easily influenced by celebrities, Jamil urged the popular family to be mindful of what they are promoting and profiting from. Viewers and fans may take these promotions too far, which could lead to dangerous effects.
Their pockets are lined with the blood and diarrhea of teenage girls…? https://t.co/nw0Dw94kd0
— Jameela Jamil ? (@jameelajamil) March 31, 2019
Although seemingly shameful, Jamil’s statements and comments always end on a positive note, despite her disagreement with the person. For instance, at the end of her Instagram comment to Khloe Kardashian, she wrote that the reality-TV star is a “smart woman” and that she should “be smarter than this.” Although the Kardashian sister did not respond, she did delete the post in question after receiving backlash for promoting a product that endorses disordered eating.
This exchange is not the first time that Jamil has expressed her concerns over celebrities’ endorsements of dietary products, especially in the Kardashian family. Back in May, Jamil posted another series of tweets calling Kim Kardashian a toxic influence on girls for promoting appetite suppressing lollipops. The body-positive actress claimed that Kim should focus more on working hard, taking care of her children and becoming more educated. Coincidence or not, after Jamil’s commentary, the caption of the post in question changed.
In a recent interview following Jamil’s comments, Kris, Kim and Khloe all claimed that their fans do not care about what they are promoting. Instead, they’re just excited to hear from the famous family. In addition, the reality-TV family insisted that they do not have a personal trainer like Jamil originally claimed. While it’s difficult to say if the family will ever directly respond to Jamil’s comments, their alterations to their captions and deletion of posts speak louder than what was said during the interview.
Driven by her passion for body positivity and healthy weight-loss methods, Jamil has created a petition to ban unhealthy detox teas and similar weight-loss products. The petition, which describes the dangers of weight-loss products that are not approved by the FDA, has since garnered over 230,000 signatures. People continue to express their admiration for Jamil’s efforts in fighting back against the dieting industry.
With Jamil’s continuous efforts to make others feel valued and appreciated, it is safe to say that she will help the world be one step closer to becoming “The Good Place.”