Last year, actor and activist Jameela Jamil posted an article on her blog that started an entire movement.
Jameela, who is best known for her role as Tahani on The Good Place, was scrolling through Instagram when she saw this “disastrously damaging” picture:
Having grown up struggling with an eating disorder, Jameela was furious.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she wrote.
“A group shot of grown women with their respective weights posted across each of their bodies, and the post asking what we think of their weights and then asking its followers, ‘What do you weigh?’”
“What kind of crazed toxic nonsense is this? What is this post trying to achieve other than to induce anxiety into young women about something so entirely irrelevant?”
Women are bullied all day by the magazines, social media, and by each other, Jameela wrote on her blog.
“The onslaught is so aggressive that we are going to have to retaliate with 10 times the strength to undo all of the damage to the global psyche of women,” she said.
So Jameela posted this photo:
“It has taken me 10 years to get to the realisation that I am worth more than the digits on a measuring tape,” she said.
And she wasn’t alone.
Within hours, women started sending her their own versions of “I weigh”:
Buoyed by the outpouring of support and strength from women around the world, Jameela decided to take the #IWeigh movement to the next level.
“I can’t sit by and read the messages of self hatred that teenage girls send me, about how they hate themselves for not looking like Victoria’s Secret models,” she says.
“I can’t watch what happened to me, happen to them.”
So she issued a challenge to newspapers and journalists, to celebrities, to the fashion industry, to other women, and to the trolls in our own heads: enough, already!
“We are being distracted and exhausted and our eyes are being taken off the ball,” she says.
“Every minute you spend thinking about how thin or gorgeous you aren’t, is a minute you aren’t spending on growing your business or your life.”
On top of that, Jameela has petitioned Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to ban diet ads on their platforms, especially for impressionable children. In March of this year, she launched an I Weigh series on IGTV dedicated to exploring the “experiences, lessons and inspiring work of people who are out here doing the work to make everyone feel better about themselves.”
In September, Jameela joined Gary Vaynerchuk on his YouTube show, #AskGaryVee.
Check out the clip below, where Jameela shares her story of overcoming hearing loss, a car accident that left her with a broken back, and her own issues with her body weight.
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