Jameela Jamil has been a vocal advocate for body positivity — and she doesn’t want to see the movement veer away from its original purpose.
The actress, 32, shared her thoughts on body positivity in a new interview published on Wednesday, in which she lamented the fact that it has become co-opted by brands and has grown less inclusive.
‘It’s become a marketing slogan, and that’s not what it was originally for,’ Jameela told Marie Claire.
Speaking out: Jameela Jamil, 32, shared her thoughts on body positivity in a new interview, in which she lamented the fact that it has become co-opted by brands and is less inclusive
‘It was supposed to be inclusive, and again now, it’s been taken over by very slender, often Caucasian women. And that’s fine, but they weren’t the reason that body positivity was started and needed. So it’s turned into just a way for brands to have an excuse to talk about women’s bodies some more.’
The Good Place star has become an increasingly passionate advocate for the movement over the past few months.
Message: The Good Place star has become an increasingly passionate advocate for the movement over the past few months
She created her own body positivity Instagram account, I Weigh, in February this year, after seeing a post that listed the Kardashian-Jenners’ respective weights.
I Weigh encourages women to highlight their accomplishments and all the parts of themselves they love instead of focusing on how much they weigh.
The account has resonated with thousands of social media users and garnered more than 150,000 followers.
Jameela was also among the first who spoke out against Kim Kardashian, 37, in May this year after the reality star promoted appetite-suppressing lollipops on Instagram.
With I Weigh, Jameela hopes to help women shift their focus away from negative thoughts related to their bodies.
‘You cannot invest all of your time and thought into something that is inevitably going to fade, because your heart will only become bigger, your brain can only become more developed,’ she told Marie Claire.
‘Focus on things that will grow. The things that can only become bigger and better and stronger: Those are the things we should be feeding right now.’
The actress explained that her activism doesn’t mean she thinks it’s wrong for people to care about their physical appearances.
Movement: Jameela created her own body positivity Instagram account, I Weigh, in February this year, after seeing a post that listed the Kardashian-Jenners’ respective weights
‘I don’t mind women thinking about their looks — I’m not criticizing anyone, I’m not here to judge anyone,’ she added.
‘I’m just saying, make sure that you are rounded. Being rounded and multi-faceted is the key to long-term success, happiness, and variety.’
As for herself, Jameela doesn’t think it’s worth spending too much energy thinking about her appearance.
‘Me spending all my time thinking about my looks just feels like a dumb investment,’ she said. ‘It feels like buying a house on the seafront in Malibu where the coastline is disintegrating because of global warming.’
Jameela drew a correlation between unattainable beauty standards and mental health.
‘People don’t understand a lot of depression is just repressed anger,’ she said. ‘Stress is a huge, huge factor in so much illness.
‘We are a stressed gender, and we’re being held down. We’re being f*****g bullied all the time, in so many different ways. And so, at the very least, we have to stop bullying ourselves and be our own best friends.’
This isn’t the first time Jameela has sounded off on body positivity. Earlier this month, she slammed the Kardashians, calling them a ‘double agent for the patriarchy’ who send ‘toxic and damaging’ messages.
Focus: With I Weigh, Jameela urges women to focus on their accomplishments and what they like about themselves instead of their bodies
Popular: The Instagram account has resonated with thousands of social media users and garnered more than 150,000 followers
Jameela made her comments on Channel 4’s podcast Ways to Change the World, during which she also renewed her criticism of Kim and her promotion of appetite-suppressing lollipops.
‘I have had words with the Kardashians, and I think when someone is doing something that is toxic and damaging to the people who — they have a huge platform and they are speaking to loads of people, that person is saying something that is dangerous, I think we should all be allowed to say something about that,’ the actress said.
‘I don’t think you can just attack that person. I don’t think that helps anything. I think you have to offer constructive criticism.’
She further explained: ‘The double agent for the patriarchy is basically just a woman who, perhaps unknowingly, is still putting the patriarchal narrative out into the world, is still benefiting off, profiting off and selling a patriarchal narrative to other women.’
Jameela referred to such a person as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, adding: ‘Because you look like a woman, we trust you, we think you’re on our side, but you’re selling us something that really doesn’t make us feel good.
‘You’re selling us an ideal, a body shape, a problem with our wrinkles, a problem with aging, a problem with gravity, a problem with any kind of body fat.
‘You’re selling us self-consciousness, the same poison that made you clearly develop some sort of body dysmorphia or facial dysmorphia you are now pouring back into the world. You’re, like, recycling hatred.
‘And I think find that really dangerous and I think that’s unacceptable and I don’t care if you’re a woman. I think constructive criticism is needed for anyone to ever evolve.’