“The Good Place” actress revealed a man grabbed her by the crotch at the age of 12 while she was walking along Oxford Street in London. Jamil had to throw herself against a wall to shake off her attacker and run away.
A mere three years later, at the age of 15, Jamil was once again attacked. She was dragged by a stranger into a car nearby. Thankfully, a passerby saw it happen and saved her from her abuser. Once againm the attack happened in a public location, Belsize Park, an affluent part of London.
“I never considered those experiences traumatic until now, because I thought they happened to everyone and were normal,” Jamil told The Guardian. “And now I realize that maybe that’s true, but it shouldn’t be.”
Jamil did not hold back in this interview as she continued to express her opinions of how “dark” Hollywood is where people involved in sexual assault even wore “Times Up” pins supporting the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globe awards this year.
Staying true to her views, Jamil unabashedly called out journalists for also fostering the toxic environment that forces women to believe that being thin is “good” or “beautiful” while having fat is bad.
Jamil explains how, as a presenter in the UK, she was originally criticized for being too thin and when she gained weight from a steroid medication she had to take for her asthma, she was criticized for being too fat.
“…it really opened my eyes, because when I was a size 6 or 8, they only took photos of me that would make me look good, posing on the red carpet or whatever. As soon as I was a size 10, they only want photos of you looking bad, like, with your mouth open or eyes closed. No one tried to take my photo when I was running when I was thin, only when I was fat,” Jamil angrily told The Guardian reporter. “…But what really upset me was that they never documented any of my professional success, such as that I was the first woman to host the chart show on Radio 1. It was always about my failure to fulfill some Victoria’s Secret prototype.”
Body positivity is very important to Jamil. She faced a lot of bullying at a young age and even struggled with an eating disorder at the age of 14. She had a major accident when she was 17-years-old and had to stay in bed for a year, she credits a dramatic change in her perspective in regards to her body to this time.
“There’s something about not being able to move that gives you a new respect for your body, and I honestly think that accident saved me.”
Jamil is consistently pointing out injustices and promoting women, especially women of color through her influence. Her “I Weigh” page on Instagram promotes confidence, self-love, and body positivity, women post selfies with their weight in qualities like “loving sister” or “cancer survivor.” Jamil is strongly against any airbrushing, her pictures are untouched.
After being so vocal about taboo topics does Jamil fear her career could be affected? Definitely not.
“I just cannot stay silent anymore, I can’t,” Jamil said. “I don’t care if I’m going down – I’m going down in flames. I’m fine to not work in this industry. But I’m not fine to not say something.”
Jamil is one badass brown queen and we just can’t get enough!