Jameela Jamil does not slow down. The actress, who currently stars on NBC‘s utopian and clever comedy “The Good Place,” is on a mission. For the last two months, she has taken to social media to speak out against weight shaming. Her message was so widely loved and appreciated, Jamil started the #IWeigh campaign and gave it its own Instagram account to reach more people.
On her 32nd birthday back in February, Jamil shared on her blog about how while scrolling through her own feed, she came across an image of the women in the Kardashian-Jenner family and how much they weigh in kilograms. She called it our grim reality, that women are taught to measure themselves by their weight. To combat this unfortunate patriarchal norm, she posted this image:
This post of mine started a mad wave of amazing women posting their own back to me in our revolution against shame and self hatred over our looks, perpetuated by the media. I have received thousands and they are too beautiful to not celebrate. I have started an account called @i_weigh to post them all. SEND ME YOURS to that account! I’m fucking tired of seeing women just ignore what’s amazing about them and their lives and their achievements, just because they don’t have a bloody thigh gap. The link is in my bio but please follow the account so we can start this revolution properly and make the fashion and media industry see how many of us are DONE with this shit. ❤
She called it “a small ode to the brilliant life that I am so lucky to live, that I built by myself from scratch, to the friends I am so lucky to have and to my self-worth. This is how I measure myself.” This resonated with her female followers, who sent her similar images of themselves, writing about their own accomplishments and how they weigh themselves through that.
Just like that, Jamil began a revolution of sorts.
Our society is used to holding up women to an unacceptable standard of beauty, only appreciating what they see in makeup-laden faces, slim waists, and only the most perfect figure. Jamil is raising her voice against this ridiculous hypocrisy. In doing so, she has empowered women from across the world to stand up and say they’re much more than just what the weighing scale tells them they are.
Jamil began receiving so many responses and images like hers, she opened a second Instagram account called i_weigh. Today, it has 23.4k followers and 628 posts already, proving this is the Insta-movement our generation not only needs but wants. Jamil is the brave woman who started it all and the other women contributing to i_weigh are equally to applaud for this momentous campaign.
Jamil’s character on “The Good Place,” Tahani Al-Jamil, initially comes off as snobbish and ungrateful, traits you will not see in the actress at all. However, in the two seasons of this comedy, Tahani has transformed into a self-evolved, self-loving woman aka exactly the kind of person Jamil is in real life, too.
In all of these, she continues to champion her message of self-worth and how she always knew she wanted to battle this superficial idea that physical beauty is the only thing that mattered. In 2014, when Jamil was a successful BBC host, she received the Body Confidence Award. Her speech is powerful and emotional.
#IWeigh is here to stay and to educate the world about what really matters. Its a daunting task to take on but luckily, Jamil is no stranger to overcoming it. The actress, who was born in England to an Indian father and Pakistani mother, was struck by a car when she was 17. She broke several bones, damaged her spine, and was told she may never walk again but slowly and surely, she recovered. She was also labeled as bookish and shy in school. Now, she is taking it upon herself to ensure other women don’t go through what she did.
If her journey is any indication, this is only the beginning for her and for us.