Jameela Jamil is one of the loudest celeb voices in the body positivity movement. Here’s why she has zero time for people who try to shame others into losing weight.
Anyone who knows anything about Jameela Jamil knows this essential fact – she hates diet teas, with a passion. The 32-year-old The Good Place actress has been very vocal about the celebrity-endorsed so-called slimming products that she has dubbed “laxative teas” that make you poop. But there’s something else that the British actress can’t stand – body shamers. The model, who suffered from anorexia when she was a teen, says she even had to face them in her own family.
“I definitely have family members who were massively instrumental in my eating disorders and gave me very weird relationships with food,” Jameela said on Jan. 25 at the BlogHer Health conference in Los Angeles. “I had one family member who could only show me love via food, and then I had another family member who would make me think that if I ate food, I was failure. So food became my rebellion against them.”
She added, “Family have internalized fat phobia so much of the time, and also a lot of the family members are from a generation that didn’t understand eating disorders, and didn’t understand body dysmorphia, and didn’t understand how shame works. No one has ever been shamed into making healthier or better decisions in their life. You either are going to eat too much or too little, or exercise too much or too little. You’re never going to do what’s best for you because you hate yourself. So making someone love themselves and building them up from the inside out is the only way they will ever actually want to preserve the life they’re living and make better decisions.”
As for detoxes, there’s only one elimination diet that she fully endorses and it has a very NSFW name. “I’m developing a thing called the F*cksh*t Detox…it’s like a juice fast, but instead, you just eliminate all of the bad, toxic people and things that are in your life, rather than food,” she said. For Jameela that includes “family members.”
And when it comes to how to talk to impressionable young people about their bodies, the actress is working on a way to educate adults about what they can and should say. Jameela, who started the Instagram blog I Weigh (a movement encouraging women to measure their value beyond the figures on the scale), said, “I’m building my way into a company where we want to be able to go and get into schools and talk to parents and help them understand the ramifications of shame, because shame is the silent disease that’s killing us all.”