It really hit the fan when Jameela Jamil called out Cardi B for promoting ‘detox’ tea. ‘The Good Place’ actress got dirty with her shade, but there’s so much more to Jameela, so get all the info!
UPDATE 2/5/20 6:30pm ET: Jameela came out as queer in a lengthy Twitter post following backlash at being named lead judge on HBO Max’s new voguing competition show Legendary. Many said that someone from the LGBTQ community or the black or Latino community should have got the gig, instead of a British woman who was straight. “Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she started. “I added a rainbow to my name when I felt ready a few years ago, as it’s not easy within the south Asian community to be accepted, and I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter. But I kept it low because I was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon jumping, over something that caused me a lot of confusion, fear and turmoil when I was a kid I didn’t come from a family with *anyone* openly out,” she continued. “It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties. This is absolutely not how I wanted to come out,” she wrote, then said she’s be leaving Twitter for awhile over all of the cruelty she felt. You can read her full tweet below.
Let’s be honest – Cardi B’s feud with Nicki Minaj this year cannot be topped when it comes to pure shade, but when talking nastiness, the latest beef with Jameela Jamil, 32, deserves a special mention. Jameela blasted Cardi, 26, by wishing she would “sh*t [her] pants in public” for promoting “laxative nonsense ‘detox’ tea.” Cardi, in typical Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar fashion, responded by saying she would “never sh*t my pants cause there’s public bathrooms everywhere.” In all and all, despite the scatological element, the beef is relatively weak, but who is this Jameela who’s cursing celebs who hock these “detox” diets?
1. She made her name on British television and radio … Jameela Alia Jamil was born in London to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother (“I’m not a Muslim, I wasn’t raised as Muslim. My mother was a model and my father ate pork and drank alcohol,” she said in March 2018.) In England, Jameela found success presenting on Channel 4’s T4 from 2009 until its end in 2012. She also a former host of BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart. During these early years, she also posed for Vogue and wrote a column for Company, a women’s monthly magazine.
2. … but has gotten big in America because of The Good Place. Audiences in America know her as Tahani Al-Jamil, one of the main characters on the hit show, The Good Place. She moved to LA in 2015 in hopes to find work as a screenwriter, but her manager convinced her to audition for the role, according to The Guardian. Despite never acting before, she managed to score the part. At first, she begged the show’s creator, Michael Schur, to rethink casting her, “because I didn’t want to make an absolute tit of myself in front of the entire world.”
She’s glad that he didn’t, as it’s allowed her to bring more diversity to America’s TV screens. “There was a moment when we were filming season one when I realized I was in a scene with two other women from South Asian backgrounds, and it wasn’t commented on in the show or anything,” she told The Guardian. “And we were all shocked by this, for our race to not be fetishized in some way, and we were shocked by how shocked we were.”
3. Jameela is a huge proponent of body positivity. Jameela’s attack on Cardi B is nothing personal with Ms. B (as far as we know). Apparently, Jameela’s main issue is that Cardi is another celeb flogging a ” ‘weight loss’ products [that] don’t make you thinner…it’s not safe. It’s not FDA approved.” The idea of women putting their bodies through hell to look thinner — especially after being sold some ‘detox’ tea by their favorite star — hit close to home for her. As a teenager, Jameela suffered from anorexia nervosa and was harassed by the British press when she gained weight after taking steroids for Asthma. “The paparazzi tried to shame me and would taunt me outside my own house. Did I cover up? No. I wore whatever I liked and owned my fun body that took me from A to B.”
She’s also started an Instagram account – “I Weigh” – in which women share what they “weigh” – not in kilos or pounds but in the aspects they love about themselves (“Avid reader” “feminist” “unapologetically black”). It’s a way of counteracting society’s efforts of programming a woman to think that her weight and dress size is her only redeeming quality.
4. She’s not afraid to get disgusting – obviously. When Jameela first saw Bridesmaids, it “was the first time I feel like I saw women on screen free to be disgusting, and to be themselves, and to be raw and honest and flawed,” Jamil told HuffPost. “They just broke the mold of what women are supposed to be like on camera … I felt like finally there was a film that shows what women are really like. It really, like, changed my life, that film.”
Clearly, the scene was on her mind when she posted the following video as a follow-up to her criticism of celebrities promoting “detoxifying” diets, shakes and teas.
If celebs and influencers were actually honest with us about some of these diet/detox products… pic.twitter.com/OQsJobGOQN
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) November 28, 2018
She’s fearless. In addition to her Instagram, Jameela has a blog in which she calls out body shaming publications, voices her support for the #MeToo movement, and generally acts like a badass. When asked if she was worried that being so outspoken might hurt her career, she shrugged. “Oh, I don’t care about that. I can’t not say this because then you become a double agent for the patriarchy, which has always been my greatest fear.”