Not many established celebrities will risk going against the grain and ruffling feathers on social media, but in 2018 Jameela Jamil's outspoken criticism of diet culture has potentially started a life-saving conversation.
With so many celebrities taking the decision to promote 'diet' teas, coffees and shakes with potentially harmful laxative products for a bit of extra income (we're looking at you, Kim K), Jamil is willing to use her voice and social media following to educate young women and encourage them to love their bodies. She's also made it her mission to dismantle a culture that capitalise on an impressionable young audience by selling them a product - and a damaging pressure to achieve a body ideal.
From her 'I Weigh' Instagram account - which encourages followers to assess themselves not in terms of their weight but their achievements, relationships and values – to her ongoing campaign against diet pills and appetite suppressants, she is a woman on a fierce mission to improve female body image. Last year also saw Jameela open up about her own struggle with an eating disorder to help show other women who are suffering that they're not alone. explaining in an interview with AM to DM in October 2018 how her eating disorder was triggered when she was weighed in a school class she said '[Weighing] shouldn't be part of our narrative, it shouldn't be part of our conversation, [and] you definitely shouldn't be weighing children and then telling them what they weigh ... it just creates so much trauma'.
Since then, Jamil has committed herself to improving the body image of women everywhere. Speaking at #Blogher Health 2019 conference about I Weigh Jameela said 'I don’t want to worry about stretch marks or cellulite or time or gravity showing on my face and my body. These things are deliberately there ― to go full ‘tin hat’ on you ― they are here to distract us, to give us something else to think about so that we’re not thinking about growing our businesses and our families and our lives and our hearts and our minds, It’s so aggressive how pervasive it is and how it’s everywhere... It takes someone and something aggressive to tear that down.'
And as part of her drive to advocate intersectional feminism on social media, Jamil isn't afraid to address her own shortcomings either. Pinned right at the top of her Twitter she writes: 'It is never too late to check yourself and right your wrongs. I used to be slut shamey, judgmental, and my feminism wasn’t intersectional enough. Nobody is born perfectly “woke”. Listen, read, learn, grow, change and make room for everyone. We aren’t free 'til ALL of us are free.'
Jameela is one of our 10 Women Who’ve Changed The Conversation This Year. To mark International Women’s Day, Grazia and The Female Lead Have teamed up to celebrate the heroines who’ve made a difference to our everyday lives - even if you don’t know their name yet. We’ll be featuring a different amazing woman from the list every day online, and check out Grazia magazine on Tuesday 5th March for our list in full…