How To Find Out What You Really Weigh
Our first episode in 2019 features British actress, model and activist Jameela Jamil, best known for her role in the TV series ‘The Good Place’. In 2018, Jameela also made headlines when she called out the media for perpetuating images of perfection. She says that society continues to value women based on their body size, instead of their talents and accomplishments.
This interview is important given that negative messages regarding weight and body image are literally everywhere. This is also particularly relevant now, given that the number one new year’s resolution for most people is losing weight. While physical health is important it cannot come at the cost of an individual’s self-worth, mental health, and self-esteem. I hope Jameela’s story encourages all of us to focus on our attributes, skills and unrealized potential, when we evaluate our self-worth and determine our goals for 2019.
As a teenager, Jameela struggled with an eating disorder that severely impacted her health. Back in the late 90s, she says that being skinny was fashionable and something to aspire to. This made her insecure about her own weight. Consequently, as a teenager Jamil struggled with a prolonged eating disorder that severely impacted her health.
Today, Jameela is speaking out for women, especially teenage girls, who might be blinded by images of perfection shared on social media and magazines. This all started on her 32nd birthday, when Jameela was scrolling through her Instagram and came across a picture featuring the Kardashian family. In this image, all the Kardashian women had a number written across their bodies. “I clicked on that picture expecting to see their net worth and all I saw was their weight. I remember trying to immediately imagine a photograph of a group of successful men with their weight written across their bodies. I couldn’t,” says Jamil.
After seeing the image of the Kardashians, Jamil decided to launch the "I Weigh" movement. The aim of the initiative is to recognize men or women for their achievements, lived experiences and everything they have overcome rather than simply their weight. “We need to change the way we look at ourselves and encourage women just to write down who they are, what they've done, what they've been through. I think you can very easily forget who you are and what you're worth and what you stand for,” says Jamil. By writing down all your achievements, Jamil says you will begin to accept that you weigh the sum of your parts.
Put Equality Into Practice
Jamil wants to change the way society views women and she argues that business have an important role to play in this. As such, Jamil is encouraging consumers to use their purchasing power and no longer support brands that utilize body shaming content. This doesn’t stop with products, Jamil says we can also stop supporting negative influencers on social media. Jamil’s long-term aim is to reset the way society views women, which she believes starts with eliminating photo-shopping.
Even if businesses do not ban airbrushing all together, Jamil says one action they all could take is to simply declare on the advertisement or product that the image was airbrushed. Jamil urges women to push back on the negative messaging that airbrushing creates by regularly writing down their attributes, activities and achievements. “Remember that every minute you spend hating yourself for the way that you look is a minute you aren't spending growing your business, life, family and happiness. Your looks will fade but your life will carry on. Build a life. Don't focus too much on your looks,” she says.
To listen to the full episode click here
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