Before I say anything else, let me just get one thing out of the way first - The Good Place didn't deserve to die at its fourth season. Thank you. Okay, now we can get on with what I actually want to say - Jameela Jamil is an icon.
The one person that doesn't take shit from any media outlets and literally exposes every single person that talks a little too much is Jameela Jamil. An unfiltered queen.
“I don’t hate those girls,” Jamil said about the Kardashians. “I just want them to stop selling laxatives, and then I will get off that dick. That’s all I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to attack anyone. But if you have a lot of power and influence and money, and you’re using yours irresponsibly, and other people aren't aware that they're being sold a lie, I’m gonna step on that dick.”
But what's better about her is that while she's a loudmouth about her opinions she doesn't take a step back from taking the L. Like that one time when she called changing one’s appearance a sign of “deep self-hating programming,” she later admitted she hadn’t considered that she was leaving trans people and gender-affirming surgeries out of the conversation. Talk about ownership.
She does have an unusual approach to self-confidence and body positivity - but it's something we should all probably get on board with. “I don't really do self-esteem," she says. "I don't have space for it in my brain. I feel like it just involves me still thinking about myself, which is tedious. And so I just don't think about myself…. I follow my instincts.”
Shameless, in the most productive manner - she really doesn't give a fuck about what she's doing if she truly believes in it - which is honestly a skill I could profit from. She has dealt with her share of cancel culture and criticism for her almost thoughtless sounding opinions - like when she made that comment about Karl Lagerfeld being a "ruthless fatphobic misogynist" right after he died - but she still keeps her voice going.
“I need a shitload of criticism, and I’ve received it, and I’ve taken it on board, and it’s made me a better woman. It’s made me a better feminist. This is why I call myself a feminist in progress because I never feel that I’m fully defined. I’m not fully formed. I’m always going to have new stuff to learn.” she said with respect to her criticism.
From a conversation she had with Glamour, they said - "A short, incomplete list of ideas and topics Jamil has been schooled on, from her perspective: intersectional feminism (“Just because I consider that all women are equal, and we are all together, does not mean that our experiences are all equal and the same”), nonbinary people (“I didn’t know about nonbinary people until a year and a half ago…my wording was much more gendered”), and that the struggle of black women in the U.S. is not the same as her own, as an English Pakistani woman of color (“I can't believe how black women have been left out of feminism. I just thought, mistakenly, I’m a woman of color, they’re women of color, we’re all in this together. We’re not. They’ve had a much harder time”). "
You'd think Jameela Jamil is strong-headed and too bold about things that aren't even important - but even then, she really couldn't care less. She has a platform and she makes sure she uses it for something she believes in.
“I was taught, we were all taught, until now, Don't step out of line. Don't speak. Don't speak out. Don't get anything wrong. Otherwise, you'll be banished forever. But I'm not banished. I continue to be lucky to rise.” she's said a lot of times.
“I don't think about my body ever,” she says. “And because of that, I swear to God, I never would have been able to have this success that I have now. It opened up all this time because I spent hours a day thinking about my food.” She also adds “Imagine just not thinking about your body. You’re not hating it. You're not loving it. You're just a floating head. I'm a floating head wandering through the world.”
Thinking about your body, Jameela Jamil insists, and taking measures to control its size leads almost inevitably to shame. Any kind of specific diet plan “creates a feeling of restriction. And restriction leads to rebellion. And it leads to obsessive tendencies with a lot of people.” she told Glamour.
Now, you could go off at her and ask - "How does that even work? That's so utopic - get your bullshit away from my face." And honestly, she gets it - she knows it isn't something that you can just do - but she also believes that it isn't unachievable. She also has a movement called I Weigh, and an Instagram page for it that helps you get there - it isn't just all talk no work.
She's also the proud parent of the word "enthusiastic consent" in the media - something we all need to know about. Her speech at the MAKERS conference about it was viral on social media for days, and all for good reason.
See, I could talk about her for days at length but this piece has to end at some point - but here's the takeaway. Jameela Jamil is a woman of color who has dealt with her share of eating disorders, body issues, and self-esteem who just won't shut up about it. And you shouldn't either. Talk about your struggles, call out people who just unleash even the slightest bit of hell into the world and be shameless about it. I think she's the perfect icon for this generation and we could all use some of her wit and charm. (also, unabashed attitude.)