The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Writer. Sister. Loving. Honest. These are all measurements used by the ‘I Weigh’ community, the only measurements we should be concerned with. It started out as a single Instagram story in which Jameela Jamil listed her qualities and achievements in defiance of diet culture. Now, it’s grown into a multi-platformed community rooted in radical inclusivity and inquisitiveness, opening up important discussions in a brave and honest way. This approach to life and to activism is refreshing and ‘I Weigh’ is a community that I believe everyone should be a proud member of.
As someone who is no stranger to the spotlight, the actress, presenter, and activist Jameela Jamil knows better than anyone the microscope that society places on our bodies. Having gained 70lbs whilst on medication for asthma, Jamil was hounded by the press who were desperate to mock and ridicule her body.
Yet, what sets her apart is her desire for open conversations. Despite being a somewhat divisive figure, her radical honesty is inspiring. She is always willing to admit mistakes and regrets rather than disguise them under PR press releases. In an interview, she states: “Do not let me be the person that tries to pretend that I’m an expert in something that simply I’m not educated in. We direct people to the profound experts that we have access to, and that’s our service”.
Not claiming to have all the answers is what makes this platform so special. Jamil has created a campaign against shame; here, an eagerness to learn and engage with new ideas is never something to be ashamed of.
Jamil is on a campaign against shame
As a community, ‘I Weigh’ has grown a lot since an Instagram story. Jamil’s activist empire now contains a podcast with a drool-worthing guest list, an Instagram page with 1.3 million followers, and an impressive record for creating lasting change. Whilst the Instagram account may be filled with colourful and uplifting images and illustrations, it is far from superficial: at the core of these images is inclusivity, education and a desire to advocate for health in all of its forms. These images celebrate the values of ‘I Weigh’ – something which is not to be underestimated on a platform saturated with air-brushed perfection; perhaps, the platform’s most impressive feature is its dedication to making change beyond the digital space.
As noted on the website, the platform and its members have “assisted in changing global policies at Facebook and Instagram around diet & detox products being shown to minors and are currently campaigning for two bills to reach the Senate”. This community is no longer just virtual. Not only does ‘I Weigh’ impact the mental health and body image of its members but it is also helping to push for policies that will make significant changes to the system in which we live. It treats both the symptoms and the causes of the patriarchy all in one.
‘I Weigh’ is the ultimate reminder that you are more than a just number on a scale: you are a whole person full of experiences, talents and emotions and you deserve to explore those to the fullest. Give their Instagram a follow and give their podcast a listen. I guarantee both your mind and your body will thank you for it.