Admit it. We’re all connected to social media—maybe even addicted. For women, this can present a distinct and potentially damaging challenge. The unrealistic expectations for women bred from a decade of social media pervasiveness has created an unhealthy and self-conscious generation of young women. With an extreme focus on physical perfection and placing a woman’s value solely on appearance, participating in social media has resulted in low confidence, unhealthy eating habits, and depression for far too many women.
Jameela Jamil, a 33-year-old actress, most commonly known for her role in the sitcom The Good Place is taking it all on. Jameela leads the social media body positivity movement and started the “I Weigh” movement on Instagram. She made an “I Weigh” Instagram profile after becoming fed up with women’s worth being determined by unrealistic body expectations. As she stated on her Instagram at the beginning of her movement, “I’m fucking tired of seeing women just ignore what’s amazing about them and their lives and their achievements, just because they don’t have a bloody thigh gap…. please follow the account so we can start this revolution properly and make the fashion and media industry see how many of us are DONE with this shit.”
Jameela has continued the movement by posting unedited, realistic pictures and inspirational stories from real women. She has also begun to fight the promotion of unhealthy dietary and detox products, particularly those prominently advertised by social media influencers like the Kardashians. Many studies have proven that dietary supplements can not only be extremely unhealthy but are often also unrealistic as far as achieving promised results. Jamil has voiced the opinion on many occasions that using dietary supplements advertised by celebrities will not result in having their body type. She highlights the fact that most celebrities use personal trainers, nutritionists, and expensive surgery to achieve the way they look.
Photoshop is another fight Jameela has taken on. Posting on her Instagram that she believes “…photoshop to be one of the worst things to happen to women.” She does not allow magazines to photoshop or airbrush her pictures and she posts completely unedited pictures on her Instagram (which is extremely rare for celebrities).
The “I Weigh” movement has grown to a following of one million Instagram followers and is now one of the more prominent career achievements Jameela is known for. To use her influence to outreach to women all over the world for such positivity is an amazing sign of Jamil’s undying feminism. Her choice initially was a risky career move since celebrities are supposed to build a persona of perfection and beauty. However, I believe Jameela is an even more beautiful and selfless person because of it.
Jameela’s continuous fight against ridiculously unrealistic social media images has been an inspirational and eye-opening movement for many women around the world. Seeing an influential person continuously post about praising women for achievements other than beauty is a reminder that women should be noticed for their professional and intellectual accomplishments. It also gives women the opportunity to remove themselves from the headspace of needing flawless skin, a flat stomach, a thigh gap, perfect hair, and impeccable makeup in order to be considered beautiful.