Jameela Jamil is calling for a revolution against shame. The actress, feminist, and activist, who has suffered from an eating disorder and disability in the past, is done with the shame women put on themselves for things they cannot control.
Jamil has been outspoken for years on the way society, the entertainment industry, and social media have focused on her weight over the successes of her career. In a speech at the Body Confidence Awards in London 2014, she expressed the frustration with the fact that news outlets never focused on her radio show and the thousands of listeners she had gained, but on how her dress size had changed.
The catalyst for the creation of the I Weigh movement was a post that went viral on Instagram comparing all the weights of the Kardashian-Jenner women, asking people to see who of the six celebrities they could relate to.
Jamila was shocked by how women were valuing themselves. In a blog post, she expressed how this toxic Instagram post was “so dangerous and disgusting” and “so belittling and abusive.”
In response, she posted this:
Jamil also explained how this post was a way to express all the things she values and weighs as important over numbers on a scale, stating that people “deserve more than acceptance.” She wanted to encourage people to “step as far away from the conversation about our bodies as possible and make acclaim, integrity, achievement, contribution to society and kindness: Values worth shouting about again.”
Little did she know that from a simple post on her Instagram story, Jamil’s I Weigh Movement had kicked off. Thousands of women and men began sending in their own versions of the post, inspired by her message, which allowed many of her followers to remember how valuable they are, and how they do incredible things with their lives.
Through I Weigh, Jamil is working towards helping people understand that they should not be ashamed of what is out of their control and what society, and specifically social media, have determined as the beauty norms. This movement is a way to fight the “epidemic of self-hatred” that we are facing. Whether it is shame about your body, mental state, sexuality or race, I Weigh is a place where you can realise your self-worth. Jamil described it as being "about radical inclusivity, so that no one feels alone," working to amplify, advocate, and pass the mic.
The movement against shame is being promoted through her website, while she is fostering communication through scheduled walks, meet-ups, talks, and through IGTV, where Jamil sits and has conversations with various celebrities.