The Indian beauty on The Good Place has repeatedly blasted the influencers who support and promote diet gummies and pills to their easily convinced, young, and insecure fanbase. Apparently, she forced the editors of The Good Place to agree they wouldn’t airbrush out her stretch marks in any scenes, in an attempt to normalize them for TV viewers.
This South Asian stunner is the main reason we tuned into The Good Place, and it turns out that the actress is even more inspiring in real life than she is on the show as Tahani. Not only is she a talented and hilarious actress, but she’s an activist for several different causes, and a champion for women’s rights.
For starts, this gorgeous queen was told she was “too ethnic, old & fat” to make it in Hollywood, which is pretty much the opposite of the words we would use to describe this radiant force of nature.
1. One of the reasons she’s an activist for women and body image is that she herself was anorexic. From 14-17, she didn’t eat a proper meal. And that was before the days of social media! When Jameela saw that the Kardashians were advertising appetite suppressing “Flat Tummy Lollipops” and seeing a pic of the family alongside the amount of kilograms they weighed, she created iWeigh, an inclusive safe haven on social media to celebrate women’s’ bodies of all shapes and sizes. It now has 1.3 million followers.
2. She has an airbrushing policy. Meaning she won’t let photos of herself get airbrushed. In the past, she told Red Magazine, “I was given a whiter face, a little English nose, and perfect skinny thighs. It makes me feel gross.” The photos for this interview were completely untouched, obviously. She personally apologized to anyone who had seen those altered photos and wanted to emulate that unrealistic skinny look. She went as far as to say airbrushing should be illegal, as it’s a “crime against women.” She’s not wrong!
3. Overall she’s just fearless. She’s not scared to call people or behavior out if its prejudiced, damaging, or detrimental to ladies. She’s blunt, straightforward and doesn’t dilly dally with the etiquette or small talk. This queen will name and shame, and it’s not personal for her. We love her for her honesty, as not too many stars are the same. It’s part of what makes her such an inspiring role model.
4. Her passion is motivated by personal experiences. We talked about her eating disorder and childhood anorexia, but she’s also an activist for disability and LGBTQ rights, which come from a place of honesty. She suffers from EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a disease of the connective tissues with symptoms that include loose joints, ruptured arteries, and stretchy skin. Jameela also had difficult operations as a child to cure her hearing loss. In January, Jamil also came out as queer.
5. Because in the iWeight campaign, she told social media what she weighs, and the list included, amongst many other statements: “I like my bingo wings”, “I speak out for women’s rights”, “I like myself in spite of EVERYTHING I’ve been taught by the media to hate myself about”. Essentially, she chronicles the ways that she’s enough, and the ways that you are too.
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6. Because she’s excited for the comeback of women’s body hair. She said that we’re coming out of the pandemic “furrier, chubbier, spottier, and hopefully alive.” For Jameela, she says that the upside of this pandemic is women getting used to seeing their faces without makeup, and realizing that they might not have to put themselves through that routine anymore if they don’t want to.
7. Because she’s started a podcast that empowers other women and gives them hope, using others experiences from darkness into light. On one episode, Reese Witherspoon talks about her postpartum depression and how she’s experienced sexism in Hollywood. In other episodes, we’ll be saying hello to Tarana Burke of the #MeToo movement, Gloria Steinem, and author Roxanne Gay. Jamil admitted to being shameless and getting “creepy in the DMs” but that her podcast is also representative of letting go of shame.
8. Because she admits her mistakes and that she’s human. While some people love Jamil’s brand of feminism, the star is still quite divisive, and many have said that it excludes certain kinds of women and can be “toxic”. She admits to gaps in her knowledge and that she makes mistakes, saying she’s “absolutely fine” with taking accountability from a fallout if she’s wrong. We stan an accountable queen!