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Jameela Jamil calls out everything wrong with this airbrushed photo

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Megan Murray
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“My real knees look like a vagina, and that’s fine!”

We love that Jameela Jamil continuously tries to rub away the gloss and sheen that surrounds celebrity status, calling out the beauty standards that those in the spotlight feel forced to live up to, and those at home the media is broadcasting to.

It’s what’s made her one of the most-loved voices of the moment, and why we made her our Woman of the Year at the Stylist Remarkable Women Awards.

And now she’s done it again, this time unpicking an airbrushed photo of herself to make it absolutely crystal clear that no one should be made to feel rubbish about themselves, trying to compare to an image that just isn’t real.

Taking to Instagram Jamil posted an image of herself posing in a leopard-print mini dress and heels.

Writing in the caption she starts: “I was just doing a new spoof motivation sultry pic and was struck by how edited this picture of me is.”

Alongside the image, Jamil annotated every part of her body that had been airbrushed, and exactly why this is so damaging.

“Where are my titty stretchmarks?” she asks in one annotation.

In another, she calls out the ridiculous practise of softening the shape of celebrity’s knees, writing: “This airbrushing is why women hate their normal knees. My knees look like a vagina and that’s fine!”

Writing, “I am darker skinned than this” she also highlights the inherent racism in the media which has seen her skin lightened after photoshoots, something which she called out before.

Speaking to Krishnan Guru-Murthy last year, Jamil explained the extent of how her skin tone and features have been altered by photoshop, saying: “People have made look white in so many of the magazines and campaigns I’ve shot for. That hurts me. That hurts me from a cultural point of view.

She also explained what seeing this feels like to her personally: “It hurts my feelings. Airbrushing and changing my ethnicity is bad for my mental health. It’s not just bad for the mental health of the girls who are looking at it, it makes me then dislike what I’m seeing in the mirror. It sends a direct message from the editor to me, from whoever photoshops my image, to me, that I am not good enough as I am.”

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Ending her Instagram post, she echoes this point and reinforces how not only damaging it is for girls to see this growing up, but how toxic it is for her trying to live up to an impossible standard, writing: “It made me so mentally unwell trying to live up to this image in person. Airbrushing is the DEVIL.”

The more society gets to grips with the idea that these types of images aren’t real, the better chance we have of erasing these painful beauty standards for good. So here’s to Jamil, for once again doing away with the smoke and mirrors.

Images: Instagram / Getty 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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