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Jameela Jamil really isn’t here for your Christmas food-shaming

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Kayleigh Dray
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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Jameela Jamil attends ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)

“Careful of all the diet/detox/starvation rhetoric out there on social media,” warns The Good Place star.

Jameela Jamil has posted a flowchart to social media, in a bid to highlight the toxic cycle of dieting. 

Beginning and ending with a loss of control, the cycle details how many restrict their daily food intake in a bid to regain some sense of power over their lives, only to trigger insatiable cravings, binge-eating sessions, and an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame.

“Careful of all the diet/detox/starvation rhetoric out there today, to make you feel bad for eating some delicious food with your friends and family yesterday,” she said, referencing all of those Instagram Stories about “being naughty” over Christmas. 

“Also please remember how few people have access to such food in the world and look upon that food with love and gratitude,” she added.

Jamil’s message has been received positively by her many followers on social media, with one writing: “Alright I’m following @jameelajamil’s advice and unfollowing all the people who are talking about ‘weight gain’ and ‘being unhealthy’ and s**t like that because my brain can’t do this s**t. 

“IF I WANT TO GET ON THE BIKE, IT AIN’T BECAUSE I’M FAT… IT’S BECAUSE I WANT TO.”

Jamil reposted the message into her own feed, along with the caption: “Boom. F**king boom.”

It is by far from the first time that Jamil has called out those who brag about their diet regimes on social media. Indeed, earlier this year she posted an open letter on her Twitter account, which she addressed to those “women in my industry” who make a point of sharing their “weigh- loss journeys” on social media.

In the post, The Good Place star – who founded the empowering I Weigh campaign earlier this year – has begged them to stop doing so, for the sake of their followers’ mental health.

“If you have internalised the senseless shame laid upon women for daring not to be a size zero, I understand, and I’m so sorry,” wrote Jamil, “but don’t push that onto the women who look up to you.

“Don’t make it something we think or talk about.”

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Jamil went on to “add context” to her comments, insisting that she doesn’t judge those women who choose to diet. However, the actress pointed out that “we are in an epidemic of self-hatred and women valuing their entire worth based on their weight”.

“At the very least, call it [your weight-loss journey] getting stronger, getting faster or getting fitter,” she says. “Think about problematic wording. Don’t call it losing weight, [because] that implies taking up less space. That implies there is something wrong with your curves. Women who follow you may be the same size or bigger and you send an instant message to them that they need to change, whether you mean to or not. That’s how it works. That’s how you got to the point of caring about it enough that you need to post about it on social media.”

Jamil added: “We are all victims of this and we all need to be released from this nonsense. F**k the scales.”

Jamil also offered advice to those of her followers who have found themselves “triggered by these celebrities”.

“Just unfollow them,” she said simply. “I did, and it changed my headspace immeasurably.”

The ongoing body-shaming narrative on social media is, in part, the reason behind Jamil’s I Weigh account on Instagram. With over 10,000 followers and 300 posts, the account places value on women’s achievements and values, rather than how many kilograms they weigh, in a bid to help them “feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look beyond the flesh on our bones”.

However, while Jamil has found women’s contributions to her new Instagram account both inspiring and encouraging, the actress still believes “we are in crisis” and changes need to be made for women everywhere to show more self-love.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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