Social media is an essential force behind movements like #MeToo and equips everyone with a voice, but it’s also been blamed for increasing loneliness and can be a toxic place for women. We asked Jameela Jamil for her advice on how to balance the bad with the good.
If there’s anyone who understands what a complex place social media can be, it’s Jameela Jamil.
The presenter and actor has been speaking out against society’s damaging beauty standards for years. But it was only since she created the Instagram account I Weigh – which champions the idea that women should measure themselves by the things they like about their lives, not their appearance – that she’s been heralded as a prominent feminist voice.
In essence, social media has given Jamil a platform to start an entire movement. However, Jamil also knows social media can be a terribly dark place – thanks in no small part to the role it plays in perpetuating beauty ideals. (It was an Instagram post labelling each one of the Kardashians by their weight that sparked her to start the I Weigh campaign in the first place.)
Take a look at the video above to hear more from Jamil on how to use social media positively, and read our cover interview with her here.
We spoke to Jamil about the difficulties of navigating social media and asked for her advice on how to use it positively. According to her, there are three starting points to purge your feed of negativity and to help you use the wonders of the world wide web for all the things it’s great for.
1. Unfollow negative accounts
“Be careful who you follow on social media,” Jamil says. “Anyone who triggers you or makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow those people, you don’t need those thoughts in your brain.”
2. Make your network a positive place
Jamil recommends actively following accounts that relate to what you’re interested in and inspired by, saying: “Try to find things that make you feel inspired to do something with your life rather than just look a certain way.”
3. Make sure you follow these brilliant accounts
“I have an Instagram account called @i_weigh. It’s just loads of women, and men, and people of every sexuality just owning what it is that they like about their lives, rather than obsessing over their looks.”