Jameela Jamil has nailed the toxicity of “pandemic body” pressures

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Hollie Richardson
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Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil has talked about “pandemic body” pressures that seem to have replaced the “beach body ready” narrative.

We have absolutely no time for the “beach body ready?” narrative that usually dominates advertising around this time of the year. 

We all remember that yellow bikini ad plastered around London Underground, right? People called for Protein World’s advert to removed, including Change.Org founder Charlotte Baring, who said it was “targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product”.

But what happens to this narrative when not many of us are actually going to the beach during lockdown? Well, according to I Weigh campaigner Jameela Jamil, the “beach body” pressure isn’t as prevalent right now, but only because it’s been replaced by “pandemic body”.

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Jamil discussed this with Laura Whitmore on BBC Radio 5 on Monday 13 July.

“A lot of people are coming out of lockdown and their body has changed – what would your advice be?” asked Whitmore.

“I have no advice: your body has changed, we’ve been in a pandemic,” Jamil responded. “And whether or not we’ve been in a pandemic, allow your body to do whatever you have to do.”

Jameela Jamil
Mental health quotes: Jameela Jamil

Jamil continued: “With the way that Covid-19 has been specifically targeted as like a time for extreme weight loss, for women, has just been so upsetting. 

“The fasting apps, the dieting apps, they’re algorithmically turning up much quicker and more frequently for people who are also online more than they’ve ever been before. 

She explained: “I know this is normally the time when they shame us about our beach bodies: they can’t do that, because we’re not allowed to go to the beach, so now they’re shaming us about our pandemic bodies. It’s bananas.”

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Jamil added: “So I would say be very careful about who you follow and what you follow. Step away from social media if you find yourself triggered. And do not beat yourself up for what your body looks like.”

Wise words indeed. 

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