People

Jameela Jamil sums up why privilege is about more than just wealth and power

Posted by
Jessica Rapana
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Jameela Jamil

The Good Place actor just pointed out how you can be privileged far beyond your bank balance.

When we think of ‘privilege’, most of our minds probably steer towards the obvious: wealth, education and power. The situations we are born into. We think of trust funds, university educations, and corner offices. But the truth is privilege comes under many guises.

This is a subject Jameela Jamil has addressed again and again, from calling for an end to short men shaming to teaching her celebrity friends how to check their own privilege.

You may also like

How Jameela Jamil taught Scarlett Curtis to check her privilege

And now, Jamil is back at the wheel, raising the idea on social media, calling on her followers to talk more about the various privileges they possess. “The discussion around privilege tends to make people defensive because they don’t understand their,” Jamil wrote. 

“This extends beyond just LGBTQ+ and race too. We never think about how mass access, employment and representation is a privilege for those without disabilities. Let’s talk.”

Jameela Jamil has shut down bullying Piers Morgan on Twitter.

“Privilege is not always about wealth, education and power.”

She continued, “Privilege is not always about wealth, education and power. Sometimes it is purely the *absence* of discrimination. That is a privilege in and of itself. See also: slim privilege, pretty privilege… Being called privilege isn’t an insult, it’s just a note that you have more than others and it your duty to recognise that and stand with those who do not have that same privilege; those who are being actively discriminated against.”

Jamil’s words raise another distinction here: the difference between equality and equity. The former assumes that everyone is starting from the same place with the same barriers and the same support, and therefore advocates that everyone should be treated equally.

However, it fails to address specific barriers facing individuals, which, as Jamil points out, can vary from sexuality to looks. Equality provides a blanket solution to an individual problem. 

On the other hand, equity addresses the discrimination faced by the individual to ensure that everyone has access to the same place.

As Jamil suggests, privilege can be hard to dismantle as it tends to trigger our defence mechanisms. Nevertheless, it is important as it is only by identifying our individual privileges that we can start to dismantle them in order to achieve equity across the board.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

Recommended by Jessica Rapana

People

Jameela Jamil and Sam Smith reveal the one thing you need to work on every day

In a new interview to celebrate the first anniversary of her I Weigh platform, the pair talked body image and loving yourself

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
People

How Jameela Jamil taught Scarlett Curtis to check her privilege

A piece of advice Jameela gave Scarlett at 17 has stuck with her ever since

Posted by
Scarlett Curtis
Published
People

Jameela Jamil calls on Hollywood to “take some f**king risks” in the casting room

“Representation matters,” says The Good Place star, “and it pays.”

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published