The first time I saw Jameela Jamil as Tahani in the hit series, The Good Place, I fell completely in love. Her timing, her appearance and that accent. God, I love that accent. Like every human being but especially this 6ft tall GORGEOUS one, there is so much more than the eye can see. Jameela Jamil is determent to use her platform for good (even if it means to piss a lot of people off) and makes it her mission to shout about the need for women to be valued for more than how they look or how much they weigh.
Jameela Alia Burton-Jamil was born in London to an Indian father and Pakistani mother on 25 February 1986. As a teenager, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, not eating a full meal between the ages of 14 and 17. Jameela believes her eating disorder developed because of social pressure.
“I was bombarded with a narrative that had no alternative. There were never any women who were celebrated for their intellect ... and all my magazines were selling me weight loss products or telling me to be thin. Otherwise, I wasn't worth anything.”
Jameela, at the age of 17, was hit by a car and with that, breaking several bones and damaging her spine. She says that after the accident she had to push forward for recovery, physically but also mentally. “it literally knocked some sense into me”
She wasn’t a stranger to hospitals and illnesses, being born with congenital hearing loss, severe shellfish and peanut allergy, coeliac disease and a mercury poisoning leaking form her fillings! After enduring this and working as a TV show host (replacing Alexa Chung, presenting an online fashion advice show, Radio host (Jameela made radio history becoming the first sole female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Chart show) and writing a column for a monthly magazine, a breast cancer scare was the real life changer. Without any friends, contacts or plan, Jameela left London and booked a one-way ticket and moved to LA.
That worked out well for Jameela, being cast as Tahani Al-Jamil, the socialite princess in The Good place. Landing her first major role without any acting experience. The Good place is a hilarious show about 4 people that meet in the afterlife with no connections or similarities and learn how to work together to make it to The Good Place. Something we in real-life can learn from.
In March 2018 Jameela launched her Instagram page @Iweigh after posting herself with all her life “measurements” as a reaction on an article about the Kardashians. A photo of the famous sisters was published with their weight and sizes as accomplishments. As we are not our weight a lot of Jameela’s followers started posting their measurements and qualities online and in this organic way, @IWeigh was born. Iweigh is so much more then an Instagram page. it became a movement with on this day 426 K Followers and counting. A refreshing safe space on Instagram to get inspired and to feel good about yourself. Now with her fame and her growing platform, Jameela speaks out against unrealistic beauty standards, sexism and as a sexual assault survivor herself against sexual assault.
Fav Jameela quotes:
“I believe that learning sex from porn is like learning how to drive from watching "The Fast and Furious," a fucking terrible idea.”
(From her inspiring speech at the 2019 Makers Conference about raising men to make sure they become our allies in the journey to eqaulity. Click her to watch the full video: “Tell Him” )