Jameela Jamil has an idea of how to better use the lengthy amounts of time women spend stressing over their bodies.
The “Good Place” actress wrote an essay in Vogue UK, comparing the “global physical requirements” prescribed to men versus women and underscoring the absurd double standards that have persisted for women. To combat these archaic inequalities, the actress, who has been named one of the magazine’s “Forces For Change,” posed a profound rhetorical question:
“If we truly understand the depths of the imbalance, then why do we allow it to persist?” she asked. “Why should we be doomed to waste our fine minds counting calories, pounds, stones and inches when we could be counting meaningful experiences, money and orgasms?”
In her essay, Jamil listed the impossible physical expectations placed on women, such as a small waist paired with a “big, pert bottom, with absolutely no stretch marks on it,” as well as “no lines on your face, but do not have a fat face.” Essentially, you must “have no imperfections anywhere on your person,” she wrote.
But for straight men, universal body requirements generally chalk up to “have beard, or don’t have beard. Up to you.”
The actress, who used to be anorexic, said her own journey to better mental health required therapy and “daily practice of body neutrality/ambivalence.” She still, however, struggles with body positivity. Rather than obsessing over her appearance, Jamil wrote, she doesn’t “think about my body at all.”
“As a result, I am the happiest, sanest, most successful and well-sexed version of myself that I have ever known,” she wrote, adding that she now has much more headspace.
She called on women to “make memories that extend beyond what you have eaten today.” For example, she suggests asking questions like, “Who would I be if I weren’t so busy being perpetually disappointed in myself?”
The actress is a fierce advocate of body positivity and the founder of the “I Weigh” campaign, a social media movement in which she encourages people of all genders to flaunt their qualities and accomplishments rather than their appearances.
At the #BlogHer Health 2019 conference in February, she explained that body shaming exists to “distract us, to give us something else to think about so that we’re not thinking about growing our businesses and our families and our lives and our hearts and our minds.”
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“It takes someone and something aggressive to tear that down,” she said of her advocacy.