Only 46% of girls globally have high self esteem, as found by a study in 2017. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. While these statistics just cover women and are shocking, men are also subject to poor body image and pressure to adhere to an ideal. As our culture becomes more image-focused, no one is exempt from the pressure to constantly look our instagram-worthy best.
One day, as I scrolled through my YouTube feed, I came across a video by the community “I Weigh”. This was an interview with the famous British singer Sam Smith where he discussed with Jameela Jamil body confidence and how it has affected his life.
Jamil has been in the news for some time now for criticising the excessive and nontransparent ways some celebrities are selling weight loss products via social media. Most recently, she criticised Khloé Kardashian’s instagram adverts for products that are essentially laxatives. Jamil has rightly pointed out again and again that ‘skinny teas’, meal replacements and appetite suppressants are not in everyone’s best interests. Arguably it is false advertising to say that you owe everything to a skinny tea when many celebrities have access to expensive and time-consuming personal trainers, and regimens that the average person will not be able to achieve.
Jamil even said this herself in her comment on Khloé’s post:
“If you’re too irresponsible to: a) own up to the fact that you have a personal trainer, nutritionist, probable chef, and a surgeon to achieve your aesthetic, rather than this laxative product… And b) tell them the side effects of this non-FDA approved product, that most doctors are saying aren’t healthy. Side effects such as: Possible Flat Tummy Tea side effects are cramping, stomach pains, diarrhea and dehydration… Then I guess i have to. It’s incredibly awful that this industry bullied you until you became this fixated on your appearance. That’s the media’s fault. But now please don’t put that back into the world, and hurt other girls, the way you have been hurt. You’re a smart woman. Be smarter than this.”
Khloé isn’t the only Kardashian to be called out by Jamil. Kim has also been a target of Jamil, particularly with Kim’s promotional instagram post about appetite suppressant lollipops.
Jamil has always been fighting the fat-shaming and body-shaming narrative that seems to permeate every part of our society. Jamil’s popular instagram account I Weigh encouraged her followers to change the story around societal norms of beauty and post unfiltered images of themselves to take back control. The new interview series by Jamil hopes to spread awareness about body confidence issues at all stages and levels of life while hopefully opening the discussion of body positivity to the wider world.
The movement is about taking back control of your body from a society who wants to make us all the same and polished. It’s about being more positive about your life choices and not feeling pressure to adhere to an ideal. Sam Smith felt the same way about the interview with Jamil and felt that it had helped him just by speaking openly and publicly about his issues.
What’s amazing is this movement started with a simple comment by Jamil about a instagram post that showed each of the Kardashian’s weights in kilograms. It is shocking to see women reduced to their weight but it’s not unsurprising.
Jamil is trying to start a revolution with the simple ethos: we are more than flesh, we are more than our bodies. It’s not only about taking ownership of your body and being unapologetic about it, it’s about being confident in your life as a whole. Your body is just a vehicle for you to experience life.
The first interview for I Weigh is with Sam Smith. I would highly recommend giving it a watch.
“I just wanna promote the fact that self love, I don’t like the word…but self love isn’t a, I think people think it’s like a destination. Like you’re gonna reach a point where you’re like,…, I love myself and I don’t have to try anymore. It’s a practice, and that’s what I’d like to promote.” — Sam Smith.