Actress Jameela Jamil has expressed regret for not trying to stop magazines and other publications from airbrushing photos of her earlier in her career, telling Red magazine that at the time she didn’t feel she “was allowed to say no.”
“I was given a whiter face, a little English nose and perfect skinny thighs,” recalled Jamil, 32, in an interview for Red’s February issue. “It makes me feel gross. I’m sorry to anyone who ever saw pictures of me like that and wanted to be thin like me.”
The Good Place star also opened up about her struggles with anorexia as a teenager, explaining that the constant pressure from media and society for women to be thin had left an indelible mark on her psyche.
“I still suffer from body dysmorphia. I can’t get rid of it. Something’s wrong with my brain and I will rally against it forever,” she admitted. “I don’t weigh myself any more and I sort of judge my size on how my clothes fit because I know that I’ll never be able to see myself properly.”
In order to combat societal objectification of women and its harmful psychological effects, Jamil has spearheaded a social media campaign called “I Weigh” that encourages women to share pictures encapsulating what they value about themselves. In September, the actress also spoke out about an incident in which she was bodyshamed by a man at her gym, telling followers on social media that she was sick of people presuming they had the right to tell her or anyone “what I should or should not look like.”
Jamil, who has previously spoken about suffering a date-rape in her 20s, said that she hopes “to arm young people with information — what I’ve learnt — that no-one ever told me.”
“I didn’t know anything about consent or how to protect myself as a young woman. Then I found myself, aged 22, being sexually assaulted,” she said. “It was the end of a date and I was raped by someone that I had met very briefly before then. I didn’t know who to turn to or how to feel about it. I just felt like it was my fault somehow.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.