Jameela Jamil elegantly describes cultural criticism to model Sara Sampaio in lengthy Twitter feud about the toxic modeling industry
Actor and social justice warrior Jameela Jamil found herself in a Twitter spat with model Sara Sampaio after criticizing the modeling industry for its toxic practices of hiring teenagers, food deprivation, and drug use. It all started when Sampaio took issue with a tweet where Jamil praised a fashion show for featuring healthy and happy adult woman dancing down the runway.
“This looks like the most fun, and not a long-starved terrified teenager in sight. Beautiful,” Jamil wrote.
Sampaio, who has most notably posed for Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated, took issue with Jamil’s claim that models are “long-starved terrified teenagers.” Sampaio hit back at Jamil and wrote, “How about celebrating someone without bringing other people down? Calling runway models ‘long-starved terrified teenager’ is extremely offensive. From someone that is always preaching for body positivity this just screams hypocrisy.”
Jamil wrote back by clarifying that “I didn’t say all models in my tweet so try to calm down. But I will say there is a *vast* majority issue with young girls starving themselves, and using drugs and cocaine to control their weight, to meet the very small sample sizes.”
Sampaio doubled down on her argument that Jamil “chose to attack girls just so you can celebrate others” and then suggested that “it’s very simple to celebrate someone without having do drag other people,” to which Jamil explained that “fashion is a dangerous industry” and that you absolutely can “drag” the fashion industry. However, it seemed like there was a ton lost in translation.
Sampaio, and a number of individuals in Jamil’s mentions, seemed to conflate Jamil’s attack on the behemoth modeling industry with the shaming of individual models, which Jamil did not do.
“When wealthy adults are taking advantage of children and hurting them for profit, We HAVE to shame, and call out publicly and make a big noise: because they don’t listen to well intentioned call Ins. If they did, we wouldn’t still be in this mess,” Jamil explained.
“This idea that you should just be cute and not call out what is wrong Incase it offends people… is why change doesn’t happen faster,” Jamil articulated. “We have to call out what is societally wrong/dangerous, however, whenever, we can, regardless of whether or not it is appropriate or comfortable.”
Jamil wasn’t targeting individual models, she was criticizing the entire modeling industry for allowing and encouraging the abuse of young women through deprivation and starvation. It’s like how you can hate the patriarchy, but that doesn’t mean you hate men. If anything, Jamil’s callout and takedown of the modeling industry will likely help make Sampaio’s working conditions as a model a lot better.
It’s obviously a very nuanced conversation and it’s unfortunate that it had to go down on Twitter, but Jamil held her own.
“Just to be very clear, calling out the fashion industry for needing more size, age, racial, and disability inclusion because media bleeds into our culture, which informs our society, and therefore affects our minds… is *very much so* a hill I’m willing to die on,” Jamil concluded her post.