Jameela Jamil's Message To Diet Companies: ‘I Will Never Get My Health Back’

by Julie Scagell
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Jameela Jamil is taking on big companies to remove diet ads for younger users

Jameela Jamil, the 26-year old actress known as Tahini on NBC’s The Good Place, sat down with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah to talk about her self-love movement. She also spoke about the steps she’s taken to put more regulations in place to get rid of harmful diet ads targetting young women on social media.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the star recently played a big role in partnering with Instagram and Facebook to change their global policies, putting in place restrictions that prevent minors from viewing sponsored content about cosmetic surgery procedures, detox products, and similar content aimed at weight loss. When she talked with Noah though, she said this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“This is just the start of what I’m doing. Next, I’m moving on to legislation because we need to get this stuff off the market and away from children,” said Jamil. She also opened up about the eating disorder she had as a teenager, saying, “I’m someone who took these products, and I will never get my full health back, and so I’m damned if this is going to happen again 20 years later.”

Jamil has been seen as a leader in the body positivity movement since 2018, when she launched an “I Weigh” initiative, aimed at getting girls and women to look at what’s important to them that has nothing to do with weight. When she posted the things she “weighed,” thousands responded back with pictures and positive words about what really matters in life. Her movement was so popular, Jamil created the Instagram account @i_weight to share all of the beautiful images.

“I believe in just not thinking about your body, and I have the luxury of being able to do that because I’m not being constantly persecuted for my size,” she said. “I just manage to get more things done in my day when I’m not thinking about my figure. I can’t stand in front of a mirror and say, ‘I love my thighs. I love my cellulite.’ I can just not think about them, and think about my bank account and orgasms.” Boom goes the dynamite.

Before working on these regulations, Jamil was not shy about calling out celebs who promote harmful products. She called out Khloe Kardashian in particular for promoting detox teas promising rapid weight loss; teas that have the same ingredients as laxatives (as Jamil says they just make you “shit fire”). The self-proclaimed “feminist-in-progress” believes these products, often aimed at young girls, are most harmful to them because they don’t have the benefit of experience. For that reason, she says it’s irresponsible and dangerous.

Jamil says her efforts are meant to help impressionable people under the age of 18 because we have “hyper-normalized this culture of celebrities and influencers” selling false claims and scams in the name of money. All we can find is progress, not perfection,” Jamil said of learning and feminism.”That’s what we all should be striving for.”