“The Good Place” actress made her announcement Wednesday, tweeting that one of her company’s main goals is “to work towards a policy change that means this way of talking about people’s bodies is considered hate speech.”
“Fat-phobia is real, it is pervasive and prevalent and is damaging the mental health of millions,” she wrote.
Her announcement came in the form of a quote-tweet responding to a fan who alerted her to a tabloid magazine’s body-shaming photographs.
I’m turning “I Weigh” into a company, and one of our main goals is to work towards a policy change that means this way of talking about people’s bodies is considered hate speech. Fat-phobia is real, it is pervasive and prevalent and is damaging the mental health of millions. https://t.co/57s2f3rlJF
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 2, 2019
Just after her announcement, Jamil lambasted an offensive tabloid image that called Queen Latifah a “beached whale.”
“She’s a self made multimillionaire. A success in music, hosting and acting. A business woman. An icon who came up in a time when black women were so entirely unwelcome in media. Especially one with curves,” Jamil wrote. “This is 100 percent hate speech.”
Jamil has been a longtime advocate for body positivity, launching the “I Weigh” account in March last year. The page now has more than 265,000 followers and its bio reads: “Hi I’m @jameelajamilofficial this is my @i_weigh movement for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are beyond the flesh on our bones ?.”
The first image on the account was mirror selfie of Jamil with the message: “I weigh: Lovely relationship. Great friends. I laugh every day. I love my job. I make an honest living. I’m financially independent. I speak out for women’s rights. I like my bingo wings. I like myself in spite of EVERYTHING I’ve been taught by the media to hate myself about.”
The 32-year-old’s body positivity platform has gone well past Instagram, too. In a recent essay for BBC, she wrote that airbrushing should be put “in the bin” and suggested that altering images to conform to damaging beauty standards should be illegal because the practice has been “weaponized” against women.
“It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this ‘perfection’ is indeed possible,” she wrote. “If you have yet to achieve this beauty standard, it tells you, you should buy some expensive products immediately, because then you will look like the person in the photo. (But, as I said just a moment ago, you won’t.)”