Jameela Jamil calls her obsession a ‘horrifying waste of happiness’

Jameela Jamil attends a special screening of Joy, at the Ham Yard Hotel in London.
Jameela Jamil attends a special screening of Joy, at the Ham Yard Hotel in London.

Jameela Jamil has said her previous obsession with weight was a “horrifying waste of happiness”.

The actress and campaigner was consumed by the task of being thin and struggled with crash diets and anorexia.

Jamil said that she weighed herself every day for more than 20 years and her mood was dictated by what she saw on the scales.

Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2015 – London
Jamil was pressured before the age of social media (Ian West/PA)

The body positivity activist has called her obsession a waste of time and called for an end to the pressures on young girls which lead them to a life of insecurity.

Speaking to Stylist magazine, Jamil said: “I ended up weighing myself every single day of my life until last year.

“That’s 21 f****** years of waking up every morning and my entire mood for the day being determined by the number on a stupid little machine in my bathroom.

“What a horrifying waste of happiness. What a horrifying waste of time.

“What a sad thing for a bright girl, who technically knew better, to keep as her deep, dark secret for so long.”

Jamil said her insecurities began with being publicly weighed in school, when she was found to be the heaviest in her class. At home her parents were not supportive, but put her on a crash diet to tackle her weight.

The actress said that her teenage years became more consumed by her obsession, leading to dangerous weight-loss, bed sores, a thinning heart and thyroid problems.

She said: “I was depressed. I was weak. I was in chaos.”

Jamil believes that the pressure put on young girls to be thin began long before social media.

Speaking of women’s magazine, she said: “Diet culture was on an aggressive rampage, using fat-shaming, Photoshop and erasure of all curves to pressure us into buying dodgy quick-fix slimming products.

“This all f****d me up as a young person – and I didn’t grow up with social media.”

She added: “So, now more than ever we need to see un-retouched photographs, we need to see ethnicities, we need to see diversity and we need to have real honest conversations.

“We are smart, we are strong, we are resilient, and we are goddam tired of being bullied and lied to.”

The full interview with Jamil can be read in Stylist magazine.


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