Feature Friday: Actress Jameela Jamil

Body Positive Actress Jameela Jamil

This Friday, we are excited to feature actress Jameela Jamil on the BALANCE eating disorder treatment center blog!

Jameela Jamil is a British television presenter, radio presenter, model and actress. She is a former host of The Official Chart and was co-host of The Official Chart Update, alongside Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 until January 2015. Since 2016, she has appeared as Tahani Al-Jamil in the American television series The Good Place.

When she was 14, Jamil developed an eating disorder that she now sees as an attempt to gain some control over a life that felt chaotic, and to fit in with the girls at school. She credits a major accident with changing the course of her life – she was 17 when a car hit her, damaging her spine. She was stuck in bed for a year and thought she’d never be able to walk again without a Zimmer frame. “There’s something about not being able to move that gives you a new respect for your body, and I honestly think that accident saved me.” She cites the car accident as what pushed her towards recovery.

Body Positive Actress Jameela Jamil

She started the "I weigh" insta-movement after stumbling across an Instagram post that estimated the weight of each of the women in the Kardashian-Jenner family. Appalled, the British actress took to her Stories in outrage. “This is how women are taught to value themselves. In kilograms. Grim,” she wrote, following it up with a post: splashed across a full-length mirror selfie, she wrote up a list of all the things she weighs herself by—her relationship, her career, her friends, her activism—rather than kilograms or pounds.

She tweeted her Instagram posts out, calling on other women to send in their images of self-worth and the floodgates opened. After receiving hundreds of images from women around the world, she opened up a second Instagram account, called @i_weigh, where she could share the hundreds of inspiring images she was receiving, a place to celebrate women for all the accomplishments, achievements and characteristics that make them who they are, rather than the number they see on a weighing scale.

We love Jameela’s powerful movement and are inspired by her continued effort to help others acknowledge their worth! Some of the BALANCE team joined the I Weigh movement including our Primary Therapist Maggie Ritnour, our Marketing Assistant Suzy Appel, Communications Coordinator Emily Costa and BALANCE intern Leah Schwebel! Check out their posts below.

Follow Jameela on Instagram.

Follow the @I_Weigh account here.

If you are seeking help and support for an eating disorder in the New York City area, please contact our Admissions team below to discuss treatment options at BALANCE.