Jameela Jamil condemned news outlets claiming that there was a feud between her and reality star, Khloe Kardashian after the actress pointed out an off-color joke on Kardashian's Instagram Story last week.
Jamil, best known for playing Tahani on The Good Place, is also an activist and culture critic on social media who uses her platform to draw attention to systemic body-shaming and other subtle issues specific to women. On Wednesday, she took a screenshot of a joke on Kardashian's Instagram Story, noting that it might be a trigger for eating disorders and mental health issues in young girls.
"2 Things a girl wants:" the snapshot read, "1) Lose weight. 2) Eat."
To the press outlets that said I “slammed” “called out” “ came for” “hit out at” Khloe in this post. You suck. You’re trying to make a woman of colour look violent and aggressive when I could not have been more empathetic. I was criticizing the fat shaming media. //t.co/7FvzlOBJyT— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 10, 2019
To Jamil, this kind of joke seems harmless on the surface, yet in reality when women and girls internalize a message like this, it could prompt feelings of inadequacy that would not have otherwise been there. However, her tweet was far from unsympathetic to Kardashian.
"This makes me sad," she wrote. "I hope my daughter grows up wanting more than this. I want more than this. Sending love to this poor woman. This industry did this to her. The media did it to her. They fat shamed her into a prison of self critique. Dear girls, WANT MORE THAN THIS."
Before long, many outlets were reporting that Jamil was trying to fire up a controversy with Kardashian. The actress came back outraged over the claim on Thursday, saying that the coverage only served to divide women and distract readers from her actual point.
I don’t know why people like to Woke Bash each other. I’m not interested in seeming woke. I’m interested in helping lower the rising number of eating disorder numbers amongst teens. This is something that directly affected me as a kid that I feel passionately about. Take care.❤️ //t.co/XKj5bV6JWl— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 12, 2019
"To the press outlets that said I 'slammed' 'called out' 'came for' 'hit out at' Khloe in this post. You suck," she declared. "You’re trying to make a woman of colour look violent and aggressive when I could not have been more empathetic. I was criticizing the fat shaming media."
Jamil has taken up a number of initiatives to call attention to subtle body-shaming within the media and encourage young girls not to internalize it. She led a revelatory campaign under the hashtag, "I Weigh" on Twitter and Instagram last year, and continues to interact with fans on related issues to this day.
"I am doing what I do, and saying what I say for the mental health of young kids who follow damaging rhetoric and are at risk of internalizing it more than adults," she went on. "Nobody thinks/cares enough about their mental health. Sending love to everyone."
Starting by dismantling the system that bombards girls with eating disorder rhetoric and exposing their motive, then by installing more representation of varied looks and bodies in our culture, and erasing airbrushing and thinning out of celebrities and models. //t.co/ueVmPg2JWA— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 12, 2019
Jamil later narrowed her point down more specifically, citing a rise in eating disorders among women and girls. A January, 2017 study by the School of Medicine at the University of Tampere, Finald found that global eating disorder rates were more or less stagnant, however, that same month the National Eating Disorder Association reported a rise in the diagnosis of eating disorders.0comments
"People who haven’t suffered with/or understand eating disorders don’t understand the desperate need we are in to change the conversation around weight and food," Jamil wrote. "Especially media and celebrities... They need to understand how triggering words can be for those suffering with ED."
Kardashian has not responded publicly to Jamil's posts.