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The Good Place star Jameela Jamil’s 32nd birthday was this week, and she celebrated by encouraging her followers to practice a little body positivity.
It all started when Jamil caught an edited image of the Kardashian-Jenner family in her feed. In a post to her Tumblr, Jamil explained that she had been absentmindedly perusing her Instagram Explore tab when she stumbled across a photo of the famous ladies posted by “FASHION BEAUTY LIFESTYLE” account @themillionlady. Each celeb had their estimated body weight superimposed over their torso, and in the caption, the account asked followers “Which weight are You?!?” Users were apparently tagging friends in the comments as members of the family based on their perceived weight, though the post has since been deleted.
In Jamil’s words, the entire situation was “grim.”
“What kind of crazed toxic nonsense is this?” she wrote. “What is this post trying to achieve other than to induce anxiety into young women about something so entirely irrelevant? What are we teaching women about our value? Can it be measured using a metric system? Why do so many posts like this exist on social media?”
“I am just done,” she continued. “I’m so done with seeing this and letting it pass me by. It’s so dangerous and disgusting. It’s so belittling and abusive. We are subliminally bullied all day by the magazines, the side bar [sic] of shame, social media, and by each other. The onslaught is so aggressive that we are going to have to retaliate with 10 times the strength to undo all of the damage to the global psyche of women.”
So in celebration of her 32nd year, the actor decided to flip the script and turn her weight into something more meaningful. Jamil Instagrammed a mirror selfie with a list of things she values in herself more than her body weight. Great friends, speaking out for women’s rights, and bingo wings all made the cut:
Not surprisingly, Jamil’s followers were inspired by her idea and quickly started making “I weigh” lists of their own. Many are being posted in Instagram stories (Jamil shared a number of her favorites), but others are starting to populate an #IWeigh hashtag on the platform’s outward-facing end:
A post shared by Michelle Thomas (@msmthomas) on
A post shared by ALESHA DIXON (@aleshaofficial) on
Jamil concluded by saying she hopes to continue inspiring women to feel pride in themselves.
“Please remember you have every right to be here, and your life is important and it is precious, and on your death bed you aren’t going to be thinking about your love handles,” she wrote.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.