Jameela Jamil says she feels ‘gross’ looking back at airbrushed photos of herself

'I’m sorry to anyone who ever saw pictures of me like that'

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Friday 04 January 2019 10:13
Jameela Jamil discusses being made to look white in campaigns and on magazines

Jameela Jamil has said looking back at airbrushed photos of herself makes her feel “gross”.

The activist and actor, who is currently starring as Tahani Al-Jamil on The Good Place, has become an outspoken advocate as of late, launching the “I Weigh” movement and labelling airbrushing a “crime against women”.

Now, the 32-year-old has apologised to fans that might have felt pressured to be thin after seeing old airbrushed images of her in magazines.

“When I first started out in this industry, I didn’t know I was allowed to say no to airbrushing,” she told Red magazine.

“I was given a whiter face, a little English nose and perfect skinny thighs. It makes me feel gross.

“I’m sorry to anyone who ever saw pictures of me like that and wanted to be thin like me.”

In the interview, Jamil also expressed how the tool has altered the relationship she has with her body, adding: “I still suffer from body dysmorphia. I can’t get rid of it. Something’s wrong with my brain and I will rally against it forever.

“I don’t weigh myself any more and I sort of judge my size on how my clothes fit because I know that I’ll never be able to see myself properly.”

The actor and DJ has previously spoken out about the topic of airbrushing, explaining the negative impact that it has had on her mental health.

“People have made me look white in so many of the magazines and campaigns I’ve shot for,” she once told Krishnan Guru-Murthy for the Channel 4 News podcast Ways to Change the World.

“People change my nose to make it look more like a little Caucasian nose and they’ve changed the colour of my skin to make it lighter and to make me look more acceptable, perhaps, to a Caucasian audience. It hurts my feelings.”

As a result, Jamil recently called for airbrushing to be made illegal, labelling it a “crime against women” linked to mental health issues such as eating disorders.

Writing for the BBC 100 Women series, she said: “I think it’s a disgusting tool that has been weaponised, predominantly against women, and is responsible for so many more problems than we realise because we are blinded by the media, our culture and our society,” she writes.

“It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this ‘perfection’ is indeed possible.”

Jameela Jamil’s full interview can be found in the February issue of Red magazine, on sale now.

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