Victoria’s Secret star criticises Jameela Jamil for calling runway models ‘long-starved’ and ‘terrified’

‘This just screams hypocrisy’

Sarah Young
Wednesday 16 October 2019 11:57

Jameela Jamil has been criticised for referring to fashion models as “long-starved” and “terrified”.

Jamil shared a clip on Twitter from Vienna Fashion Week 2018 showing the Gold Caviar Crew dancing on the runway.

“Oh my god. This looks like the most fun, and not a long-starved terrified teenager in sight. Beautiful,” Jamil captioned the video.

The Good Place star’s post caught the attention of Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio, who accused the activist of “bringing other people down” with her campaign for body positivity.

“Calling runway models ‘long-starved terrified teenager’ is extremely offensive [sic],” Sampaio wrote on Twitter.

“From someone that is always preaching for body positivity this just screams hypocrisy.”

Moments later, Jamil responded by clarifying she wasn't referring to all models in her original tweet.

“I didn’t say all models in my tweet so try to calm down. But I will say there is a vast majority issue with young girls starving themselves, and using drugs and cocaine to control their weight, to meet the very small sample sizes. If you don’t see that, then you are in a bubble,” Jamil said.

The actor added that she doesn’t “preach” body positivity and instead aims to combat eating disorder culture, which she believes is “perpetuated by the extreme thinness demanded of girls by the high fashion powers that be”.

Sampaio defended her comments by stating that Jamil shouldn't have felt the need to “attack girls” in order to make her point.

“Eating disorders, drugs and cocaine use aren’t an exclusive problem of models, it’s a huge problem is society as a whole,” Sampaio added.

“Sure that happens but it’s for sure not a vast majority. The point of my tweet though, wasn’t that one! And you know!”

The pair continued to quarrel online before Sampaio stopped replying to Jamil’s tweets.

In her final post, Jamil referred to herself an activist, adding that her words aren’t meant to be “cute, or easy, or inoffensive”.

“I’m energised by the HUNDREDS of emails and messages a day I get from people about their damaged mental health and body image issues,” Jamil concluded.

“I’m not going away until the problem goes away. (PS if anyone finds me annoying, they should help me end this problem and I will chill out!)”

Despite the argument seemingly coming to an end, Jamil reignited the debate with a final message in which she said Sampaio was “wrong” for calling her out.

“Her defensiveness over working in a toxic industry that she doesn’t fight hard enough against, when it comes to poor treatment of young girls, made her think I was calling out starving, scared teenagers,” Jamil wrote.

“I was calling out the shows and the industry. Not the kids.”

The former radio presenter received a wave of support from her loyal followers who praised her as a “legend” and “courageous”.

“You called out an industry that targets young teenagers, starves them, destroys their self-esteem and encourages disordered eating to anyone who sees or watches that go on,” one person wrote.

“Sara decided to be offended at nothing. You were calling out facts! You’re a legend.”

Another person added: “Jameela thank you for your voice and for being you. I look up to you so much.”

However, not everyone agreed with Jamil’s comments, with several Twitter users calling her a “hypocrite”.

“100 per cent team @SaraSampaio here,” one person commented.

“Jameela you are an awful hypocrite – you totally miss Sara's point. Why did you have to praise the photo you liked and at the same time body shame slender models? If someone had liked slender models and said ‘not a fatty in sight’ – you'd go mad!”

This isn’t the first time Jamil has spoken publicly about her attitude towards body positivity.

The activist has previously called out the Kardashian family for promoting detox teas and labelled airbrushing in magazines a “crime against women”.

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