Jameela Jamil has best response to man who body-shamed her at gym

‘Don’t stop yourself going to the gym because of these stupid people’

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 15 September 2018 13:41
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Jameela Jamil talks about being body shamed at the gym

Jameela Jamil has been praised for her response to a stranger who body-shamed her at the gym, after he told her how “amazing” she could look if she made greater efforts to “improve” her body.

Jamil has become a major proponent of the body positivity movement in recent months, launching the “I Weigh” campaign and regularly speaking about the importance of valuing yourself from the inside out.

During a recent excursion to the gym, Jamil was approached by a man who began asking her about what exercises she’d been doing.

After explaining that she’d been cycling as she finds it beneficial for her anxiety, the man then proceeded to make some remarks about her body “without prompt”, as Jamil explained in a video that she shared on Twitter.

According to The Good Place star, the man had seen her at the gym on multiple occasions and had always thought to himself: “Ah what a shame. She could look so amazing.”

Jamil explained how this sort of behaviour can make people feel as though they’ll be judged if they go to the gym, which can result in them avoiding it altogether.

“Don’t walk up to someone and impose your belief of what you think they should look like onto them. Don’t do that to women, don’t do that to men, don’t do it to anyone,” she said.

“Don’t stop yourself going to the gym because of these stupid people who they themselves are, clearly, slightly insecure, which is why they’re even thinking about you like that.”

Following her initial tweet about the interaction, Jamil shared another video that showed her eating a burger, which she captioned: “To the man that body-shamed me in the gym yesterday… #ohwellbruv.”

A number of people have been responding to Jamil’s story of being body-shamed at the gym with similar tales of their own.

“This is my biggest fear of going to the gym,” one woman wrote.

“I suffer from awful anxiety and I’m sure that if I could get the confidence to go to the gym it would help me so much but I am paralysed by fear at the thought of being judged for trying!”

“This kind of thing is so awful and it happens to me all the time,” another person tweeted.

“Where do people get off with their completely unsolicited ‘this is how you could be more attractive to me’ hot tips??”

One woman thanked Jamil for acknowledging how people who are larger may experience more instances of body-shaming from strangers.

“Had a guy I DO NOT KNOW come up to me on the street and tell me he was PROUD OF ME for walking,” she wrote.

“As if I lose sleep at night wondering if strangers are disappointed with my exercise habits. The gall!”

Jamil has written an open letter for HuffPost detailing her experience and explaining how the man had seemed surprised when she told him that she was happy with her body.

“Fascinating isn’t it? In 2018, someone felt they not only had the right, but the duty if you will, to tell me I wasn’t good enough as I was,” she wrote.

In the letter, the actor and activist proposes that people alter the way in which they approach exercise, placing more of an emphasis on the benefits it can have on your mental health.

“You deserve to feel happy and strong, you owe nothing to anyone and I swear to you, you will feel amazing,” she wrote.

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