Jameela Jamil spent years ‘unable to have sex with the light on’ due to anorexia

‘I still find myself incapable of body positivity’

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Thursday 01 August 2019 08:06
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Jameela Jamil discusses being made to look white in campaigns and on magazines

Jameela Jamil has spoken out about the crippling effects of anorexia in a candid essay for British Vogue, revealing that she spent “the better part of two decades” feeling “terrified of food” and “unable to have sex with the light on”.

Writing in the publication’s September issue, which was guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex, the actor and body image campaigner revealed that it took therapy and “a daily practice of body neutrality/ambivalence” in order to overcome her condition.

But Jamil confessed that she still finds herself “incapable of body positivity” and approaches her body image with acceptance as opposed to celebration.

“I can’t just stare at my thighs and shower them with love and praise,” she added. Instead, the Good Place actor chooses to avoid thinking about her body entirely, revealing that she spends “minimal” time looking at herself in the mirror and doesn’t weigh herself.

“As a result, I am the happiest, sanest, most successful and well-sexed version of myself that I have ever known.”

Jamil went on to address the “irony” that she was writing a piece about breaking free from societal ideals about a woman’s body in Vogue, a publication that is filled with photographs of slim models.

“But I believe in the power of Vogue,” she added.

“I believe in its power to kick the door open and extend an invitation to the previously forgotten to be included in fashion’s idea of ‘the fantasy’.”

British Vogue's September issue, guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex

The September issue of British Vogue features 15 changemakers on the cover, including environmentalist Greta Thunberg, actor Salma Hayek and Jamil, who founded body inclusivity platform I Weigh in March 2018.

The issue also features an exclusive interview conducted between the duchess and former US first lady Michelle Obama in addition to a conversation between the Duke of Sussex and primatologist Dr Jane Goodall.

Read the full feature in the September issue of British Vogue, available on newsstands and digital download from Friday 2 August 2019.

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