Tahani from The Good Place has quickly become a fan-favorite. She is portrayed by British actress Jameela Jamil, who uses her platform to celebrate body positivity and inclusivity. 

Jameela Jamil is the actress behind Tahani in NBC’s The Good Place. While Kirsten Bell, Ted Danson and the whole cast are brilliant actors, Jameela Jamil won over people’s hearts through her portrayal of the very posh, name-dropping, British socialite. In real life, Jamil, 33, promotes self-love and inclusivity, mainly through social media and the I Weigh movement. She also fights against toxic representations of women in today ’s society.

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Complicated teenage years

Jamil was born in the UK to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother. Born with hearing issues, she went through several operations and now hears only 50% in one ear and 70% in the other. Between the ages of 14 to 17, Jameela Jamil suffered from anorexia, something she believes is mainly due to the representation of women in the media. But a car accident at the age of 17 led to her being unable to walk for a while. She had to do physiotherapy and take steroids. This traumatic experience made her change her views on her body, accept it, and “literally knocked some sense into [her]”.

She went on to teach English while working as a model, journalist and photographer. She hosted  the BBC Radio 1 show The Official Chart in 2012. Her life changed once more in 2016, when a breast cancer scare led her to pursue her dreams in Los Angeles. She had planned to a chance as a DJ and screenwriter, but randomly auditioned for The Good Place and got the part of Tahani, without any previous acting experience.

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The I Weigh movement

Her newfound popularity allows her to speak out on issues she cares about and have a bigger reach. Jamil is very active on social media and very open about her struggles with her image and her weight. In 2018, she saw a picture that somebody had posted on Instagram of the Kardashian-Jenner girls with their respective weights plastered in the caption. Sick of seeing women being reduced to their weight, Jameela Jamil decided to answer with her own picture, including the sum of good things she “weighted” like “lovely relationship, great friends…”. The pouring support and amount of similar pictures she received from her followers led her to create the Instagram account @i_weigh, and the I Weigh movement.

But the Instagram account is not limited to weight. It became a place for inclusivity, celebrating differences and self-acceptance. Jameela Jamil also uses her fame to speak out on other issues, from LGBTQIA+ rights to abortion rights. Jamil also fights against the dangers of idealizing women on social media, when pictures are frequently completely airbrushed. The actress revealed she suffers from EDS 3, a genetic condition which affects her body and, for example, leaves scars after every little cut, as she explained in an Instagram post recently. The constant flow of flawless promotional pictures on social media can lead to body dysmorphia and eating disorder among young women. This is why Jamil only posts unretouched pictures of herself, pictures that show her stretch marks and imperfections. She also fights to banish heavily airbrushed promotional pictures of herself.

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She has criticised “detox teas” that some celebrities love to promote because of the dangerous side effects. She often uses her own experience of following celebrity diets when she was a teenager, which caused lots of damage to her body, to make her point. She famously made Khloe Kardashian delete an Instagram post promoting a weight-loss product, by commenting that Khloe should warn her followers of the toxic side effects of the product and also admit that she has “a personal trainer, nutritionist, probable chef, and a surgeon to help her reach [her] perfect body goal”. She also created a petition to stop celebrity endorsement of diet products.

Article by Juliette Cardinale


Californian brand Patagonia will join youth activists striking for climate action everywhere
on September 20 and 27, 2019. Patagonia stores worldwide will be closed on these two Fridays.

Patagonia is a Californian clothing brand founded in 1973 by accomplished rock climber Yvon Chouinard. The brand sells mountain gear and other outdoor sports clothes, as well as equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags and camping food. In September 2019, Patagonia is joining the youth movement for climate action lead by Greta Thunberg. On Fridays 20 and 27, stores all around the world will be closed.

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“The climate crisis is a clear and present danger to our health, our pocketbooks and our employees and their families. Like the fake science paid for by tobacco companies that for years denied the link between smoking and cancer, denial and delay on climate is destructive to human life. Enough is enough. We need action,” declared Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia.

From the start, Patagonia has been very aware about sustainable and responsible materials. The brand is paying attention to where materials are produced, and in what conditions. When it was revealed in 2005 by PETA that Patagonia’s wool providers were not treating correctly the animals, the brand changed sources.

A committed company

Patagonia is often taking actions for the climate, from organizing boycotts or giving 100% of Black Friday sales to environmental groups in 2016 to suing the US government and President Donald Trump for reducing the size of national monuments (similar to national parks). Every year, the company gives 1% of its sales to environmental groups through the One Percent for the Planet organization – which was co-founded by Yvon Chouinard. In June 2019, Patagonia announced it would give its $10m tax cuts to groups fighting the climate change crisis.

The company also created a platform called Worn Wear. People can return certain Patagonia merchandise in good condition in exchange for store credit. Then the items are cleaned, repaired and sold through the Worn Wear website.

Article by Juliette Cardinale

It’s already mi-August, which means summer’s almost over. To go back to work in an inspired mindset, check out these activists’ Instagram accounts. 

Francesca Willow (@ethicalunicorn)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1EkdDBAg1X/

From sustainability to social justice, Francesca Willow’s Instagram account is aesthetically pleasing and keeps you questioning your life. For example, she gives tips on how to recognize which brands are actually sustainable and which are just pretending to.

Gurls Talk @gurlstalk

https://www.instagram.com/p/B03NsOdF8mh/

Model Adwoa Aboa created this platform so that girls and women would have a safe space to talk to each other. The account promisses no judgement or stigma, and features strong women and inspiring quotes.

Nyle DiMarco @nyledimarco

https://www.instagram.com/p/B08_WZulB23/

Nyle DiMarco is an American model and actor who won both America’s Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars. But he is also deaf and an activist for his community. Through his Instagram account, he makes the public aware of the difficulties deaf people face everyday.

Emma Watson @emmawatson

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxhOE1jA-BX/

Everyone’s favorite Hermione is a feminist activist, a UN Women Goodwill ambassador, who uses her platform to speak out about women’s rights. After launching the HeforShe campaign in 2014, she started the feminist book club Our Shared Shelf in 2016, starting with Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road. She shares her thoughts on current affairs and feminist issues partly through her Instagram.

Lizzie Carr @lizzie_outside

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1HJGt_gZ7z/

Lizzie Carr is always outside, as her Instagram account shows. She is a sustainability activist and fights for cleaning the oceans. She founded @plastic_patrol, a crowd-sourced movement to clean the planet. She also shares her struggle while fighting cancer.

Rachel Cargle @rachel.cargle

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1CmOTUHxoe/

Author and lecturer, Rachel Cargle is an inspiring academic. Her account is the go-to for conversations on the intersection of race and women issues. She gathers a big community and encourages critical thinking from her followers.

Hannah Witton @hannahwitton

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0MKd8EgGec/

Hannah Witton is a London-based YouTuber & author who talks freely about sex and relationships. Breaking taboos one by one, she gives sexual health tips curated for young women. She also shares her life living ulcerative colitis, a chronic illness.

Article by Juliette Cardinale