Jamil, who currently stars in “The Good Place,” released a powerful statement through BBC News in which she listed countless reasons as to why airbrushing should be banned.
She began by stating, “I think it’s a disgusting tool that has been weaponized, 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. I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager and so I know how damaging ‘perfect’ images in magazines can be.”
She then went on to list specific reasons as to why she believes the practice is unethical:
“1. It’s a lie to the consumer. It’s used to smooth lines, hide blemishes, lighten skin, slim features, lengthen limbs, and brighten eyes and teeth. It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this ‘perfection’ is indeed possible. If you have yet to achieve this beauty standard, it tells you, you should buy some expensive products immediately, because then you will look like the person in the photo. (But, as I said just a moment ago, you won’t.)
2. It’s bad for the person being photographed. If you see a digitally ‘enhanced’ picture of yourself, you run the risk of becoming acclimated to that level of flawlessness and it makes it harder for you to accept your actual image – the one that exists in real life, in the mirror. You then might want to take measures to match what is achieved on the screen. Often this is only achievable with expensive, painful and often risky cosmetic procedures or surgery. Filters and digital editing have almost certainly contributed to the fact so many of the women I know have turned to needles, knives and extreme diets to try to match their online avatar.
3. It’s so, so bad for the public, especially young women. People don’t realise the image they are looking at has been airbrushed (and let’s face it, almost nobody owns up to the fact it has). Admissions to hospitals for severe eating disorders have almost doubled over the last six years, NHS figures showed earlier this year. Two-thirds of teenage girls and young women don’t think they’re pretty enough.”
Jameela Jamil ended her statement by highlighting how different the industry standards are for men.
“In contrast, we shoot men in high definition on magazine covers. But for them, the inevitable lines of age are a sign of distinction and rugged attractiveness. Men are allowed to wear baggy clothes to cover their bellies and they aren’t subjected to couture modelled by emaciated 16-year-olds on runways,” she concluded.
Jamil has continued advocating for women and issues of self-image through a social media project titled I Weigh. I Weigh empowers women to express the aspects of themselves and their lives that they are proud of and that define them rather than their weight. To join Jamil’s movement and be a part of the change in the standards Hollywood sets for women, follow I Weigh’s Instagram.
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