Actress and activist Jameela Jamil is the BFF we never knew we needed

Home / Actress and activist Jameela Jamil is the BFF we never knew we needed


30th Jul 2019

As a kid, making a new friend is as simple as sitting next to someone in the playground at recess. It’s instant and easy. But as an adult, between managing a career, multiple social media accounts and a general basic standard of living (like having enough food in the house to make a meal), it’s hard to find time or even the right social situation to make a new buddy.

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But, it’s not impossible as The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil revealed recently over the phone to Vogue. And it turns out it’s pretty important to have a wide friendship group, with a Galaxy Research study commissioned for dating/networking app Bumble, finding that 73 per cent of Australians who took part in the study between the ages of 18 to 45 “experience feelings of loneliness.”

Jamil is ideally placed to speak on friendship and inclusivity, having just signed on as the face of a new global campaign for Bumble BFF — the app’s friend connecting option — as well as being the founder of I Weigh, a social media movement and soon-to-be fully-fledged company dedicated to, as the Instagram account’s bio says, “radical inclusivity, so that no one feels alone.”

The British-born, Los Angeles-based actress is vocal on her own and I Weigh’s socials about spreading positivity and inclusivity, while also being real that life is not really, as she told Vogue, like the “highlight reel” we all see on our Instagram feed. And it’s that honesty that led her to found I Weigh (which currently boasts 769k followers and counting) in the first place.

“I saw a picture of the Kardashians with their weights written across their bodies,” Jamil divulged to Vogue. “We never write what they [men] weigh, we don’t even know what any man weights, we don’t care. But all we care about it what women weigh, we think it’s the most important thing about them, and that’s what we teach girls, which is why eating disorders [are so high]. Once I’d seen one of those pictures, the more I looked on Instagram, I’m seeing more and more pictures of Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, all these women who are successful, self-made, multi-millionaires, just having their weight written across their body. And I’ve seen the impact it’s having on young people who follow these accounts, and I just thought ‘fuck this!’”

The actress said she couldn’t believe this was still happening in 2018 (when she founded I Weigh): “Like this was happening when I was a teenager,” the actress continued, saying, “And so I write a post about what I weigh… my achievements, my struggles, and the things that I’ve overcome. And that’s what we should all weigh ourselves in. I weigh the sum of my parts. And I posted that out to the world, didn’t expect anything back, got about a thousand back the first day. And about three thousand in the first week and I realised that ‘oh no, it’s like a thing!’ I’ll have to start an Instagram account. I never expected it to last very long. And to think that we’re on our way to our first million.” Quite an achievement, considering that as Jamil noted, there’s no social media team it’s just herself and a friend running the account.

Joining Bumble BFF for their friendship campaign seemed like a natural step for the 33-year-old actress who says it resonated with everything she stands for at I Weigh. “They came to me with their ad campaign and I just loved the idea of it so much, because, that’s very much in alignment with what we stand for at I Weigh, which is community and bringing people together and reducing the stigma of shame. I think people carry a lot of shame around their own loneliness, around friends they have, or don’t have or what sort of social life they have because they feel pressure, because everyone else posts about how amazing their social lives are, even though they are only ever posting the highlight reel.”

“Everyone feels insecure, we don’t talk about it, we just pretend that we’re all living our best lives,” the actress shared. “And that we’re all hashtag #booked and #busy. I meet some of the most famous people in the world, and even they are lonely. So there’s no reason you shouldn’t be too, and if we just start to talk about it and open up to it, and I think once we do we’ll realise everyone feels the same way anyway. We need to all just hang out!”

Jameela Jamil will be hosting a Bumble BFF event in Los Angeles in August and Bumble are offering Bumble BFF users in Australia the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the event. The competition runs from Tuesday July 30 until Friday August 9, head to the Bumble app for more information.

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