‘I Weigh’ Instagram Account Is Encouraging Hollywood and Women to Share What They ‘Weigh’ — Without Disclosing a Number
Actor Jameela Jamil has a pressing question for Hollywood and its fans — how much do you weigh?
Wait, wait … it’s not what you think. Jamil started an account, which became a movement, which became a hashtag — all encouraging women to look beyond the scale’s number and disclose what makes each of us individually incredible. “I Weigh” (@i_weigh) is a self-described “movement for us to … see how amazing we are, and look beyond the flesh on our bones,” that’s gaining serious Instagram traction and traffic with 92.8 thousand followers.
‘Shameless’ stars Emmy Rossum and Emma Kenney posted their ‘weight’
Showtime’s Shameless celebrates fierce women in the form of lead characters Fiona and Debbie Gallagher. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) acted as a caretaker to her five younger siblings after their alcoholic father and distant mother proved they weren’t parental figures. Recent seasons have seen Fiona find her own wealth, voice, and happiness. Actress Emma Kenney essentially grew up on the show, as did her character. Debbie took on teenage motherhood, began to support herself financially, and stood her ground around her older siblings as an independent woman.
Rossum and Kenney are no different as leading ladies on both television and in their lives. Rossum is an advocate for YouthAIDs, the NRDC, and Best Friends Animal Society. Kenney is outspoken about her journey with substance abuse, mental health, and body positivity. Both actresses recently took to the internet to join Jamil’s I Weigh movement, sharing what they “weigh” without disclosing a single digit.
Rossum posted her I weigh to her Instagram story, disclosing little-known facts of her life and letting fans see her struggles — despite her celebrity. The list included her declarations she’s Jewish (and proud!), overcoming PTSD each day, and happily married. “Do your own version of I weigh,” Rossum encouraged her followers on Instagram. “Tell us what you’re made of.”
You probably recognize Jamil from NBC’s new sitcom ‘The Good Place’
Jameela Jamil, creator of the I Weigh movement, is a familiar face: she stars in NBC’s hit sitcom, The Good Place, as Tahani Al-Jamil, a wealthy and hard-working philanthropist who in life (and part of death) was determined to live up to her sister’s accomplishments.
Before acting, Jamil was a radio host in Britain, where she quickly learned how toxic tabloid culture can be, as well as the disastrous tendency there is to focus a female figure’s weight over her accomplishments. A key instance she shared on the Girlboss Radio podcast occurred when Jamil attracted a mass audience in her first three months as the first-ever female solo presenter to host the Radio 1 chart show.
“They didn’t even mention that I had gained 200,000 listeners,” Jamil explained. “They just mentioned that I’d gained three dress sizes. I’d worked my ass off for five years and I was doing a job that literally had nothing to do with my aesthetic … Yet my entire worth and value as a professional and as a human being was just reduced down to a number on a scale.”
She started the movement because she’s sick of talking about weight in its traditional sense
While Jamil’s movement aims to celebrate body positivity, she has one issue with the concept — that it’s still so relevant in the media.
“I don’t even want to talk about body positivity anymore because it means we are still focusing on our looks,” she wrote for Glamour Mag. “I want to take back the control of what women are valued as and move entirely away from the conversation. I want to hear about and see what women are doing. Are we traveling? Are we loving? Are we studying? Are we succeeding? Are we running around after children? Are we growing emotionally?”
Her personal and I Weigh followers definitely agree. I Weigh has posted nearly 1,400 photos so far of women sharing what they’re made of without focusing on their physical makeup. Jamil went on the warpath (her words, not ours) when she came across a post guesstimating the weight of each Kardashian or Jenner sister in kilograms.
“This is how women are taught to value themselves. In kilograms. Grim,” she wrote on an Instagram story in April 2018. She followed the post with a full-length mirror selfie that had nothing to do with appearance.
As other public figures and actors begin to join the movement, their platform enables other women to post their “weight” — one of Jamil’s goals with the account.
“I know too many interesting, varied, bright, and wonderful women to give any more f-cks. I just need a rest. Our culture is obsessed with women’s appearances, and it’s holding us back as a gender,” she wrote. She also celebrated her 32nd birthday with a post on her personal blog thanking the women who joined her.
Jamil left readers with one final request: “Please look at the @i_weigh Instagram account and find my museum of women who are valuing themselves the way we all deserve to be measured. And please send me yours. Or, at the very least, write it down for yourself so that you can remember what a wonderful woman you are. The revolution against shame is in our hands.”