Jameela Jamil is urging celebrities and public figures to stop airbrushing their photos.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, the activist and actress, 33, shared a new poster for her NBC show The Good Place, in which her “backfat” is clearly visible.
“Finally able to INSIST my image, even on billboards isn’t ever airbrushed,” she wrote alongside the photo. “I get backfat in Every. Single. Bra. And I used to hide/bin so many photos because of ‘muffin tops.’ Double chins/ ‘imperfections’ because I never saw them on people on TV. #freethebackfat #letabitchlive.”
Jamil, who stars on the cover of Meghan Markle’s guest-edited issue of British Vogue, explained that by conquering this industry norm, she was empowering herself and paying tribute to her younger teenage self, who suffered from an eating disorder and body dysmorphia.
“I’m aware this isn’t some huge victory, and not ‘brave’ but as someone who had such obsessive body dysmorphia and was so fixated on the embarrassment of what we perceive as ‘flaws’ this is just a little win for little anorexic teenage me,” she said.
The Good Place star then went on to ask others in the spotlight to consider doing the same to help break the cycle of an unattainable beauty standard.
“I know it’s hard because we are perpetually scrutinized and criticized in this industry, but I’m begging other influencers, actors, and models to join me in not allowing airbrushing,” she urged. “We have to stop setting standards for others that we ourselves don’t even meet.”
In response to Jamil’s photos, some fans began sharing their own images that they’ve kept hidden because of certain bodily imperfections that they saw.
“Thank you! Seeing celebrities with ‘imperfections’ means the world. Here’s a wedding photo I really love but have kept hidden for over a year because the back fat AND double chin..,” one fan wrote. “It deserves to be seen with all the perfectly posed ones too. #freethebackfat.”
Jamil previously told PEOPLE that her own experience as a young girl, when she suffered from anorexia, has inspired her to take action.
“I was a teenager in the ’90s when all of the actresses were skeletally thin,” she said in April. “We were trying to literally emulate famine, which was going on in the world at that time. That was the look of iconic beauty. I starved myself for years. I didn’t have my periods for years. I hurt my fertility. I hurt my bones. I hurt my internal organs. My digestive system has never really recovered, nor has my thyroid, nor has my metabolism.”
Jamil added: “All I’m trying to do is protect young people because they are so easily influenced. Celebrity has taken over from religion. Celebrities are the new deities, therefore we have too much power and too much influence. It has to be handled more responsibly than it is currently.”
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