For well over a year, The Good Place star Jameela Jamil has been calling out celebrities like Kim and Khloe Kardashian for their shilling their weight-loss products to fans. We might assume that an actress on a big network TV show would be shielded from most negative repercussions from her activism.
In truth, as she told the audience at theCurvyCon, it's not so easy to speak out.
"I do worry that Kris Jenner's going to beat my ass," Jamil joked of the many times she's taken aim at the Kardashians. In her session for the conference on body positivity and fashion inclusion with theCurvyCon cofounder CeCe Olisa, she advised others on how to prepare themselves mentally to speak up.
"Activism is hard, and you take a lot of shots," she said. "The more you put yourself out there the more people scrutinize you."
Because of that, she suggested that anyone who wanted to speak up for body acceptance first make sure they're feeling mentally healthy for the battle.
"Start building yourself up from the inside. Then you can go and help others," she said.
A woman in the audience named Danielle asked Jamil and Olisa for more about how to "build armor" before defending others. Danielle said that as a dark-skinned black woman in her office, she has been told she's too aggressive and makes others uncomfortable.
"I have to tell myself that what I'm doing is right," Jamil said, acknowledging that she's in a position of more privilege than someone with darker skin and less fame. "What I'm doing is the truth. And I have to do everything I can because it's hurting my body and it's making me sick to tolerate this abuse.
Olisa stepped in to share her "dark-skinned girl tricks" on how to confront people about their biases.
"Sometimes it's more impactful to speak in certain ways, as big women, as big women of color, as big women of color with extra melanin," Olisa said. "Something my mom taught me is to ask people questions. Put the onus on them."
Jamil was glad to have Olisa there to give that advice, too. Another part of her strategy as an activist, she said, is to listen to others.
"I'm learning and I'm paying attention," Jamil said. "I receive a lot of criticism, and I welcome it."
See our complete coverage of TheCurvyCon 2019.