July 6, 2023
This week, Jameela is back on the mic solo to answer your questions! She shares stories on The Good Place audition process, how animals play such a big part in our lives, how to be bold along with how to deal with being a person of great heights, and more.
You can find transcripts for this episode on the Earwolf website.
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170 — Ask Jameela Anything 2
Jameela Oh, hello and welcome to another episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil. A podcast against shame. This week we’re doing an Ask Me Anything because I get inundated with questions from you lot and they’re great questions and important questions and questions that come up so often from different people that I was just feel like I wish that you knew you weren’t alone and that there’s so many people who probably want similar answers. And so every so often I do these episodes to be able to address those questions because I love chatting to you. I love the fact that you write to me and I don’t want that to be in vain. I’m doing it on my solo today because of scheduling, so I’m old billy no mates, so it’s just you and me. So strap in because we’re going to go fuckin all over the place. Let’s start with a lighter question, just a kick off in a silly and potentially quite gross way as possible. Did you have to audition for The Good Place or did you get approached? If audition, could you describe that experience? I absolutely adored the show and then they said something nice about me that I won’t read because I’m English and that would be cringe, but thanks for saying it. Okay. So I had to audition for The Good Place. I was a complete unknown in America. They were looking for a tall, annoying, probably Indian, I guess, but tall and annoying and English was definitely on the list. And obviously if you’ve seen my Twitter, you know that I meet that criteria. And so I went to a big casting call with the casting director. It lasted about fucking hell, like 90 seconds, you were in and you were out. You got one shot. Eminem wasn’t lying and you have like a one second chat of kind of like polite chit chat. Then you get in, you do your audition, and then you fuck off and leave into a room of girls who look exactly like you. And it’s just confusing and slightly demoralizing and surreal. And you feel almost always completely certain that you didn’t get it. And the casting director doesn’t really offer you much reassurance most of the time because they can’t, because they’re not going to be the ones who make the final call. So even if they’re nice, which mine was, that’s just what it is. So then I go a week later, a callback where I’m asked to come in and audition again, doing the same scenes, but this time in front of the creator of the show, that’s Mike Schur, who is a fucking legend and all of the producers and the casting director. So this time there’s less girls in the waiting room and it is a much more intense vibe. And I remember looking for the audition because it was in a different place this time. And I was I was lost. I was really new to L.A., I didn’t know where I was going and there’s no fucking numbers written on the fucking houses here. I don’t know how anyone finds anything. I don’t know how anyone ever gets home. But I was lost. And I see this, like, tall, beautiful, brown woman walking down the street. She looks kind of Indian. And I was like, Oh, I wonder if maybe she’s going to the same audition as me. So I go up to her and I’m like, Hi, excuse me. I’m going to. I’m trying to find this audition. Are you by any chance going to this audition. And she was like, No, I was like, Oh, sorry. I just presumed. Do you know where this addresses? And she was like, Oh, yeah, No, you’re really far away. And so she sends me like 10 minutes down the road and I go walking and walking and walking. And in Los Angeles, the streets are like small countries. They’re fucking ginormous. And so I’m walking, I’m walking, walking. And I’m feeling like I’m getting further away. Like my Google Maps isn’t working properly, but the numbers are getting way further away from where I need to be. So I was like, I think this woman might have been an idiot. I think she was wrong. So I walked back to where I was eventually find the house, walk in, and that fucking woman who gave me the directions is fucking in there. She was an actress. She was up for the role and she did know exactly where she was going and she deliberately sent me in the wrong direction and then went in on what was supposed to be my slot because I’m obviously now late. And I was like, Oi, you said that you weren’t an actress then that you weren’t coming to this audition. And she just looked at me, look me up and down and in the most like iconically villainous way. I kind of love her for this now, and I hope she’s listening. But she was like, Sorry, and then just walked in on my time. And I think when someone’s such a dick that they cross over beyond reason into legend, I kind of I’m kind of alright with it. I was like, You know what, Fairplay fine. It is what it is. I was told that Hollywood is dog eat dog, fuck it. So I’m now late and I know that my shows in there and I know that there’s more pressure this time because when I went to the first audition, I didn’t think I was going to get anything. I thought they’d say I was shit and ban me from Hollywood. So now that I’ve actually got like a fighting chance, my agents are getting really excited. My manager is getting really excited and I feel just so much pressure to just not humiliate myself, especially because it’s going to be in front of someone I admire as much as Mike Schur. And these producers have made so many amazing comedies, and I’m like, Oh God, you know, I want to be a writer and I don’t want to, you know, ruin my reputation forever. So I’m sitting in the waiting room. I’m freaking myself out. I’m fucking late. And I start to need to do a nervous poo. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for, like, straight out the gate coming in with a story that involves poo. Turn it off if you’re eating. I get it. It’s not going to get super gruesome, but it’s not going to be great. So I’m like, Oh, God, ok I need a nervous poo. So I go to the toilets, only one toilet for the entire place. And this is taking place in like the casting directors house. And there’s one toilet for all of us to use. All of the actors. Mike Schur, the casting director, all the producers, everyone will just use this one toilet. So if I go in there and do a poo, it’s gonna be very hard to cover up that I did that. It’s incredibly terrifying and I suffer from immense poo shame because I’m English and I’m weird. So I was like, Oh God. Nothing I could do. I could do, ok fuck it. So I go in there and I do a speed poo fast as I can. I get up. I try and flush the loo, and the flush doesn’t flush. And the flush mechanism comes off in my hand. So now I’m standing there alone in this bathroom. There’s one singular bathroom for everyone to use. I have broken the toilet. I’m holding the flush. And now there is a tiny nervous poo in the loo that I can’t get rid of. And it’s my time coming up because I’m going in after that villainous woman. And so someone comes knocking on the door to come and, like, put a microphone on me to get ready for the audition. They were like, Sorry, your time is up, so we need to take you in. And I was like, Yeah, one second, one second. I was like, Fuck, what am I going to do? And I’m now in there for what is becoming an obvious amount of time. So I just tell them that I’m quickly doing a little bit of exercise to buy myself time and to explain why I’m gonna look so sweaty when I come out and so flustered. It’s because I’m very stressed. So they come and they knock on the door again and they’re like, Okay, we really need you now. Like, you really have to come out now. And it’s been almost 10 minutes. So it’s incredibly obvious that something has gone horribly wrong in there. And I’m panicking and pretending to still be exercising. I’m not doing like loud panting, counting and telling them this is my process, which given that I’ve never acted before, this moment is really fucking ridiculous. And so I’m like, Fuck it, I’m just going to have to I’d have to pick it up. I’m going to have to pick up that poo and throw it in the fucking garden. I’m just going to have to do it. I’m going to have to touch it. I hate poo. I hate pp like no one hates poo. Especially my own. Almost. I’ve don’t look at it. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t want to engage. And I’m just so desperate to not be in this situation anymore. But I can’t get out of the room and I cannot leave that poo there. So I realized that what’s left of the flush is like this sort of Alan key shaped square stick. And I’m like, You know what? Fuck my teeth. I’m going to put my teeth around this what’s left of the flush, and I’m going to use it to maneuver my body weight until I can become the flush. So I basically join forces with the toilet via my teeth, and I use my teeth as a wrench and have to basically do almost like a handstand to pull it upwards so that I’m able to flush the toilet and it fucking flushes. I don’t have to touch the poo. I don’t have to throw it in this woman’s garden. I don’t have to be known forever as the woman who did this. I now just become the weirdo who has been working out before her audition. I come running out, I’m covered in sweat, Doesn’t smell amazing in there. Doesn’t smell amazing because it was 10 minutes of not flushing the loo. I don’t give a shit what he thinks anymore. I’m like, Get me in that room. We get me miked up, I get in there. I am so nervous now. I just want to get the fuck out there because at some point someone’s going to smell what’s in there. They’re going to know what I did. Obviously, I fucked up my opportunity. I’ve kept everyone waiting 10 minutes because I was in the toilet, clearly pooing and I just want to get this over and done with. I kind of black out out of nerves and I just deliver all my lines. I tell a really filthy joke to Mike Schur about how I created the accent of Tani, which is via a boyfriend that I used to have, who, when he would come, would say hoo ra because he was so posh. I can’t believe I said that to Mike Schur the first time I met him I only had again about 90 seconds to 2 minutes in that room, managed to cram in that weird, filthy anecdote that I’ve now told you and also regret telling you. I got up. I was just like, Thank you, thank you, goodbye, goodbye, Goodbye. Having no like I was completely out of my body. Walked out of the room, called my agent manager, apologized for the way that I disgraced myself and probably them and how gross and weird I was and how shit my audition probably was because I was just out of my body. And unbelievably, three days later, I got a call back saying I’d nailed the audition. I was being brought back for a network test, which is where you have to audition now for the entire network, for all these massive executives with a camera that’s so close to your face that they can see like your brain cells, it’s terrifying. So I guess maybe because I was so stressed about the poo and I was so ashamed of how long I had taken and just just I just had the worst fucking time, just the worst day. I didn’t care. I had a total. Like reckless abandon where I was like, Fuck it, I’m just going to be completely free in this audition. I have no no. Gun to my head, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I remember what happened or what I said to beyond the cum line in that room. But I guess it was mistaken for competence or confidence. How free I was in that room. And I guess it all worked out because I got the job and then I was Tahani. And now I have this podcast and I’m here with you telling you this really old story and so sorry that was long, but that was the audition process. Highly, highly recommend being stressed out of your fucking mind before you have to do an audition, because then you don’t care about the audition and you end up giving a much more raw performance. I think. There was a lot of energy, a lot of energy in my performance, I imagine, and it worked out in the end. So thank you to that nervous poo and that broken flush. And because I want this to be as extreme a rollercoaster as possible, we’re now going to go into a very different type of question, a very serious question. We’re going to talk about suicidal ideation. And I want to give you a warning right now that that’s going to happen. So again, if that’s a subject that you don’t feel ready to hear about, I’m going to keep it as light as I can. Very, very light. But I just want to make sure that I’m being considerate to not trigger any of you. So someone says, I hope this is okay to ask. You have talked about being suicidal in the past. How did you get through that? Sending lots of love. So. I’m not sure that I’ll ever totally be free of the tendency towards suicidal ideation. It’s like I’ve I’ve made several attempts on my life. I think I’m in a really good place at the moment, and I have a really good support system, and I hope that I never get there again. But it is something that I know I have a tendency toward. I had a family member who used to repeatedly tried to take their life when I was a child. So I think it’s sort of like a weird pattern in me that I’m trying to constantly work on, but I don’t want you to worry. I really think I’m in a very good place and I think that my suicidal ideation just comes from a place of like panic, of wanting to tap out because the world becomes too much. And so how I always get through it is to just find one or two people to whom I feel kind of accountable and who I trust and love, and I talk to them. So whether that’s a psychotherapist or that is my boyfriend James, or a friend, I tell them because I want them to know that I don’t plan on I don’t want to do it, and that I’m feeling out of control and I need a little bit of help. This doesn’t happen very often, but it has happened a number of times across my entire life. And so I have learned that trying to deal with it completely on my own is a nightmare, because then your brain becomes kind of like a know just the worst possible thoughts and panic. Uh, those sort of thoughts of panic, just keep ping ponging around your brain and there’s no one to kind of interrupt that thought. It is important, I think, to have someone there who can talk a bit fucking sense into you or reassure you or will make you feel less alone because it’s such a lonely feeling. You know, you feel like nothing can ever get better and you feel no hope and you feel so abandoned that you kind of want to abandon yourself. It’s just it’s all too much and someone else can really be an amazing relief. You just have to find that right one person you don’t have to tell everyone just need to find someone that you trust and someone who you know is good at making you feel less alone and making you feel safe. Mostly, I really believe that not feeling safe is a big part of why a lot of people I know have struggled with suicidal ideation. And then the other thing I do is that rather than waiting for that moment to come and then dealing with it, I try to be incredibly preventative. I live a very, very thoughtful life now. And I, I think about the things that have led me to my darkest moments. And I try to with every fiber of my being, I try everything I can to avoid going anywhere near any of those situations. So if it’s people who are incredibly abusive or traumatic or stressful for me, I have cut those people off. If it is a certain type of work or a certain type of work hours or work that causes me pain because I’ve got Ehlers-danlos syndrome and I can’t always do the same work as people with, you know, without this, I guess disability or condition would be the appropriate terminology depending on how your ehlers-danlos impacts you. But sometimes too much pain can send me over the edge and send me into a really dark depressive place, eating a certain type of way that can impact my mood balance. Too much caffeine, not enough sleep. Not enough sleep is a huge one for me that when I have terrible, terrible insomnia that goes on for like weeks or months, that’s when I start to lose control of the thoughts in my brain. So I’m very intentional about how I rest, and I’m very intentional about spending time with wonderful friends and not spending too much time looking at how hopeless and terrifying the world is doomscrolling and doing all the things that can make us just think, Fucking hell what’s the point? Why would I stay here? It’s awful. There’s so much more good and so much more beauty and so much more love to observe. But you have to seek out because that’s not what you know the algorithms are going to promote. That’s not what we’re going to see online. We’re just going to see things that make us feel like shit about ourselves, feel like shit about our lives, or feel like shit about the world because that’s what travels. But that’s not real. What’s real? That’s not to say that those things aren’t real. They are, but they don’t make up as much of the world as it would seem online. And that’s just all for profit for fucking social media companies. So I get offline, I hang out with my friends, I hang out with animals, I take the time to rest. I take time for myself. I’m an introvert. I need to be alone. I need to not be constantly hyper stimulated. I, I learn about things I’m interested in. I continuously expand. And when I’m doing those things all the time, suicidal ideation does not come near me. I have to be walking frequently. I have to be exercising. I look at it as a full time job, my mental health, in the same way that I brush my teeth every day. Well, mostly every day. Sometimes I get very depressed and I stop and that’s filthy. And I’m sorry, but I make it my full time job. It is so much more important to me than my career. It is so much more important to me than money or the way that I look. Preserving my brain so that I can be here for the people that I love and and be a helpful person in the world. I also think, by the way, service and helping others, it’s a massive way to help you feel a sense of purpose and autonomy. So that’s also very helpful. But all the things I do in my life, including being selfish and self preserving all of it, is guided towards preventing suicidal ideation. And so when I do that, I feel in control of my life. And when I feel in control of my life, I feel less like I have to run away from it. So I hope that’s helpful. That’s what I do personally, I am not a clinical expert, and if you are having these thoughts or feelings, I want you to go and talk to a professional and never, ever take advice about truly anything from a celebrity because we are, you know, out of touch and unreliable in this area. But I’m just telling you what I do personally, for me, that helps me a bit. But you still need professional help if you are struggling with something this serious. But thank you for that question. All right. So hi, Jameela. I have a question for I Weigh Ask Me Anything. I’ve only been in toxic relationships my whole life, and I used to have sex and love addiction, my sex drive, or at least what I thought was my sex drive was always high. After healing from the addiction during the pandemic, I met my now husband. We’ve been happily and healthily together ever since. That’s nice, but my sex drive is nowhere to be found. I’m in love and attracted to him, but I just don’t feel sexual. Once we begin to be sexual, I’m having a great time, but I just don’t know how to get to the wanting part. Any thoughts? Oh my God. Hard relate. I’ve never been a sex and love addict, so I can’t relate to that part. And well done for going through treatment for that. And I hope you feel much better. It sounds like you’re in a really lovely, stable place, but I. I can definitely relate to not even thinking about having sex until I’m already having sex, which is, you know, incredibly tricky, especially for the other person that you’re in the relationship with who never wants to like, step over a boundary. They don’t want to, like, make you feel pressured at all. But in every relationship I’ve been in, I found that, you know, I feel really safe. But I’m someone who has to kind of almost be, like, turned on like a tap, you know? And so and also, I’m very awkward socially, and I don’t how to read the signs of when someone’s interested. And I don’t know how to give any signs that I would be interested anyway. So I’ve sort of because I’m so awkward in that area and I was such a late developer because I didn’t start having, you know, sex or even kissing people into my twenties. I just sort of bow out of the whole thing because I don’t know how to engage in this way. And so what I have instigated with partners in the past is that if they would like to have sex, they should just lightly gently tug on a piece of my clothing, like it could be like my sleeve or my pajama bottoms or whatever I’m wearing. It could even pull on my sock. But that lets me know in a really an awkward way where we don’t have to necessarily talk about it, that they are interested. And then I see if I can. I could rise to the occasion and if I can normally it’s great. Normally it’s great, but that’s what I find to be helpful is just like giving a little gentle signal to remind me to even think in this way, because otherwise I will just I’ll go years without even thinking about sex. It’s not to say I’m an asexual person. I just don’t think about it until it’s happening. And then I’m like, This is great. Why don’t I do this more often? But it never pops into my head. So this is a very honest answer for me. Hopefully that is helpful. Just find a like a sort of cute, intimate, fun, low pressure way of allowing someone to show you a signal if it’s something that you don’t necessarily always look for and then decide in the moment if that’s something you’d be up for trying. And if you star trying and you’re not into it. You can stop. That’s your right. But create an avenue that feels like light, lighthearted, like a rom com. That’s what I find to be very helpful for me anyway. So I hope that helps. And don’t overthink it. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. You’re already doing brilliantly and you’re fairly, you know, early into your recovery. So just give yourself a fucking break. It sounds like you have a lovely patient partner, as you should, and I strongly believe you will find your way around this. Okay, next one. So someone’s written I’m a semi introverted person and as such I find networking horrific. How do you deal with this necessary part of a creative job as a fellow introvert? All the love. Well, I can tell you that as a fully introverted person it is fucking hell. And that very few people who aren’t, I think, like truly wired in a way that feels almost not human or super comfortable. No one loves networking. I think some people enjoy the social aspect of meeting new people, but almost nobody I know loves meeting people and this sort of like weird transactional way where there’s a sort of subtext of the fact that you might want something from each other. It’s gross. It’s fucking gross. I hate it so much. I’m, you know, I’m about to go and do a week of press where there’s going to be lots of, quote unquote, networking. And I’m a socially introverted person who hates small talk. I cannot stand it. And it’s all fucking small talk and it’s all subtext, and these are all the ways I most hate to communicate. So I’m going to be really honest with you. Going to level. And I don’t necessarily think this is the way for everyone, but I. Lightly medicate myself. And some people use alcohol. I don’t drink, so I take anti-anxiety medication or like beta blockers or all these kind of things. Not all the time, but if I have a specific event where I know I’m going to be inundated with small talk and inundated with strangers and having to like, engage in quite like an intimate, like locked eye contact way with people, I don’t know, immediately, one after the other, after the other after the other. In a loud room, in a chaotic room where you just feel like it’s a bit, you know, there’s something vampiric about everyone wanting something from each other, even though we’re all looking to creatively connect. It’s a little bit weird. It’s definitely unusual. And so I take pills, that’s what I do, and supplements and CBD and I also exercise on the days of doing it massively regulates my nervous system and kind of exhausts me so much that I don’t care as much of a really long walk before I have to do something terrifying. I mean, sometimes I don’t even need any CBD or any, you know, beta blockers or medication, but just don’t feel bad if you need to take extra measures because it feels unnatural is a bit unnatural and that’s alright. And just do whatever you have to do to get through it. Maybe treat yourself with a little reward afterwards if that’s a bit of online shopping or some French fries or, you know, a call with a fun friend or you can have a deeply connected, you know, chat with, just find your way around it and know that you are not alone. It is absolutely hideous. I can barely stand it, which is why I cheat. So someone’s written weight and exercise are linked together so hard for me, that exercise is trauma. I need to move my body for my health and well-being, but I resist it because it’s so entwined with my body trauma. How can I separate these things when logic and reason don’t seem to work? It’s really just baby steps. It’s really just muscle memory. It’s really just showing your body that you can exercise without pushing yourself too far, without the no pain, no gain. I had a really weird relationship with exercise because I had an eating disorder for two decades. And, you know, I talk about this a lot with my Move For Your Mind movement on Instagram at the moment where I’m trying to get people to exercise only for their mental health. But for me, the first thing was exercising in loose clothing, so it didn’t feel like it was about my body. So I couldn’t see my body. And if I looked in any kind of reflective surface, I couldn’t see any changes in my shape and I just wouldn’t overanalyze myself. So loose clothing felt good, and it felt immediately like I wasn’t doing it to be on show for me personally. And then I started incorporating snacks, which was really helpful, but not a lot of snacks. So I just throw up, but just like a little mochi chocolate ice cream ball or a little bit of toast and jam or some crisps, some sort of light, simple carbohydrate, probably with sugar in it, maybe even a sugary drink just to immediately rewire my brain that when I’m exercising, I’m not thinking about just burning calories. I’m not doing this to burn fat, to punish myself for the meal from yesterday. I’m taking in calories while I’m exercising and putting calories out. And so that to me felt really revolutionary because I always associated exercise with starving. And there’s so much information on Instagram saying, you know, you got the best workout when you’ve been fasting and then you exercise in a fasted state, it’s like. That is fucking crazy advice. I passed out doing that when I was younger and like hit my head on gym equipment. It’s a really fucking stupid and dangerous thing to do and I do not advise it for anyone, especially not women. We have a very different hormonal state to these fucking gym bro’s like on Instagram. I highly recommend treating your body with respect and care and being soft and gentle, not subscribing to no pain, no gain, and really starting to learn the neurology of exercise. Because once you do that you just can’t unsee it. You’re like, Fuck. Within 5 minutes I release this happy hormone and then 10 minutes this happy hormone and within 15 minutes I’m more likely to get a good night’s sleep tonight. So I became obsessed with the neurology of exercise and all of the happy hormones and all the ways in which they benefit my body. Not just in the moment, cause I feel happier and more in control, but at large how they regulate my heart health, how they regulate my mental health. And suddenly I started feeling this completely new motivation around exercise. And so all the exercises I did, which just kind of started with just walking, listening to podcasts or music, or I would dance around my kitchen or I would clean like Mrs. Doubtfire, making sure that I was like dancing like a lunatic while hoovering my house and just really getting up there on the cabinets, getting really rigorous with it and turning basic, mundane activities into like a fun little workout. I started swimming again. I started doing kind of like weights in the pool so that I didn’t feel the resistance, I didn’t feel pain, but I was still kind of moving my body and like fixing my core, you know, so that I wouldn’t have back pain anymore. And so doing it in this really holistic way, that’s just for the benefit of how you feel rather than how you look to other fucking people or even to yourself. And God knows whatever body image you have in your, you know, inner bully, it’s just so liberating and it’s actually become something I look forward to. I love going for that walk. I love going for that swim. I love dancing around the kitchen. Sometimes I can’t be arsed, but once I’m doing it, it feels fucking amazing. And I really do have to do it for very long to feel completely different and to feel like I’m taking control back of my life and I’m saying fuck you to diet culture, which is sort of absorbed exercise culture into it. You are not alone for feeling like exercise has become entwined with with diet culture. It is truly a problem. It’s something that I’m working really hard to undo for a lot of people. And if you want to follow me on Instagram, I have a whole hashtag move for your mind thing that I’m doing where I’m promoting workouts and really fun chill ways that truly have nothing to do with anything other than your neurology and your mental health. So someone’s written to me saying something that became really important for getting through life for me is really living in the moment. However, it’s become so difficult to just be in the moment and not your phone or thinking about a million other things instead of the moment. How do you enjoy the smaller or bigger things that you achieve without having other achievements you have yet to accomplish overshadow them? It’s a great fucking question and it’s truly like one of the big dilemmas of our generation. First and foremost, I say, Get off your phone, get off your phone. I know that sounds like the most basic and boring advice and no one loves their phone the way that I love my phone. My phone, if I could name it my best friend, I would. And that’s shallow and appalling. But it’s not my best friend. It is stealing me away from my actual best friends. And it is just like indulging constant dopamine needs and turning me into a dopamine freak, and I just don’t want to live like this anymore. So I have been very, very actively getting off my phone and I want to watch, you know, content. I watch it least on a big TV with other people, or I listen to podcasts, I listen to music while doing other physical things. But I’ve really tried to reduce my screen time and as a result, I’m sleeping amazingly. I am not taking any kind of medication to go to sleep anymore, which is a huge, huge, huge change in my life. I feel more present. My friendships have increased. I’m actually seeing people and finding out what happened on the holiday instead of looking at it on Instagram and then having this false sense of, Oh, I’ve caught up with them and I absolutely haven’t. Also practicing. I’m going to make the answer short because it’s so hard not to sound like the most basic bitch on the fucking planet, but also practicing thoughtful gratitude, checking in with yourself every day or every week being like, Wow, look how much this has changed. I’ve done really well or This isn’t going very well. I need to work on this. But really like taking stock of how lucky you are for the little things like the gorgeous weather or like the fact that maybe you’re having a better health day today than you were another day. I highly recommend having animals. Animals live in the moment, especially dogs. I have one dog and I live with another that I also co care for and they keep me so alive and present and they don’t give a shit about Twitter. Then it give a shit about make up or awards or fucking weight loss. They don’t care about anything. They don’t care about the news. They don’t know what is going on in your life, in your career, or in the world at large or politics. They don’t have a political ideology they’re just fucking thrilled. They’re thrilled to see you. They’re thrilled to be there in the moment. They’re thrilled for a little dried chicken snack like that is they are my constant reminder that I’m fucking shit up in the way that I live because I’m nowhere near as grateful and alive as they are. And they have genuinely been my role models for the last three years. And having dogs during the pandemic was so important because that was a time where a lot of us made big changes and learned a lot about ourselves. And my dogs have taught me this is such a ridiculous answer, but my dogs have taught me true joy and true living in the moment and allowing myself to be excited about silly little things again because it’s sort of stamped out of us because it’s not quote unquote cool. Fuck that. Be as excited as you can because you never know when everything’s going to change and go to shit. And I know that sounds morbid, but it is true. And we really learned that in the last three years, so you never know when going outside could be taken away from us. You never know when your health could be taken away from. You never know when your friends could be taken away from you. Make the fucking most out of everything. I’ve really, really, really become like that. I’ve really become someone who savors every fucking last drop that I can. And I was never like this. I was all about, I’ll sleep when I’m dead and you know, I’ll relax with my friends when I retire. I was that person. And as of the last three or four years, I have completely changed. My career has changed. You see me at less events, you see me taking on less projects. I live more within my means so that I don’t have to work and spend time on a screen doing things I don’t like or with people I don’t like because I want to do the things that I fucking love and I want to hang out my friends and hang out my dogs and hang out with my boyfriend and eat amazing food and and be grateful for it all. So just try not to miss it. Try to hang out with animals, try to learn from them, and try to truly start to look at every day as though it could kind of be your last of that kind of freedom. And I swear to God, your life will change. Quick one. Someone’s asked me if it’s too late to try acting they’re 26 and they live in Portland. I started at 31. It is definitely not too late and loads of the fuckin best people. Way better than me. People like Vera Wang or Leslie Jones, all these different amazing people. They started Bill Withers. They all started in their thirties and forties and fifties even. And so just know that it is never too late and that the older you are, the more experience and intelligence you have acquired, the more you know yourself, the more confident you are. I hope. Generally we tend to get more confident with age and less insecure with age. So if anything, this idea that like 18 is the sweet spot to be able to like, secure your dreams. Ballocks. None of us know anything at 18. We might even have the right words intellectually, but we don’t have the life experience. We simply don’t. And so think of it as a great thing that you’ll coming to it later in life because you’re way more equipped to deal with the pressures of making that dream come true. I wish I’d started my whole career later, but I’m really glad that I got to acting in my thirties when I had a firmer sense of self, because making a career in a competitive industry can make people truly lose their minds. And I feel as though I’ve managed to just about hold onto mine. With ebbs and flows, obviously because I’m a grown fucking woman and that is a benefit, that is not something that I consider to count against me and I hope you look at it that way too. So go for it. Good luck and maybe we’ll act together one day. Okay. Someone’s asked. I was recently offered a position at a job that I felt severely unqualified for. But I thought if Jameela Jamil had the bravery to take the role of Tahani and knock it out of the park, I can be brave. And knock this job out of the park, too. Have you ever looked back and celebrated yourself for your bravery and talent? Thank you for saying that. That’s very, very sweet. And I’m so proud of you for going for the job that you weren’t qualified for. You just weren’t qualified for it yet. You’ll get there. You also might not have the the literal qualifications yet, but you may be way more qualified than you think, because we have all kinds of skills that are buried within us that we don’t realize because we’re never taught to look for them, because we’re taught to just shit on ourselves and criticize ourselves all the time. We never learn about our secret, sneaky strengths. And so good luck with that job. I hope it goes really well and I hope you have loads of fun. I hope you learn a lot. And do I look back and celebrate myself for my bravery and talent? Not definitely not my talent. But I do think that I’m I’m proud that I’m a figure of being bold in the face of not being qualified. I am proud that I am an example of a woman, especially a brown woman, who who doesn’t like carry this burden of being the perfect minority before I go for an opportunity. I see no difference in my capacity to grow compared to in a privileged cis white man. I feel as though we all have the same opportunity. We’re all working with roughly the same amount of brain cells. I’ve obviously had more accidents than most people because I’m so clumsy, so maybe I’m working on a few less. But generally I’m just like, Why not? I’m a big fan of a fuck it bucket, and I like throwing everything in that and I like telling all of you about it so that you can feel inspired to also go for the things that you might feel a bit challenged within. It’s fun. It makes for better stories for your friends. When it all goes tits up, you really have nothing to lose. It is unlikely that they will kill you. I can never say never, but it’s highly unlikely that in most jobs, if you go for them and you’re not qualified, you’re going to die. Maybe the army. But I don’t think they’d let you in if that wasn’t going to work out. But I do really want you to know that perfection is the enemy of progress. And we’re always learning. You’re never, ever, ever going to be fully formed because the world is always going to update. So fuck it. Why not just go for it now? See what happens, See what you’re made of if it doesn’t work out. Leave. It’s okay. It’s okay to fail. No one’s really going to remember your triumphs or your failures in life. They’re going to remember how you made them feel. All the important memories that people are going to have around you are just how you made them feel, not what you did. Everyone is too busy thinking about themselves. We sit there worrying about other people judging us. They’re all worrying about themselves and what other people might be thinking about them. So just give it a shot. it’s an experiment, sometimes I like the idea that the world is a simulation. I don’t think that’s true, but I like thinking about it because it makes me feel more free where I’m just like, Fuck it, it’s a video game. Let’s just see what happens. And I’ve had the most fun and I found the most unexpected talents or skills or survival skills within myself via doing so, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough it’s the only way to have fun is the only way to truly expand your horizon. Do not live within a box that you found when you were 18 or the other people decide it for you. In my opinion, this is the end of my TEDTalk. Someone asked me What kind of projects would I like to do next? What is interesting to me work wise, you know, I really don’t know. I really don’t know what I want to do next. I’m really loving podcasting at the moment. I’m doing a Pixar project, which is like the most fun thing ever and possible, and I can’t believe I’m in a Pixar project because I love Pixar so much, and so I’m really enjoying doing voiceover work. I don’t know. I think I want to do some within the world of comedy. Or maybe I just want to be an interviewer. I haven’t decided yet, and that’s hilarious given that I am in my mid-thirties, mid-to-late thirties. I should know exactly what I’m doing or what I want to do technically, but I don’t. And that’s okay. I’m just going to see what happens next. I’m going to go with the flow. I am going to accept the challenge that maybe something new and scary is going to come along and I’m going to throw myself into it like a maniac because I think that’s fun and I like not knowing what’s next. And I like the fact that I’m just sort of to no, I mean, I’m enjoying chilling out a little bit right now. I’m enjoying looking after my health. I’m enjoying spending more time talking to you guys here. And to me, it’s no fun having a plan because a) it sets me up for failure and disappointment. But B, then it feels all very prescribed and it makes it feel even more like work than it already is. I want an adventure. So as soon as I figure out what my next step is, if that’s writing or acting or hosting or whatever, I don’t know, becoming a fireman, I’ll let you know. But currently I have no plan. And if you don’t have a plan either, that’s okay. Just do what gets you by right now. Do what helps you survive and live your life right now. And then you’ll figure out later it’ll come to you. But just don’t obsessively pressure yourself to constantly define yourself. I beg of you. Life is too short. So another person has said, I have a question for the next episode. I’m trying to navigate whether a friend and I can be friends with benefits after having a history of sleeping together in the past, but then living in different countries, we are now in the same country. But I will have to leave in six months due to visa reasons. I want to stay friends most importantly, but also feel an attraction. Do you think that this is a terrible idea? Listen, it doesn’t sound like you’re not going to get a bit hurt, maybe. This doesn’t sound like it’s without mess or chaos, but also life is very short. And if you both fancy each other and you want to shag and spend time together, then I think that’s okay. You just have to do it very honestly and carefully, and everyone has to keep checking in with each other so that you don’t run the risk of destroying the friendship. I think if you’re really attracted to each other and maybe this is fucking terrible advice, again, talk to someone smarter than me, but I personally tend to try to live in the moment because you never know what’s going to happen in six months. An asteroid might hit the world, and as long as I’m open and communicative and we both want the same thing, I tend to feel like you should just go with the flow because you never know what’s going to happen. So if that’s what’s going to be fun for the next six months, that’s way more fun than depriving yourself or having to hang out and both feeling loads of longing. You know, if you’re the only if you’re the only one who feels this way, then I would say back off from everything for a bit and give yourself some time to heal and get over it. But if you’re both into it, then you should do what you want. And if you want to see each other naked and then hang out, go to the movies, then fuck it. The world is miserable. We should find pleasure and take it wherever we can. Is my personal advice. Am I a bit mad? Sure. But am I having lots of fun? Definitely. So it’s really up to you. You have no judgment from me. If it all goes tits up, you will survive. The friendship might even take a bit of a hit. But then it will probably survive if there’s a strong connection there. We can find our way out of most messes as long as our intentions are pure. And as long as we are as careful and honest as possible. So good luck. So we’ve got another question that says, What do you think about the surge in society’s alpha males around their acknowledgment of their de-masculinity? Do you think it’s a generational change or something more sinister? I feel it’s more to do with the world making other pronouns acceptable to wear for all therefore being more seen, and alpha males simply realizing they are not a majority force as they once were. I find the changes very interesting to analyze. That is a massive question. I’m not even sure how I’m going to tackle it, but what I will say is I will acknowledge I think you’re right. I think that the rise of, you know, women and feminism and the calling out of what is toxic masculinity, which isn’t all masculinity, it’s just the form where, you know, I believe in toxic femininity as well, where we take extremes of stereotypes about genders and sexes. So I think the rise of the conversation about that, the growing intolerance towards behaviors that men used to engage in that were very harmful to other people. I’m sure the pronoun conversation and people shunning masculinity whatsoever or being associated with men is also quite threatening. I do think that has a lot to do with it. I do think there is a feeling of like, Oh shit, everything’s changing really fast, is changing really fast. It might have been long overdue, a change, but everything is overhauling at fucking speed. It’s giving everyone whiplash. Like most people, especially people from previous generations. And so I have a little bit of space and grace in my heart for those who are struggling to adapt a little bit, you know, because I know we’re going to get there. I know that people are like, this next generation is aware that the fucking gender stereotypes are so obscene and that’s why so many people are abandoning them. Because, you know, I don’t fucking relate to half the shit that I’m supposed to relate to as a woman. You know, I don’t consider myself necessarily non-binary. I don’t know even know what any of this is now. Gender is such a construct, but I’m happy to be called a woman, and I’m happy to sometimes dress like a woman. Sometimes a dress like a man’s must behave like a, I guess, a stereotype of a woman or a stereotype of a man. I just live I exist in quite a free and fun and fluid way and don’t care what anyone else thinks that I am, but I can definitely relate to just feeling so, like suffocated and boxed in when I was younger by these ideals. And I think especially a lot of boys and men feel that way like they’re not supposed to cry. Even though it’s such an important mechanism of de-stressing. They’re not supposed to be sensitive with each other or have affection with each other or have affection with us unless they’re shagging us. And so they can’t they don’t really encourage to have platonic friendships. Also, platonic friendships can be incredibly tricky when you’re young and hormonal. It can be confusing. So there’s a lot going on. But also I do feel like there can be a conversation to be had around the generalized normalized conversation of men are trash, which I fucking hate. I really don’t like the men are trash conversation. I’m sure I have engaged in the eye rolling of that culture in the past. I have definitely when someone’s been a dick to me online, called them an incel not helpful behavior from Jamjam. Not very cool of me. I don’t like it. I haven’t done it in years. And I do think that because we are very angry about the way the world has gone and the way that men have behaved, we are behaving in a way that that doesn’t feel like revenge because we couldn’t because the power structure is so fucked. But it does feel like we are engaging in like otherization and rudeness that we wouldn’t want to receive ourselves towards men. And I understand where it comes from because we’re pissed or exhausted and I am pissed and I’m exhausted. I’m so sick of the world being the way that it is right now, and I’m sick of the gender disparity that exists. But I also don’t think calling men trash or men idiots or making men constant punchlines for everything is helpful. I don’t think we need to deconstruct everything about men or whatever. I you know, I don’t even know if it’s masculine or feminine. I think it’s just alpha or beta, and I think anyone from any gender can be either. I’m an incredibly alpha woman. I don’t prescribe that to be masculine or feminine. Personally, I just consider it to be alpha or not alpha. But I think men feel a little bit like everything about them is being criticized and taken away things that they just hold naturally. You know, like being an alpha person. They feel like they’re being forced to be submissive because we are trashing them so openly and you’re not really supposed to. And but there’s a growing culture of trashing women that has come as a backlash to how long we have now been trashing men for the last seven years. And again, I’m not speaking for anyone. I’m not saying it’s okay. I’m just saying what is the best way to deal with the problem? Is it to ridicule, mock and shame someone? No. When men did that to us, did it make us feel closer to them? No. Made us fucking angry and it made us divide into our own side and create feminism so that we could combat it. So now what we’re seeing is that when we are rude or abusive or intolerant about them publicly and we mock and ridicule and shame them constantly, which I see all of the time, especially within feminist spaces, then they’re going to create their own movement of backlash against that. And I understand why everyone’s angry. I understand. Trust me, I understand. I’ve indulged in the impulse to do so. But I do think that part of the reason we are seeing a like a rising of alpha males is because men do feel under attack and it isn’t coming from nowhere. And we can’t mock and gaslight them and say that that’s not real because the reckoning is here for everything, for the crimes of men, the historical crimes of men that are going on to this very day. And I think that that’s something that we need to be a little bit more aware of how we’re handling it if we actually want the genders to come together, because the only way we’re going to get any shot at equality is if men open the door for us as much as we can kind of kick that door open. Ultimately, it’s going to mean them making space for us. We can’t just take that space. They are the reigning power of gender and we see that in various different ways in various different countries where men have all of the power and women have no power. So we do need them to take a step back and have empathy towards us and empathize with our needs and for them to humanize us. And in order to do that, we have to empathize a little bit with them and not dehumanize them. So I you know, I’m sure that I’m going to get in trouble for this because I’m going to be, you know, called some sort of pick me who’s simping or whatever. But it’s not I’ve been very vocal about feminism, very vocal about what men do wrong. But I’m also on the side of actual progress and actually fixing what’s broken. I actually want things to get better for women, and I don’t think that’s going to happen if we don’t include men in the conversation. You know, they they are feeling increasingly redundant and that’s because they are increasingly redundant as maybe foragers or people who we need to protect us in certain areas, although we do require some protection from men. I know I do. I do. I know that I wish more men would step in when women are being assaulted. They are traditionally much stronger than us, but they they do feel less needed. They’re not needed for seed anymore. We can just buy sperm on the Internet, you know, and procreate on our own. And we have vibrators and we have Postmates. But there’s no real value for like the friendship or the collaboration or the creative collaboration with men and the community of men and women. We are so angry that we’re we’re completely trying to cut them out. And that’s only going to make them feel more insecure and more redundant. And and they aren’t useless. They aren’t helpless. A lot of my favorite people in the world are men, and I collaborate with them. And I love I love to join forces them and some of my best friends. And they can be so funny and they can make me feel safer when I’m, you know, scared of being alone in the house. I live with three guys. One of them will stay back, you know, to spend the night in the house with me so that I’m not alone in case another man fucking breaks in. Like, there is tremendous value in men. And I feel as though we are going a little bit in the wrong and most extreme direction. And I’m sorry if you hate me for this answer, but it’s just how I fucking feel. I want us to be happier and more in unison. I’ve got two more questions I can answer before I have to go. One of them’s a quick one, which is how to be confident when you’re tall and you wear heels proudly. I wonder what shorts people think when they stand next to all women on the heels. I love. I love being as tall as I possibly can. I love it. I love being absolutely massive. I don’t require for my partner to also be tall. I happen to be with a very tall person. But I’ve also been with short people. I just like being able to see everything. I don’t know if that’s a control thing. I used to hate being tall when I was younger because I was told it’s not feminine, it’s not now I don’t give a fuck. I like to be able to see what’s going on. I like going to a concert and being able to see the whole show. I like being able to reach stuff on my own and I really like being a meeting point for my friends since it’s really weird. But I You know, I’m happy that my friends can find me really easily and so it can be awkward. I do hit my head a lot more than other people do. Basement stairways are incredibly dangerous and probably ultimately the way I will die or I’ll just get chased by bees or something. But those are the two main ways I’m likely to die. And I’m I think being short would be lovely because you find trousers more easily and the world would be more built for you than it is for someone like me. Airplanes are my fucking nemesis, but I personally love being tall. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Especially because you’re a woman. It’s a fucking nonsense thing that we’re not supposed to take up space. Enjoy taking up space however much you do or don’t enjoy the body that you’re in, there’s nothing you fucking do about it anyway. And you might as well make the most of it and look for the benefits. And there are many benefits to being incredibly tall. I’m much taller than everyone I know, as you see in any pictures of me on a red carpet with the cast I look like. A sort of dangling tree at the back. But I personally have found my peace to love it. And I hope you do, too. Last question. How do we get back to being able to engage in civil discourse again in society without all of this polarization? If we can’t talk about our disagreements? Doesn’t that only leave room for violence? I saw you posted about this one. So glad you did. And I wonder if you have a solution that doesn’t involve force. I’m losing faith in society’s ability to disagree without escalation. It’s a massive question. I’m going to try and do this as quickly as possible, and I’m going off the cuff here. So bear with. I believe and nonviolent communication is something that my boyfriend and I both learned about eight years ago when we were trying to figure out how to not be total bastards to each other, when we would argue because we’re both quite snippy, sarcastic, rude people and we learned about nonviolent communication. I think Marshall Rosenberg is the guy who created it, and it is about changing the way that you speak to people, to speak to them from a place of you make me feel rather than you’re doing this, you’re responsible for this. You’re an idiot. It takes out the accusation and the need for them to defend themselves, and it forces them to engage with you. Now, I feel like we could take that, not only put it into our, you know, work lives or our personal relationships, but also we could take this to discourse online and political discourse. There’s a lot of name calling, a lot of wanting to own the Republicans or own the liberals. There’s a lot of callous, emotional undermining of each other, a lot of mockery, a lot of school ground bullying. And I kind of referenced this earlier when I was talking about men, but it’s not helping. Everything’s literally rolling backwards. Look at how many fuckin anti LGBTQIA plus laws are coming that we’re in life. We’re almost at 500 just this year alone. We’re losing abortion rights in the United States and many other countries around the world. Look at what’s happening in Afghanistan. We are not winning any of these wars. And that’s not to blame us. But it’s just to say that I feel as though the way in which all of us engage in discourse has got to change. As I mentioned earlier, social media prioritizes the people who are the most inflammatory, and that is kind of conditioning our brains to just start to speak like that even to the people that we love most in the world. It’s really fucking bad for us. It’s really bad for society, it’s really bad for community. You know who it’s good for? The people who make money from exploiting all of us, regardless of our ideology. In the same way, while we are busy not noticing them because we’re all pointing and screaming at each other, we’re demeaning each other rather than looking at investigating and holding them to account. We all have so much more in common than we have apart. We are all struggling with climate change in different ways. We are all struggling with health care. We are all struggling with the crisis and the breakdown of society from gun violence. This is something that affects everyone. It doesn’t matter what you believe, it doesn’t matter what your family believes. It is going to find you wherever you are. We all live in the same society. We all have 90% in common. There is 10% of shit that we think differently about because we have different. We come from different backgrounds, we have different beliefs, there are different religions. And that’s not to say that that’s okay, but it is important to ask yourself, how do you learn? How do you learn best? Do you learn best by being screamed at and shamed and ostracized? Highly unlikely. You’re more likely to learn your best. And you know, we cover this in more detail in other areas of the podcast. And so, you know, if you want to listen to my upcoming episode of Maya Shankar, I highly recommend she and I get into this in a big way. But just for now, we have to engage and empathetic and kinder conversation. We have to have hope. We don’t have hope anymore. And if we don’t have hope that people can change, if we don’t believe people can change then what is the point of activism? What is the point in fighting for anything if we don’t really believe people can change? I bet all of you have changed in some way. Or you look back ten years ago, a belief or a thought or a behavior you had in. You’re like, Oh my God, thank God. Nobody knows about that. That’s so embarrassing. We’ve all been there. Nobody is perfect. None of us have the same background. None of us have the same story. None of us have the same trauma. None of us are even seeing the same shit online because the algorithms take us to completely different versions of the truth. If you look at one thing about one subject, it’ll take you two more videos of that same bias. And so then you’re seeing a completely different version of the world to someone else. And because we didn’t realize that we’re all seeing different versions of the truth, we thought we’re all seeing the same thing and that the other one is just stupid for not understanding the same thing. We are looking down on each other all the time, left, right, whatever the political party, it is a nightmare. We need to realize we are being manipulated online. We are being deliberately torn apart by the powers that be who are exploiting all of us in the same way, and that we are gaining nothing by tearing each other down. We need each other, we need people, and we can change people’s minds. But it’s not going to be through bullying them or ostracizing them or destroying their lives. It’s going to be from reaching out to their empathy. It’s something that I’m all about now. And so for those people who initially started following me because I had a pitchfork in my hand, I. I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m now moving from a place of love and moving from a place of wanting to actually make change in people and wanting to help others in the way that I need to be helped. I was shown a lot of grace. I would like to show that grace to other people. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. And I believe in human change. And if you don’t, then why are you even fighting for? So that’s how I think. I think we can change. I think we will change. I think everything is about to get so bad that we’re going to have no choice but to start engaging with each other like human beings. I just would love if we don’t all get completely fucked before that happens. I would love for us to work quicker towards finding a more tolerant way to discuss our differences. Disagreement is the foundation of democracy, and it’s really important to remember that we have to allow each other to be able to disagree. And I think we can. And I think it takes people like me with big platforms walking that walk. And so I’ll try. Thank you for all of your amazing questions today. You’ve been incredible. I wish I could have answered more. I will do more of these episodes hopefully you didn’t hate it. Hopefully you liked it. Hopefully I didn’t piss you off. But if I did. Oh, well, it is what it is. I’m still figuring things out. I’m still learning. I’m not omniscient, you know? I don’t profess to have all of the perfect answers. These are just my answers now. And if you’re following me, you probably know that I’m a person in progress, and it’s likely that so are you. And so let’s just keep going together and tell me your honest thoughts if you want to. In my DMS that would open lots of love and have a good week. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I Weigh with Jameela. Jamil is produced and researched by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnegan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson, And the beautiful music you’re hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate review and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. We also have a bonus series exclusively on Stitcher Premium called Ask Jameela Anything. Check it out. You can get a free month of Stitcher Premium by going to Stitcher dot com forward slash premium and using the promo code I Weigh lastly over I Weigh we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 18186605543 or email us what you weigh at I Weigh podcast at gmail.com. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our fabulous listeners.
Listener I weigh. Hi. My name is Aidan, and I went from laying indoors every single day and having no motivation to do anything to getting up, making new friends and getting out there and just enjoying life as it is. So yeah, that’s my accomplishment. Anyways, I love the podcast. Please keep them up. I can listen to them all the time. Anyway. Thank you, see ya.
February 20, 2024
Guest Cindy Gallop
We’re revisiting this incredible episode with MakeLoveNotP*rn’s Cindy Gallop, as Jameela shares an exciting announcement.