January 15, 2024
Jameela tackles your queries in this episode for the first “Ask Jameela Anything” of 2024! Discover the potential farewell to the “girl boss” era, setting healthy boundaries with our bodies and family, and tips for self-care when dealing with hidden conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). Plus, uncover Jameela’s surprise celebrity buddy. Tune in for insights, some villain-y acting stories and more!
Further I Weigh listening:
Episode 2 – The Problem of Loneliness with Vivek Murthy
Episode 32 – Caitlin Moran
You can find transcripts from the show on the Earwolf website
I Weigh has amazing merch – check it out at podswag.com
Send what you ‘weigh’ to firstname.lastname@example.org
197 — Ask Jameela Anything 4
Jameela Hello and welcome to a solo edition of Ask Me Anything of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil, podcast against shame. I hope you’re well. I am all right. I’m traveling at the moment, so that’s why I don’t have a guest. But I’m going to do my best to answer your personal and wonderful questions today. Kicking off with a very lighthearted “How do you think culture has shifted post-Covid?” I think the way in which it’s improved is that we have developed more awareness because the world stopped moving so fast, and we had time to actually think about things properly and start to learn more about ourselves and the world. And I think a lot of us changed our value systems because we realized that we were just in this, I think a lot of us realized, anyway, that we’ve been in this rat race. And what if everything just ends tomorrow? What if we all just die from this terrible new virus? Have we lived our lives properly, or have we spent our entire lives at work waiting until we’re dead or retired to rest? And so loads of people left their big jobs and moved out to the countryside and started growing their own vegetables and living more holistically. Other people became more grateful and aware of their health, so I think that was good. However, I also feel as though Covid brought about hyper individualism because we were in lockdown, we were isolated from each other, we were on our own. We were spending far too much time online. Social media algorithms are designed to be divisive and to pull us apart and to stoke outrage. Outrage is what, you know, travels the fastest. It used to be sex that would sell, but now it’s outrage that really sells. And I think it created a monster within our society, a real beast. I think that we became the most tribal I have ever seen us in my lifetime. I’m sure there have been more tribal periods throughout history, but in the 30 something years that I’ve been alive, I have never seen people behave this way. It became very Us versus Them, whether it was the vaccine or whether it was the masks or any of these things. And then, you know, I guess the conversations around race and everything that followed, everything became Us versus Them. There was no more of us looking for what we had in common. There was no more of us looking to humanize each other or give us, give each other the benefit of the doubt. It was very much so, “Who is my enemy? Who is the threat?” And I can understand how that happened. But I think it has been to our detriment, and it has led to soaring figures of isolation, depression, loneliness, all of which were already bad before Covid started. In fact, I think the very first episode I recorded of this podcast, three and a half, almost four years ago, fuck, it was four years ago. It was like it was a week before the pandemic, 2020 and before we knew the pandemic was going to hit anyway. And it was with doctor Vivek Murthy, who back then was saying that loneliness is an epidemic, almost a pandemic of its own, and that it is one of the leading causes of death. And that was before we went into all those lockdowns and became so hyper normalized to not spending time with other people and pushing each other away, including loved ones and people that we’ve known for a really, really long time. And so I am someone who’s always been very firm about boundaries. I’m someone who encourages everyone to have boundaries and to not tolerate bad behavior. But I do think that we’ve taken that and run with it and become so dismissive in a way that I think a lot of us are feeling really afraid of. The most recent news, you know, of what’s going on in the Middle East I think it’s been another example of another extreme moment in time in which we’ve watched people be so quick to disregard one another. And again, I can understand why there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of testing of humanity on the table here, but we always forget that we’re spending too much time online. Online is designed to divide us, it is designed to make us feel as much fear and outrage as possible. These apps are designed by neuroscientists who know that the way to make the most money is to keep an app addictive, and one of the best ways to make sure an app is addictive is to engage someone’s brain. The fastest and most effective way to engage anyone’s brain is via fear because our brains are built to predict and protect. They are looking for danger all of the time in order to keep us safe, to prevent us from being in harm’s way, so we are so predisposed to looking for fear. And if we see something that might be scary, we find it very hard to look away from it. And so they know that. And they figured that out about us, especially during Covid. And now they are laying that on us and we’re all seeing different feeds. We’re all getting different algorithmic feeds. We’re all receiving different information about the same event, and then thinking that everyone’s having a different opinion about the same thing. I’ve said this before on this podcast, but I always think it’s important to keep reminding people because every week I see the online sphere become more and more brutal, and then I, when I’m walking around the street, all I’m hearing is different stories of people in distress, or people losing all of their friends or losing family members. And I just think we need to stop for a second and take a deep fucking breath and get offline as much as possible and remember to have face time with the people that we love and sit down human to human. Engage with them and look for the things that we have in common because I promise you, it is so much more than the things that we feel or think differently about. And you can open and change someone’s mind, but it’s not going to be if you do not humanize them and offer them any empathy whatsoever. I used to be someone who rose to prominence because I was so fucking cutthroat and die hard about people I disagreed with, and I hugely, hugely regret that now. And Covid was a big part of what changed my mind. When I actually saw it play out on such a large scale, I realized I was contributing to this divisive culture, and I took a massive step back and changed my ways. And I think you’ve hopefully noticed that on the podcast and online. I’ve made a big effort to not be a part of this because if this was making us happy, and if I thought that people seemed the most liberated and sparkly they’ve ever been, being as passionately intolerant as we are, if I thought that was going in our favor, then I wouldn’t say anything. Then I’d be like, “You know what? Maybe this is where society needs to go.” I have never seen people seem more afraid, miserable, or only in my life, and we can’t only medicate our way out of that. There has to be some sort of a societal shift. And so, yeah, I think in short, Covid had some positives, but I also think it has driven us to become a society, especially in places like the United Kingdom and the U.S. but I do think this is kind of worldwide now, I think it has somewhat fucked our humanity in a way that we can totally pull back from, and we must, but we have to be aware that it’s happening. We cannot just allow this to become hyper normalized. We are definitely not fully okay as a society. And I think if ever we’ve found that out, it’s in the last three years. And so that starts with each one of us individually deciding to make a change and not be part of the bullying dogpile culture of online. One that, as I said, I have, a carbon-esque footprint in. I’m well aware of my contribution to it back from 2018, and this is my way of atoning is to use every opportunity I have to speak out against that sort of rhetoric or way of trying to change people’s minds because it doesn’t fucking work. So that was a lighthearted question to start with.
The next question I have is, “What do you think is the most important issue we should be talking about?” Now that I mean, it’s almost impossible question because there are so many important things we need to be talking about all the time. What I would say is the most practical thing is communication. It kind of lends itself to what I was talking about earlier, with all the ways in which we’ve had a kind of breakdown of our society, learning how to communicate has been the most valuable change I have undergone in my life. Learning how to speak with more empathy, more understanding, and less violent communication. And when I say violent communication, I don’t just mean effing and blinding, I mean learning how to speak to someone, even if I violently disagree with their stance on everything. Learning to speak to them with a kind of language that does not put their defense up because once I put their defense up, they can’t hear me anymore. They are no longer ingesting information. And all I ended up doing when I spoke to people in a judgmental and aggressive and impatient way, is make them not want to engage with me whatsoever because why would they? Have I ever learned from being shouted at or judged or shamed? No. And so then I ended up just in a kind of echo chamber of people who already agree with me. That moves exactly zero needles. It just makes all of us who already agree you feel a bit better about ourselves, but it doesn’t change the world, and we’re seeing that we’re losing more and more rights this way. So learning how to communicate and not seeing it as a weakness, to express the same tolerance that you wish to see another person offer you, right? The way you wish to be treated is kind of how you have to treat other people. We cannot continue this kind of, again, hyper normalized culture of just slamming each other and owning each other and humiliating one another and proving who is the most superior, or who is the most intellectual, or who is the most factually correct. We need to learn how to speak with a bit of grace. We need to give people a bit of time to get there when, you know, maybe you’re, I don’t know, 90 year old grandmother who’s a little bit behind on an issue. You shouldn’t look at someone’s opinion, which is transient, as their entire identity. And identity and opinion are two very separate things, and we need to remember that because they’ve become completely intertwined, nowadays. And that just doesn’t help anyone, so I do think that it’s really important for us to remember that opinions can change like that. Just from, seeing one, one fucking Instagram post can change someone’s opinion on something. We’ve seen that in the last few years, so just give someone time to get there. Offer them, as I said, the grace and tolerance that you yourself need because you’re not perfect. I’m sure as shit not perfect. We all have our areas of ignorance, and we all need just a bit of patience from other people to get there. Not everyone is a bad person. A lot of people are just informed differently to you or poorly informed, misinformed, a victim of propaganda. We need to recognize the system that we’re in and how difficult and confusing it is to find the right path. And we need to just help each other along because we’re all people. We were all fucking babies once. We were all innocent and unjudgemental, and we weren’t, we didn’t have any racism in us. We didn’t have any fatphobia in us, any ableism. We looked at everyone as the same, and with love. Those people are still in all of us. We just have to kind of peel back the layers of misinformation within each other to get there, and that’s all going to be about how we communicate. I highly recommend Marshall Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication.” I’ve spoken about it about 8000 times on this podcast, but maybe today is the day with it being a new year and all that, you could go and investigate it. Okay, next up, someone’s asked, “How do you feel about the girlboss era?” I want it to end for me personally. I think the girlboss era is great, and I am so happy to see so many women, especially empowered and following their dreams and following their own vision, rather than always catering someone else’s. I think it’s amazing, but the element of the girlboss era that became just work and work and work and don’t stop until you drop, is something that no longer appeals to me. I, you know, I think when I was talking about all the people during Covid who became, you know, I guess, demotivated to work to death, I did include myself in that. I have changed my philosophy dramatically on life, where I realized that just because you can, it doesn’t always mean you should. Just because I had opportunities to keep going and keep going and keep going. And I felt so lucky to have those opportunities, and I am so lucky to have those opportunities. It doesn’t always mean it’s a good, it’s good for me or for my social life or my romantic life or my health to just nonstop rat race it until I end up in hospital which did actually happen, which is why I changed my mind. I have massively changed my philosophy on what I wish to achieve, and I’d like to live a life of meaning and purpose. I hope I get to do podcasts like this for a really long time. I love engaging with all of you, and I love doing bits and bobs of comedy here and there, things that make people feel happy or make people feel more aware in life, but I no longer wish to define my success via the metrics of our current society. I really, really just want to spend more time with my friends. They’re all getting married and having babies, and I want to be there for them in their moments of life. And I want to spend more time with my brother and my boyfriend and my flatmates and my dogs. And I know that makes me sound basic. And some people will look at me as disempowered, perhaps, but I have never felt more personally powerful or happy or sane, since I’ve taken a step back. And it means maybe I’ll be able to afford less stuff, but fuck it. Like you just don’t get how much fucking stuff? How much new stuff can we ever need? I think all within reason, it’s important to chase your dreams if you have them, but my dreams, I guess, are kind of shifting back a bit towards getting away from the loneliness of success. Successes can be amazing, but it can be incredibly lonely, and no one ever talks about that because if they did, we’d stop striving for it and we’d stop buying stuff, so I think just finding moderation. I want you to never feel like I’m not encouraging you to make sacrifices and have the discipline that it takes to see what’s on the other side of your dreams. I just also want you to be prepared for the fact that it’s a rough fucking ride, and it can be incredibly lonely. And the healthiest way to do it in a sustainable way for the long term is to make sure you don’t let go of the things and the people that you love along the way. Kumbaya. Okay, so next question. Someone said, “You seem so close to your friends. I’m going through a friend breakup and I’m wondering if you have any advice. I feel so shit right now.” Friend breakups are the absolute worst. There is no, there’s just no template for them. We have so much literature about divorcing after 25 years when you have five children together, of romantic breakups, so many songs, so much literature about the loss of love and so little about the loss of friendship because there’s no, like you can understand maybe when a relationship breaks down that monogamy is very difficult and someone wants to now be with someone else, either sexually or romantically, even if it’s so fucking painful. There is some sort of logic to that, but someone doesn’t have to choose to have a finite amount of friends. So when someone chooses not to be friends with you anymore, it is very specific and a very personal rejection. However, I have grown to look at it as a blessing that if I have lost friends, I’m very lucky that in the last decade I haven’t lost many friends, but in the rare instance in which I have, I’ve realized that’s sort of the universe protecting me from something that just wasn’t right for me. We have such a fucked up view of rejection because we’re never taught from a young age how to handle it, that it’s not the end of the world. It just means something isn’t for you. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It just means that you’re not a fit. And that’s not a reflection of your worth in any way, and because we don’t teach people about that. We see problems in romantic relationships. We see issues with consent. Men, especially, are not taught about rejection and that it’s okay to be rejected. You don’t have to be defensive about it. We also aren’t taught how to reject people kindly. There is a shame in rejection that some people, you know, lean into when they reject someone, and so as I have grown older and reestablished my relationship with rejection and learned to recognize it, if I didn’t get that job, or if that person didn’t want to hang out with me, or if that person didn’t want to be my date, that that’s okay. It’s just we’re not a fit. It’s, you know, maybe our pheromones are off, maybe the chemistry is off, maybe that spark has gone. And when I’ve wanted to end a friendship, with someone, it’s not because, well, it’s almost never been because they’re a terrible person. It’s just that I’ve changed. We’ve both evolved in different directions, and it’s not that big a deal. And it just means that we’re kind of wasting each other’s time now because that person deserves to be with someone who cannot wait to spend time with them. I feel the same way romantically when I’ve, you know, when I’ve left someone, it’s been because I know that there’s someone else out there who could give that person the attention and the adulation and adoration that they deserve, and I’m just not that person anymore so now I’m standing in the way of them and that experience. It’s really, really hard to lose a friend, but it is also a sign. It’s it’s a I guess it’s a signal to maybe reflect on what happened. What was your part in the ending of the friendship? Was there a part of it? How have you changed? What do you want in a friendship? Were you even getting that from this friendship? Don’t you deserve a really happy and equal friendship? And if someone can’t see your value and can’t see your worth, then that wasn’t really a friend anymore. They may have been at some point in some other iteration of themselves, but we change so dramatically year to year. I’m already a completely different person to who I was at the beginning of 2023. Like, we’re evolving so fast and there’s so much information that we’re being bombarded with, which is making us evolve faster than ever. And so people change and maybe you just don’t fit anymore, and that’s okay. And now this is a time to figure out, are you even the same person you were when you first became friends with that person? Have you changed? Do you have new interests? Do you need to be going to different places to find your tribe, to find new people? Once the sadness and the grief kind of wears off, it’s an amazing opportunity to kind of rediscover yourself and rediscover what you want and you need because there’s so many fucking people out there, and so many of them are so much more wonderful than you ever would have known if you’d just been hanging out with the same old people who didn’t really value you the way that you deserve to be valued. That’s my opinion, but I am really sorry that you’ve lost your friend, and it is a very discombobulating feeling because it kind of feels like losing family sometimes, especially if someone’s been around for a long time. Allow yourself to grieve, do a bit of self investigation, and then move on and find someone who’s actually worthy of you. That’s my advice. Okay, so next up, someone has asked, “Any advice for boys struggling with eating disorders?” I’m really glad that you asked this question. I find it so sad that we don’t talk about this more because boys and men make up such a huge percentage of the eating disorder community. And again, I want to remind you, it’s a very serious condition. Anorexia is the highest cause of death in any mental health disorder. It’s up there with opioid addiction deaths. And it’s something that we can’t dismiss, and we tend to dismiss, in both in people of color, and especially boys and men because there is a more restrictive standard on the body mass that women are supposed to have. I guess we take it more seriously in women, but it’s growing in men because of the rise of, you know, Instagram and filters and gym culture, taking like gymtok whatever on TikTok. There’s so much pressure, and men are being sold to have a very different type of unrealistic body ideal, and they’re being sold really fucking dangerous products in order to achieve the unachievable. You know, I’ve talked a lot in my career about the stuff that we give to women, like laxatives and appetite suppressants and, you know, things that cause gastroparesis, which is a sort of paralysis of your digestive systems that you don’t want to poo for ages, and then that means you’re not hungry. And it’s just a very, very unsexy way of trying to think you’re going to look sexy. It’s pretty stressful and it’s really dangerous and bad for people’s health. I could not have spoken about that more in the last few years, but during my work for that, we also learned that in muscle gain products, which are marketed at young boys and young men in particular, they had found traces of Viagra and heavy metals, toxic heavy metals in the shakes, in the protein powders. And those things can be hugely detrimental to someone’s health. Having that many toxic heavy metals in your blood is so bad for your immune system. You can develop auto immune issues. And then we’re now seeing erectile dysfunction issues in boys who are consuming Viagra, whether it’s, you know, because via taking the pills or via taking all these products, it’s just everywhere. It’s so bad for their physical and hormonal health, and this is being encouraged on the daily. They don’t know, there’s no regulation of the kind of wellness industry, so a lot of these kids who are looking at these ridiculous Marvel bodies online, they’re going and taking this shit, buying it off the internet, buying it off their shelves, and no one’s there to advise them. It’s so dangerous, and I think within the gay community in particular, gay men struggle immensely with, I’d say they have almost as restrictive body ideals as straight women do in the kind of heteronormative world. It’s fucking diabolical, and a lot of my gay friends struggle immensely with body image. And if we don’t create more space for them, then they’re going to continue to suffer alone, which men already have to do. So much of their pain they have to just suck up and swallow down and try to deal with in an alternative ways, which can often end up being harmful, either to themselves or to other people. We have to create more spaces, in my opinion, for men. I try to do that on this podcast. I could do more and I will do more because I very much so want and need their perspective in these areas and so destigmatizing it. If you are the person who is struggling with the eating disorder, I urge you to go and get help. You are not alone. There are so many more men getting treatment for this that you realize, but they’re not talking about it publicly. Please go and seek out the help of some sort of a therapist. I overcame this after 20 years of the most severe anorexia. I believe you will be able to overcome yours. If you are struggling with body dysmorphia, please don’t do it quietly. Talk to a friend. Talk to a sensitive friend. Maybe talk to a female friend if you feel like she might be someone who could easier understand what you’re going through because she might have the, she might have the shared perspective. If you feel nervous to talk to a boy at first, but you’ll be amazed once you do start talking to men how many of them also feel insecure. Just know that you’re not alone. You do need to talk to someone and get some help, and you will find your way out of this. I really believe that, and thank you for writing in because I know it’s difficult and vulnerable and feels like an unsafe space. But you’re safe here. Someone’s asked me about full eating disorder recovery, and do I think that people actually get better, or do they just learn to manage it better? We had Caitlin Moran on this podcast, and it’s the most amazing episode where she was talking about her daughter’s experience of anorexia and what it was like being the mother of a child with anorexia and all the things that you get right and you get wrong, and it’s like all of her learning curve. I cannot recommend her or that book or that episode of this podcast. She’s been on twice, once talking about men and once talking about eating disorders. It’s her earlier episode that I think was in 2021 or 2022, and it’s really excellent. And in that she explains to me that the statistics are that roughly about a third of people with or like 33% of people with anorexia do actually make a full recovery, like a full recovery. No more issues, no more body dysmorphia. I believe I have finally, with your help, crossed over into that 33%, and thank you. And I couldn’t have done that without the continuous support of this community and all the messages that we’ve shared of affirmation. And I never thought I was going to be able to get out. I never thought it felt like an addiction. It felt like even when I was no longer starving myself, I still had all the same evil, toxic thoughts that were just consuming my brain. I still couldn’t look at a meal without just seeing numbers of calories and fat and grams, etc. and now I can. Now food is just fuel and food can be pleasure, but it’s not the only main pleasure in my life. I don’t think about it when I’m not eating it anymore. I’ve developed finally a stable non binge purge relationship with food, but apparently a third of people make that full recovery. A third of people just learn how to live with it and manage it, and try to stop starving themselves and just try and keep themselves alive. And then the other third don’t recover and they don’t get better. And a lot of them don’t make it very long or have severe health problems like osteoporosis, and it has a full grip on them. That is such a high statistic given how prevalent eating disorders are. I was stunned to find out that only 30% of people ever get better, which is why it’s so important, which is why I do the work that I do to try to be as preventative as possible because I’m so fucking scared that any of you might end up the way that I did for the vast majority of my life, or like the 60% of people who never get rid of this. Preventative care is the most effective with anything, and if you are someone who’s worried that your child has just joined social media and is starting to show, you know, even even God as young as 4, as young as 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 kids are now developing body insecurity. It is absolutely out of control, so if you are noticing that, I beg of you to get your child to some sort of psychologist and get and question your own behavior and question what content they are watching and question the things that you or your family members or friends say about their bodies in front of the child. Do everything you can to protect someone you can see slipping into this from the vice-like grip of an eating disorder because it’s a fucking nightmare once it gets hold of you. It’s not impossible to recover from, but it’s really hard. It took me about 20 something years, and I’m very privileged and I have access to a lot of care and help, and then also just this massive, amazing community of people who care about the stuff that us in the I Weigh community care about, so I do beg of you to take it seriously. If you yourself are like, oh, it’s January, I’m going to go on a quick fix diet, you know, to see some quick results. Be really careful. A) They don’t work. The weight almost always comes back. I think something like 95% of quick fix diets fail in the long run. And what they do is create a ripe kind of environment for a slippery slope into disordered eating. It might not be a full eating disorder, but it becomes obsessive. And because the results are so quick, our brains kind of become obsessed with them, and then the snap back from that can be traumatic because you were so excited about and got so many compliments about the quick fix results because our society so fucking obsessed with fast weight loss, in a way that is so impractical. It can all just be a lot, and it can be very consuming and it can really take over your life. And that’s very hard to get out of, so if you are thinking about making some changes to either make your body bigger or smaller, I urge you to do it as slowly, carefully, sustainably as possible. Don’t look at these fucking body transformation videos where they snap in a second from one to the other. I think those videos can be incredibly dangerous. I think fast weight loss is incredibly fucking dangerous. I beg of you not to get into it. It just creates a cycle of hell. One that I was in myself for so many years. And so just just be mindful, try to be preventative and nip it in the bud as fast you can. Try to access any, any kind of mental health support possible because you must take it seriously. This is not a vanity thing. It’s a proper mental health condition, and that is just how I feel about it. And so I know people can get better. It’s just fucking hard. And I’m here for you and with you, with the resources whenever you need them. Someone’s asked me, “What do I think will happen in the 2024 election?” Fucking hell. It’s very serious questions this week. I have, I have no uplifting answers because I’m absolute terrified. I think that Trump is going to win and that the world is going to end is my honest opinion if we don’t do something now. We have got time. We have got nine months to turn this shit around. But it kind of goes back to what I said at the beginning of this podcast about the way that we communicate and the way that we, you know, shut each other down and cut each other off. We cannot do that anymore. We have to find ways to pull each other back in, even the people we disagree with and help them help us. Help them empathize with us so that they don’t lead this country in America, and the same thing for the UK. We have to really, really change our ways and learn how to call each other in rather than always just out. We need to learn how to organize better. We need to stop nitpicking amongst our own, and we need to get our shit together fast so that that doesn’t happen because I think that that could be very bad for the world at large. And so there is hope. I’m glad I’m saying this now and not in November of this year, but I do really want you to think about that and know that that is a reality and not rest on your laurels. Democrats in particular have a really bad habit of doing that. And, weirdly, we only seem to be, we’re optimistic about nothing other than elections where we’re completely pessimistic about each other and ourselves, but somehow we always think we’ll pull through and the world will be sensible. The world is not always sensible, and I don’t mean that in a politically binary way. I’m sorry if it came across that way. I’m just saying that I don’t think that that is the best way forward for the United States or the United Kingdom or the world. I don’t think we have responsible people in charge, and so I do want to remind you that you have all the power. You are everything. You have the right to vote. You have the information accessible to you. I know you’re exhausted. I know you’re fatigued. I know you hate all of the candidates, but I beg of you to be strategic, not just think about the top people, the people at the very top, think about all the people who are kind of, you know, in the other branches of politics. Vote for those people. Inform other people about those people. Join the campaigns, join the canvasing, do whatever you can because you have all the power. You are everything. You are the country. We don’t have shit without you. They don’t have shit without you. No politician or celebrity or company has any power without your support. And so I urge you to take this moment and feel galvanized. Find your energy somewhere, wherever you can, for this fucking horseshit, and get back in the race if you can. Please, please stay with us. Stay engaged. Stay active. Because otherwise, I think, I think there’s going to be a fucking mess. It’s going to be a fucking disaster. But I believe in you, and I believe in us. And I believe that we can make this world a better place, but we’re actually going to have to really work towards that, but yeah, sorry about that answer. I love you and I’m sorry. Do you have any random celebrity friends that we don’t know about? James and I tend to mostly hang out with all my mates from when I met, when I was like, both of our mates that we met when we were about 19 or 20. Most of our friends aren’t in the sort of Hollywood part of this industry. Some of them are musicians, but most of the people we hang out with aren’t super duper famous. And I would feel like a massive wanker talking about any of the people that we have hung out with. But one that I think is quite funny that you might find amusing. And his wife already posted it on Instagram, so I don’t feel too bad saying it, but Larry David is is a very close friend of mine who I love very much, and his wife is, his wife Ashley is absolutely amazing, and I had the pleasure of true Tahani style, marrying them. I officiated their wedding a few years ago, so that’s just the most unexpected, I guess, friend that maybe I would have, but, I love them both so much. I will say no more. But, to answer that question, just to give you that visual because it’s been a really depressing episode up until now, and that can just be something amusing and strange that you think about for the rest of the day. But yeah, I, I married Larry David and his stunning and wonderful and amazing wife, Ashley. Which was just a lovely day. Anyway, moving on. I’m never talking about that again.
Moving on, someone said, “If you could play your dream character, who would it be? A real person or fictional?” I think I would always want to play a fictional character. I don’t think I have the talent to play anyone who’s already alive. It’s too scary to have to try and live up to that. I’ve seen very few people do it well, and I’m, I just, it would be absolutely petrifying, especially if that person was still alive while I’m playing them. But I think a bond villain, not a bond girl, a bond villain in particular is like my dream role. I love playing villains, and I love playing completely obscene and ridiculous people. I also think it’s really interesting what trauma does to people. I also think it’s fun to be funny as the bad guy. I’ve tried to play the bad guy in everything. I often get offered good guy roles because I guess I try to fight for good things in real life, but I personally find, being bad much more fun, and so that’s why I’ve chosen all the roles that I’ve chosen. And long may I continue to get to play a massive prick on screen for the rest of my life. But a bond villain is my dream role. I would, I’d pinch myself to death, I think, if that ever happened for me. Someone said, “If you could ever make another career change, what would it be?” There are a few I like. I’m really interested in psychotherapy. I feel like I’d love to be an EMDR therapist because it’s such an amazing, it’s eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy. It’s an incredibly speedy way to help with post-traumatic stress disorder or addictions or eating disorders, and I like anything fast because I’m lazy. I love a hack, and it feels like an amazing brain hack. Ir’s very difficult. Well, it’s not that difficult, but t’s quite difficult. It’s definitely emotionally very intense at first, but it saved my life so fast. And I love the idea of not having to work very hard at something. And I feel as though, for me personally, the least work I ever had to do was while I did the EMDR, I just sort of, like, extracted the trauma from my brain scientifically, which felt fucking incredible and sped up my recovery, tenfold. So I think I’d love to do that, but I would also love to work in catering because I fucking live for snacks. And I love to give other people snacks. Not in a feeder sort of way, just in a just it brings me great joy because it’s my love language is receiving food, and so I love to give food back. And I think catering on sets or in offices, just being the snack provider. And then creepily, from some sort of corner, watching the people consume the snacks that I’ve put together. That, I would happily do that for the rest of my life. I love anything that feels methodical. I love making sandwiches. When I worked at a video shop, I fucking loved stacking and taking stock and lining up the Haribo and keeping everything precise. I was obsessed with that shit, so I think, I mean, if I could work in a video shop again, I’d do that in a heartbeat, but Netflix and fucking streamers ruined the world and took video shops away from us. And it is the great tragedy of my generation. But, those are some things that I would like to do. I, you know, I guess some people might think I’m basic, but I think I’m just a woman who knows what she likes. I like things that are quick and organized, and that involve making people’s lives just a little bit better or more convenient. Okay, so before I go, I did say that I would be happy to answer any questions about my experience with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. That’s the collagen disorder you may or may not know that I have. It affects every cell in my body. It also means that I fall over a lot. I have EDS three. That’s the third variation of it, which means it’s not lethal, but it is a fucking pain in the ass all of the time. And it affects my joints and my heart and my skin and how I bleed and how I feel every day and brain fog and my digestive system. And it is a constant battle from hell that makes me frequently have to fight the urge to deeply resent my body, but I don’t. I understand that my body is doing its best. I can never give medical advice on this podcast, so I’m just saying now, celebrities are stupid. Never listen to us about anything, especially important things like science or business or facts. Unless that’s the thing that they are famous for. Don’t listen to any of us. We are out of touch stupid assholes. But what I can do is just tell you from my own experience things that have helped me. And then I want you to talk to an actual expert who finished school as to whether or not that would work for you. So, some people and I only talk about it because it’s just so underrepresented so few people talk about it, and yet so many people have it, and it still seems to be this weird mystery, even in the medical community, even though more and more people are getting diagnosed every single day. And by the way, thanks for messaging me. Everyone who, whenever you get the diagnosis, I’m always so sorry to hear that you have it because it is such a nightmare, but I really appreciate how loving and sweet you are and I’m very happy to have helped people get that diagnosis because once you understand you have a Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, it explains everything that has ever happened in your entire life to your body. It finally contextualizes things. There’s something really awful about feeling gaslit by yourself, by your body, by your doctors, about what’s happening to you because the thing about EDS, which is so interesting, is that it causes so many different health problems all at the same time, all of which kind of seem unrelated to the point where people often think it’s not possible for someone to have that many problems. They must be making it up. They must have Munchausen, which is a mental illness that makes them, you know, or they must be faking it. They must want attention. That’s something that’s frequently leveled at people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome because often people with EDS-three look like the picture of health, even though we’re fucking falling apart inside. A lot of you messaged me asking me how you cope with that. I honestly don’t have much advice because it’s still the hardest thing that I have to deal with. People still don’t believe me about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, even though I was diagnosed at nine years old. I’ve had this diagnosis for 28 years almost. And from the best of the professors of this condition in the world diagnosed me, and yet still people cast out, which is insane. It is incredibly painful, and it is a sign that you need to distance yourself from any friend, colleague or doctor who doesn’t believe you. If you have got Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or you think you may have it, please go and get that diagnosis and seek out someone who really, really believes you because it’s already a rough enough ride without the hell of then trying to advocate for yourself and trying to prove something to other people. So it’s hard enough to get to bed in the morning. You don’t need this shit, so I would say develop a very low tolerance for people who gaslight you about your own health and your own body because that stress can almost be as bad or worse than the actual illness itself. Someone asked me what I find helps me the most with regards to EDS related pain and fatigue. And the main answer I have is really uninspiring, but obviously it’s painkillers. It’s heat. Heat really helps me. Cold absolutely fucks me. It might be different for you, but I have to be warm all the time. I have about four hot water bottles on the go. Most of the time I like to lie with my legs up in the air as often as I can because I get really bad swelling in my legs and time and rest, and not pushing yourself too far. Don’t wear those uncomfortable shoes, even if they look really cool. Don’t go out all night. Don’t stay up until 3 a.m.. Get your sleep. Your sleep is more important than other people’s sleep. Your rest is more important than other people’s rest. It’s the difference between a good week and a hellish week. And just really, really, really think about what you’re eating and like is it inflammatory? Learn about inflammatory foods. I know that sounds so fucking boring and tedious, especially if you’re someone who’s ever struggled with food obsession or food restriction, but there are certain foods that are delicious that are not inflammatory. And everyone’s different, and so pay attention to your own specific inflammation needs, but that changes everything. I used to have the fucking worst diet. When I was in recovery for anorexia, at first I decided to go the other way and just eat absolutely everything to break out of my terror of food. And when doing that, I chose foods that I was very intolerant to like an asshole, and then ended up with severe joint problems, so don’t do that. Learn moderation. Really start to, understand what’s in your food. Try and stay away from stuff that’s been too processed or too salty or too sugary or that’s full of chemicals because those chemicals are less likely to react well with you than certain other people who are less vulnerable. And it’s just got to be a general, everyday holistic practice. It’s not something you can fix overnight. It’s just got to be a general, really fucking annoying way of living a kind of saint like life. Don’t do contact sports and highly, highly, highly don’t recommend reverse cowgirl. Which again, is just me personally, but I find it to be very stressful and problematic for me personally. Be very careful during sex. Be careful during sports. Be careful crossing the street. Just be careful. But when it comes to the pain, heat, hot baths, and a lot of self-care and watch comedy. Comedy is my natural painkiller. That is the best advice for you. Look after yourself. I’m sorry you are struggling with this terrible, terrible fucking thing. And I think you’re a hero and a legend if you even, not even got out of bed today, maybe you didn’t. If you opened your fucking eyes today, you are my hero because I know that this is the trenches. Okay, last question is from someone who said, and I think this is a really important one, so I’m ending on it because we’ve all just gone through family time at Christmas, and some people had Thanksgiving and many sort of religious occasions that brought families together. And it’s also fucking January, so everyone’s obsessed with fucking weight loss. So someone’s written in saying, “I need advice on how to deal with family members feeling like it’s okay to touch my stomach or bum when telling me I look good from the way I’ve lost. I’m only actively losing weight because I have a hernia and I’m still trying to avoid surgery, but it still makes me uncomfortable when people discuss my weight loss.” Fucking right it does. So what I would say is, don’t bark at anyone, but just explain to people that it’s no different. Grabbing your stomach or grabbing your ass is no different from if you had a tit job to make your tits bigger or smaller, than grabbing your boobs. It’s still a part of your personal body. It’s still a part of you. That’s your private space that shouldn’t be invaded by anyone. So definitely, definitely no grabbing. Explain to people, “I’m really sorry. It makes me as uncomfortable as if you touched my breast. It’s not just sexual organs that feel strange to have grabbed without my consent, but it just, I’d really rather that you don’t ever do that again because it makes me feel super uncomfortable around you.” And so be firm, but be kind because a lot of these people think that they’re, you know, doing a nice thing and offering you a compliment because that’s maybe a value system they have personally. They want someone to maybe grab their tummy and be like, look how little that is. And then they’re projecting that onto you. You don’t like it? Advocate for yourself. Just try to do it gently at first. If someone crosses that boundary again, have at it. Eat them alive. Rip their head off as far as I’m concerned. But try to do it kindly at first. And then when it comes to even just having your weight discussed, just say no. Just say, “Please don’t.” I always do that. I’m like, “Please don’t tell me if you think I’ve lost weight or gained weight. I just don’t want to, I don’t want to think about it. I wasn’t thinking about it. Now you’ve made me think about it.” And now you know, especially when someone compliments you on weight loss, then there’s like a kind of timer that starts in your brain or something that goes, “Well, fuck. Now I can’t gain any weight otherwise they’re clearly noticing cause they’re clearly monitoring my weight. And now if I gain weight, they’re going to think that’s a bad thing and feel sorry for me or disappointed in me.” It’s just it’s a shame that we are all self-conscious, but it’s because we’re all traumatized by a terrible, terrible society around this subject. So it’s just always better to not say anything. Just be like, “You look amazing or I love your outfit, your hair looks great like that.” Just stay away from talking about people’s bodies. If you’re worried about someone, then maybe that’s a time if you’re very, very close to be like, “Hey, are you okay? I noticeD that this has gone on.” But even then, like really, really be careful. Be so so so so so so careful because you have no idea what you are triggering in someone when you make a statement like that, even if you think you’re giving them a compliment, sometimes you are starving, You are like beginning a sort of pressure trigger for them. So at this time of year where people’s bodies do start to change and people start to become more restrictive, just even if it’s just for a while, and there’s a lot of drastic shit out there to help people do great fast results for different bodies. Just be mindful and remember that also when you say those things to other people, your body also hears that. Your brain also hears that you kind of accidentally poison yourself. When you say something like that, you start a kind of pressure in yourself. So generally, it’s just great to try and remove that shit from your vocabulary If you can. Have grace for yourself if you make a mistake. I know it’s coming from the right place most of the time, but just be careful. And if you are the person receiving that, advocate for yourself. It is totally weird. It’s totally weird how normal people think it is and how free they feel to comment on or access each other’s bodies. We need to chill the fuck out. So that’s me for today. Hopefully I didn’t totally ruin your day. I adore you. Thank you for all these questions. It was really interesting to see how many of the questions were of quite a serious nature this time of year. I think everyone’s feeling very pensive, and I’m here for that. And I’m, our last AMA was totally ridiculous, so it’s nice to have some balance and I will see you again soon. But for now, just please look after yourselves. Try and be careful online as to what you’re looking at. Spend more real face time with the people that you care about and love, and just know that we will get through this shit show together. Take care.
Jameela Outro 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, Kimmie Gregory, and Amelia Chappelow. And the beautiful music that you are hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. And if you haven’t already, please rate, review, and subscribe to the show. It’s such a great way to show your support and helps me out massively. And lastly, at I Weigh we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. Please email us a voice recording sharing what you weigh at email@example.com.
February 20, 2024
Guest Cindy Gallop
We’re revisiting this incredible episode with MakeLoveNotP*rn’s Cindy Gallop, as Jameela shares an exciting announcement.