Jameela Jamil: ‘We Talk About Self Defence of Our Bodies, But What About Our Minds?’


Self-love can be a tricky thing to master. When society reinforces that you must look a certain way in order to love yourself, it makes it incredibly hard to do it. But, we must try. Someone who is on a continual journey of self-love and acceptance is Jameela Jamil. The activist, actor and podcaster practices this in her own life through boundaries, starting with the people she allows on her timeline and in her personal life.

“I think for me, it has been what I call a f*ck sh*t detox. It’s the only kind of safe detox that actually works — medically proven — where I cut out toxic people from my life and from my sight,” Jamil told POPSUGAR Australia. “Toxic people on my timeline, they’re gone. Toxic people in my family, they’re gone. I haven’t killed any of these people, but I have just set a very firm boundary around contact. Same thing with friends.”

The events of large year acted as a magnifying glass for many people, including Jamil. She used this time to get back to basics on who and what was important to her. Removing toxic people from her life was an act of self-love and one that she encourages other women to do.

“Last year, I spring cleaned my phone book and my timeline and it has massively freed up space in my brain,” Jamil said. “And I think that that’s a very important practice for women, women are supposed to just be likeable to everyone and we’re supposed to appease and placate everyone.”

While ending a friendship or removing a family member from your life can be a difficult task, it is an incredibly important step in creating boundaries and showing yourself respect.

“We don’t really have a template for breaking up with a friend or family member, or even really just distancing ourselves from people that we follow online,” Jamil said. “And we are allowed, we reserve the right to protect our headspace. And you know, we talk about self defense of our bodies, let’s talk about self defense of our mind. That’s what I did last year for self-care, was just just some good spring cleaning of my brain.”

Jamil’s passion for helping women become more empowered has culminated in her latest role with The Body Shop. A global report undertaken by The Body Shop identified a self-love crisis for women across the globe. In fact, the research found that one in two women feel more self-doubt than self-love — a scary but largely unsurprising statistic.

Australians ranked slightly higher on the self-love scale, with a score of 62 percent, but 53 percent of Aussies still wished they had more respect for themselves. The data also indicated that young, single Australians are more likely to have lower scores of self-love.

This self-love crisis is indeed worrying, which is why Jamil and existential therapist, writer and life-coach, Sara Kubric — a.ka. The Millenial Therapist —, teamed up with The Body Shop to shed light on the topic.

Much like Jamil, Kubric practices self-love in the form of boundaries, especially in her line of work as a mental health professional. Another form is through self-talk and regulating the way in which Kubric speaks to herself.

“For me, it was just a lot of boundary setting and inner dialogue regulation,” Kubric told POPSUGAR Australia. “So the way I speak to myself, and I noticed this maybe five years ago, is horrendous. The crap I would say to myself, I would never say that to another human being, especially not a human being I loved or respected.

“This is something that I’m really cognizant on — something that I really pay attention to — of when I am disappointed and when I do make a mistake, what are the types of things I say to myself, and then I apologise and reframe. That’s been my self-love practice that I have found really effective.”

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