• Niamh Casey

Jameela Jamil speaks out about being stereotyped

The actress and activist has spoken out about her experiences dealing with archetypes of a woman

Jameela Jamil, founder of i Weigh - an Instagram account about radical inclusivity - and actress on the recently Emmy nominated show The Good Place has spoken out about being stereotyped.

She spoke to Mark Leibowitz, founder of the Stereotypes Project, to discuss the expectations that she has been met with throughout her career.

The 34-year-old said that on a personal level stereotypes have affected her as she "wasn't really given the same opportunities as people who were white", which led to many assumptions about how she might act and what she would be like as a person.

As she began her career as a presenter, she faced stereotyping because of her gender.

"I could only present fashion shows cause that's the only kind of thing a woman would be interested in."

The actress goes on to say that she still often read roles which are undermining of women, "there isn't a lot of nuance," she said, "there isn't a lot of complexity to our character."

Jameela said that the predominantly male writers in Hollywood "seem to find it easier to write for the part of an alien or a ghost than they do for a women."

The outspoken advocate for self-love said she has an activist approach to the stereotypes she faces, explaining: "Societies perception of me make me feel challenged to fight them."

"I'm typically stereotyped as someone who does not know how to stay in their lane. I don't stick to the things I'm supposed to."

Jameela, who has faced criticism from fellow activists for speaking over them, instead of sharing the mic said that she only ever says what she thinks is right.

"Sometimes I make mistakes but generally I think people understand that my intentions are in the right place."

"The rule book until now has housed a lot of very predatory, bad people. So I think we need to burn the rule book and start again."

The stereotypes Project is a movement started online by Mark Leibowitz, which aims to highlight and examine how "the stereotypes we place on each other, how they affect us, and their internal and external social ramifications."

The website dedicated to the movement shares the stories like Jameela's, of people who have been negatively impacted by stereotypes. The website also encourages people to submit their own experiences.

Leibowitz said of the project: "The response has been incredible and while it sometimes feels like there is only animosity, everyone I spoke with had fantastic insights into how stereotypes often blind us to people’s characters, beliefs and intentions."

© 2020 by EMPWR

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