However, the 34-year-old was called “annoying” and “condescending” on Monday, September 21, after she claimed that the reason behind her “perfect skin” was her privilege.
Jamil’s skincare controversy started when she shared a photo of herself without makeup ahead of the Emmy Awards. As a result, The Good Place star received a compliment from a fan who said that her “skin is so perfect.”
“My skin is clear because: A) Privileged people have more access to good quality nutrition and also our lives are significantly less stressful than the lives of those with less privilege,” she replied.
“I also get to sleep more because of this,” she continued. “All of these things keep my hormones in balance and I’m able to address food intolerance easily. B) I believe that trans rights are human rights … C) I exfoliate twice a week.”
The U.K. native also shared a screenshot of her conversation on her Instagram Stories, writing, “Try not to compare your skin to that of privileged people too often. We don’t talk about this enough.”
Shortly after, her followers called her out for acknowledging that she is wealthy.
Me: Your skin is so nice!
Jameela Jamil: Thank you, poor person. I am rich
— hotdogsz (@hotdogsz) September 22, 2020
“She didn’t compare anything she just gave you a complement & you took it as an opportunity to brag about your privilege,” one person wrote.
A second person added: “Girl don’t you see how out of touch … you sound? It was so condescending. No one was comparing their skin, they just complimented you. And you’re acting like ‘I’m rich that’s why, you’re poor sorry luv’ is not a good look.”
I think we can all agree that Jameela Jamil could have simply said "thank you I am very lucky to have access to good skincare" like you can make the point without the condescending 5 page essay
— bec•ky🏳️🌈 (@gaylordf0cker) September 22, 2020
Jamil took to Instagram to clear the air about her previous remarks — and revealed she has no regrets about speaking out in the first place.
“I responded with a very honest comment about how privilege impacts my skin to make the point that people comparing themselves to privileged people is a losing game, and I wanted to shine a light on that because this entire industry feeds of the lack of transparency around this,” she began.
“They say, ‘Hey, with this cream/drink/gummy you can look JUST like me.’ Without disclosing all the help they have behind the scenes. I was met with so much support from women, and so much hatred from men. So much eye rolling, accusations of ‘virtue signaling’ being called ‘annoying’ for not just saying ‘thank you’ and minding my business,” she added.
Jamila pointed out that she was bragging about her privilege, and this was a sign of misogyny and “a sad state of the world where any act of good or truth is seen as some sort of hidden agenda/crime.”
“The thing is, I used to have acne growing up, and at times in my twenties, full on painful cysts, and I used to HATE myself because I used to compare myself to celebrities. Then I MET them,” she stated. “Then I saw what they look like without the airbrushing (while flogging skin care ads showing off perfect skin) and then I kind of became one, and saw in real time, how privilege physically impacted me.”
“And to keep that to myself, after so many years of hating myself over the lie … would be such a betrayal to the people who are kind enough to follow my work,” she shared.
Jamil added that she cares about this generation and the ones that come after, clarifying that she does not want to harm others.
“Have a great day. Don’t let assumptions get you down or silence you. It’s not personal … it’s misogyny and cynicism on steroids,” she said.
Additionally, Jamil shared one of her tweets, which said she doesn’t give a “flying f–k” about what people think her intentions are, pointing out that society doesn’t trust “women’s intentions.”
Jamil thanked her fans for their continued love and support, asking them not to worry about her and that “speaking out against injustices keeps my depression away.”
“I’m not going anywhere. I don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed, and I’m so glad to finally not feel gaslit about the machine of the cycle of the media’s lifeline for a woman in the spotlight,” she concluded.
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