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Jameela's September 2013 Column: "I've Never Been Happier"

Jameela's September 2013 Column: "I've Never Been Happier"


So a few weeks back some fun pictures of me appeared in some very popular magazines. Taken mostly of my arse. Which is always fun.

My skirt was riding up. Even more fun. Then there was one of me running with the wind blowing my hair everywhere, my thighs flying in several different directions, and all of my chins making their presence known. MOST. FUN. EVER. The article was not unkind. But the pictures were deliberately cruel, and to add insult to injury placed strategically next to nicer pictures of me from a few years ago in comparison.

Am I a little bit mortified? Yes. Am I ashamed? Absolutely bloody not. Yes, I am heavier than I normally am. A couple of months ago I got pneumonia that flared up my asthma. The suggested course of action so I could breathe again was steroids. Sacrificing oxygen in favour of a small waistline was not an option to me. To be honest, the extra padding on my body saved me a fortune in heating bills during the wintery months. I just bought some bigger clothes and moved on. Lo and behold, the world kept turning...


I suppose I naively assumed that, as I’m a writer, a DJ and a radio broadcaster, I wouldn’t be pressured about my size. I suppose I assumed that women have come far enough to not be objectified that their worth is measured in direct proportion to their waistlines. I suppose I was wrong. 

In the last week alone, I’ve found dozens of articles with women slamming women for their weight. No sign of any men who’ve developed a little extra padding.  And who buys these magazines? Women. It’s a supply-and-demand situation. The more of these magazines sold, the more are made. Why do we love to see other women look bad? Does it make us look/feel prettier or thinner? No. It just keeps us all bound in our little pigeonhole of, “We must look perfect to succeed.”

You know what? Despite gaining 4 stone, I landed my job at Radio 1, I won my first big award and I’m dating the most wonderful man I’ve ever met, who couldn’t give a damn what dress size is. I’ve never been happier. The weight didn’t change my life one bit. Now that I’m off the steroids, the weight might drop off, but then again, it might not. And who cares? I’m not spending the next few months crying into my salad and going to the gym three times a day. We are all worth so much more than this. The next time someone makes you feel bad about the way you look, tell them they can kiss MY fat arse. 

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