Jameela Jamil wants people to know that stretch marks are “nothing to be ashamed of.”
The Good Place star, 32, appears in the new issue of Arcadia magazine, and asked the editors not to photoshop her body. That meant leaving in the stretch marks on her breasts, and she proudly shared the photos on Twitter.
“Embrace thine stretch marks,” Jamil tweeted. “They are nothing to be ashamed of or cover up or edit out. #saynotoairbrushing #letabitchlive”
Jamil’s followers were thrilled to see the actress showing them off in the British publication, and thanked her for being so candid about her body.
The editors at Arcadia told PEOPLE that they gladly agreed not to retouch the photos of Jamil.
“At Arcadia magazine, we have always been so proud that we don’t adhere to the ‘traditional beauty standards’ that have plagued the mainstream media for way too long,” Monicha Tully, the editor-in-chief says.
“We have always celebrated beauty in all it’s forms, so when Jameela requested not to be photoshopped, we were more than happy to oblige,” Jay Best, the magazine’s creative director, adds. “We want all women to know that they are beautiful, just as they are.”
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Over the last year, Jamil has become a proud icon for body positivity. After seeing a meme of the Kardashian sisters with each of their weights pasted over the photo, she decided to start an Instagram account called “I Weigh,” where women can share not their weight in numbers, but all of the amazing things they do.
“I felt that these images of the Kardashians were so damaging and demeaning that I wanted to put up a post about what I weigh and how I value myself. I didn’t expect anyone to reply or to send me their pictures,” she told Arcadia, adding that it’s become “a museum of self-love.”
Jamil added that she wasn’t always a beacon of positivity.
“I spent almost a decade holding myself back from things because I didn’t think I was pretty or thin,” she said. “I suffered from horrendous body dysmorphia and it’s only in the last few years that I could see what is actually in the mirror. Everything I was achieving that my male counterparts were wasn’t being recognized because the focus was on my appearance and it made me feel really worthless as a human being.”
But Jamil has worked on repairing her own body image, and wants to help other women do the same.
“After the I Weigh campaign, I set out to help women and they ended up fixing me in ways that I didn’t even know I needed to be fixed,” she said. I’m the strongest and most powerful I have ever felt and it’s because of the women who have sent me their I Weigh stories. I started standing up for myself more at work and with other people; I developed a sense of my own humanity thanks to these people.”