– [Gary] 328? – [Jameela] Can I, swearing, okay, bad? – Ouff. You don’t know the half of it. 328. Hey everybody it’s Gary Vaynerchuk, episode 328 of the Ask Gary Vee show and when I think about this person, I call her JJ in my mind even
though this is literally, actually we stumbled into
each other the other day at a tennis match but– – [Jameela] And then I texted you and you didn’t text me back. – Is that true?
– [Jameela] Yeah, prick. – Fuck. That was not for any real reason. I would love to text you back. I don’t know how I missed it
but I’m going to check that while we’re doing this episode. JJ as I, why don’t you
tell the Vayner nation who you are and what you’re about and then we’re going to jam a little bit. – My name is Jameela Jamil, you may know me from my
tv show The Good Place, where I play the exact opposite
of who I am in real life and I’m an activist in
my day-to-day existence and a writer. – [Gary] And a writer?
– Mm-hmm. – [Gary] You love writing? – I love writing. I used to be a journalist
and I used to be a tv host and then I stumbled into
acting purely by mistake. Truly by mistake. – Was that ever subconsciously going on along the way?
– No, never. No, I had no desire to do it because I felt like that was something
that you really trained to do and I really don’t like training. – [Gary] You respected the craft and– – I respect the craft. – And you didn’t want to put in the work. – I dislike effort. – [Gary] Do you have
natural ability in it? – I guess so, I guess so.
– [Gary] It happens. – For an overly tall, annoying
English woman from Pakistan and I kind of fit the bill so I accept that insult. – When that opportunity came,
was there any debate to do it? Did it feel natural to do it?
– [Jameela] Yeah. – Where were you in your mindset in life that made you go there? – I had no money. (laughs) I had no money. – [Gary] That’s a really good answer. – I’d run out of money
in pursuit of trying to raise money for people with disabilities to have more access at big music venues and I spent all of my money
trying to make that happen and it didn’t happen because people are so
ableist in my country and every country. But in particular, the
UK’s got listed buildings and they use that as a defense mechanism to not update their buildings in order to be accessible
for people with disabilities and so I lost all of my money doing that and came to America with
no money and no exact plan. I wanted to be a writer. I had a pilot that I’d written, I got signed to Three Arts
and they heard about, and UDA, they heard about this
audition, they sent me for it, I was a big fan of Mike Schur. I never thought in a million
years I would actually get it but when it came to the point where I had to sign the seven year
deal before the final audition, they make you sign a seven year deal before that final audition, so all the power is in their hands.
– [Gary] Of course. – And I needed the money and I was like, “If I fail, I will fail rich.” – [Gary] Yeah.
– Yeah, so you know. I’m into that.
– When was that? – That was three years ago.
– [Gary] Understood. – And now we’ve done four seasons, it’s a hit show, and
I didn’t die on my ass and I was able to do what
I wanted to do all along, which was I’ve been an
activist since I was 19 and I’ve only ever entered show business as a way to leverage my–
– [Gary] The awareness. – Awareness around things.
– [Gary] Of course. – I remember when I
was 19, I was watching, that was around the
time that Angelina Jolie was starting to raise awareness about things that were happening
in Cambodia and Pakistan and there are Cambodian
and Pakistani people trying to raise awareness
and no one listens to them, we only listen to the privileged. I was like, “Oh, that’s nice.” That’s not nice, that’s sad, but that’s– – [Gary] That’s the key.
– That’s an effective way to raise awareness is when you
have a lot of privilege, then people listen to you. It’s easier to raise
awareness from the inside and so I got into this
industry in order to be able to make the noise
that I am now able to make. – You know, it’s super interesting, the way, especially the reference point with Angelina and prior to her, the thought of privilege. It’s super interesting because we’re now living through
a very interesting time of the maturity of the internet itself, which is social platforms, social networks that have at such scale in our society that in the past, privilege and wealth and things of that nature
lead to awareness, right? Lead to scale of people
paying attention to you. We’re really living in
an interesting time where the definition of that privilege can almost get tweaked a little bit because having sheer audience at scale, even before you’ve begun or have started the process
of the monetization of that, can still create some of those effects and so the attention becomes a trigger to that leverage and privilege. That’s what it used to be but there were so many
gatekeepers in who became those winning players, whereas now, whether it’s
TikTok or LinkedIn or YouTube. – The door’s wide open.
– [Gary] It’s just wide open. And the paradigm shifts
are going to be enormous. We’re starting to see
significant nuances of that. Take me back a little further. A, I just it’s interesting at 19 so I’m now very curious
about what happened, or was it building? Why at 19 did that happen? Was it a cause that got you going? Had it been subconsciously happening? But even before we go there, because I just love–
– [Jameela] You want to know about my birth? – I do, I very much. I really genuinely like it, you know I was born in the Soviet Union so much of what everything I feel has so much to do with the origin stuff so yeah, I do like it. So where were you born? What kind of kid were you? Like what was your scene? – I was in born in London. I was deaf as a child. – [Gary] Flat out?
– Flat out deaf. And then I would sometimes
have enough operations to get my hearing back and then my hearing would go again. I’d have another operation. I had seven major operations on my ears before the age of 12. It was the final operation
on my 12th birthday, in which I managed to get
65% of my hearing back so I have impaired hearing. But that was a big part of my childhood, which contributed to me
being a very quiet child, a very socially inept child. I was very starey because I would stare at people in order to take them in because I couldn’t hear
them so I’ve maintained that ability and that quality
and still freak people out. But it also made me a
hyper-observant person, which has stood me in good stead in this very dangerous industry. And in the world as a woman. So I was unpopular, spent
a lot of time on my own, which allowed me to kind
of grow my creativity and just sort of allow me to
become exactly who I was. I wasn’t shaped by other
people around me because there were no other people around me. – You have siblings? – I have a brother, he was older but he went to live in Spain
when I was very, very young so we were kind of separated so I kind of lived as an
only child for many years. And I didn’t come from any money so parents were out working and they separated when
I was very, very young. And I went to a special
needs primary school and then I got into, I got a
full scholarship into a school that isn’t for special needs kids and during my time there
I regained my hearing. I was able to win a music scholarship and an academic scholarship and I just stayed there until I was 17. 17, got hit by a car, broke
my back, didn’t move for about two years.
– How did that happen? – I was running away from a
bee that wasn’t chasing me. I just saw a bee and I
remembered Home Alone and I ran away from it into traffic. – [Gary] Really?
– Yeah. – [Gary] Jesus.
– I run into traffic when I see flying insects. To me, that seems safer.
– [Gary] Understood. – So I’m an idiot. What’s happening outside? It’s very lively, Jesus Christ. – Somebody thought it
was good idea to walk in in the middle of our podcast. – No it’s fine, it’s like Mardi Gras. – Shook my head and told
them it was not a good idea. He got the picture and
left and he now knows he’s going to get it. I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. So you had a bee, you decided
it was going to be problems, it actually turned into a
massive fucking problem– – A bee changed the course
of the rest of my life because that accident
was the single best thing that ever happened to me. I recommend it to you all. – [Gary] Break your back.
– Yep. – [Gary] And lay down for two years. – It really humbles you
and there’s something about not being able to piss on your own that really changes the way that you feel about yourself and your body and I think at that point,
when I was lucky enough to come out of that still able to walk, I realized that, god, I’d
really been mistreating my body because up until then from
the age of 12 until 17 I was severely anorexic–
– [Gary] I’m sorry. – And starving myself all of the time because it was the ’90s, it
was all about heroin chic, that was a term being used
non-ironically by grown adults who were fucking idiots and they were putting that
out for very young kids and the internet had just come up. It was all these thinspiration websites. – [Gary] Of course, I remember. – I have ADD so you’re gonna like– – [Gary] This is good, you want to play? – Okay fine.
– Yeah, go ahead. So go ahead. – Okay, What’s happening? – I’m just fidgeting
with this while I listen. – [Jameela] You can’t fidget
while I’m here, I’ve got ADD. – I thought that was going to help. – No, no, put that away. You have to be still Gary. Be still. – I promise you this is going to be fun. – [Jameela] We’re going to fight. – We’re not going to fight, we’re happy. I’m just fidgeting with my toes right now. – Yeah, yeah, I’m just
big on asking what I need. – Listen, I am thrilled, I’m very good at delivering
on what people need so keep going.
– That’s amazing. Okay, so where was I? – You were talking about thinspiration and things of that nature. You go to think. – So when I was lucky
enough to get better, I realized that I disrespected my body so profoundly up until now and I was like, “Okay that’s
it, I have to do something.” Like what made me think that
starving myself was good idea? Why did I think that that was beauty and that made me worthy? Like why did I never care that I had a music scholarship after
being deaf most of my life? Why did I never care that
I was an academic kid who had straight As all throughout school? I was a good kid. I didn’t value anything about myself. – Why was your perspective
looking at the glass half empty? – I just wanted to be 90 pounds. That was it, that was my mark
of success as a human being. Or just like basic worth. And so I started campaigning
against the fashion industry and I entered the fashion
industry in order to do it. I became a model scout. I started trying to scout plus sized girls but I was ahead of the curve, no pun intended, and so I used to so they said
no to all of the curvy girls but I started writing letters to magazines about what I was seeing and they were making 12 year
olds cry about their weights and I kicked off the size zero debate with a letter that I wrote to
the Evening Standard in the UK and it turned into this
huge thing across the news. I was all over the news. I was doing live Channel 4. This was in England and BBC Live. I was 19 years old, there’s
still little videos of this on Getty images. I’ve been talking about
everything I’m talking about now for the longest time.
– [Gary] Good for you. – The dumbest thing about what’s going on in my career right now is that I have the majority support, like I say 90% support. But the 10% of people who
give me a lot of shit– – We’re talking about macro
feedback from the world. – [Jameela] Yeah. – [Gary] Social articles.
– Social media, People.
– Understood. – [Jameela] I have massive support– – I understand it’s 90/10. – When people try to take me down, they treat me as someone who a year ago was an actress in The Good Place who just decided to pick up activism because I thought it would make me trendy because activism has become trendy. It’s like I have been in
this shit for 14 years. Some of you little haters
weren’t even alive. – You know, this is something
I can connect with you on. How do you think about that because you’re bringing it up now. So I have empathy for that. Makes sense to me. Don’t you love though that
the truth is on your side? I think for me, the thing that, you know and I kind of
live this life as well. Right now I’m kind of getting destroyed. – [Jameela] Are you?
– Currently, in certain pockets because I think sometimes its
strategic to do free work to get your foot in the door, which makes me you know,
a complete vampire. No free work ever. Obviously–
– We’ve all done that. – I think so but many people
who have not had to do that who did not grow up the way I did, who don’t realize they think they’re
fighting for other people but what they’re actually doing is showing their unbelievable privilege of never having to be in that scenario do not agree with that.
– It’s an audition process. It’s an audition process,
that’s what it is. – I will do it until the day I die, I’m not always looking for a check in return for why I’m doing something. I mean, you sat here and talked about the thing I believe in the most, which is a platform where you have awareness to be able to do something. The attention is the number one thing. And yet, so nonetheless,
but it hurts my feelings. People are like, “You’re the devil.” It makes me, I’m a human. However, when people are
like, when they say anything, and we all will be,
judgment is way more trendy. – Oh we’re just addicts. – Then activist, then anything. Judgment is the fucking number
one thing that’s happening in society at scale. As a matter of fact, I’m
actually a little bit, actually I’m bouncing around here. – I’m actually weirded out–
– [Jameela] My ADD can follow this, you just can’t move or make any sounds like– I’m with you Gary.
– So how about this? Right here, you ready? How about this: I’m actually
scared that we are on such hyper attack and judgment
that what we do as humans, always is counteract the other way and I find myself now, honestly, I was DNA-wise and parenting-wise I was– – You think you’re being pushed
back into archaic beliefs because you’re fed up at the, you’re like, “Get back into the kitchen.” – No.
– [Jameela] I’m joking. – But the fact that you’re
making that connection does get me to a point. I’m so sad that everyone’s
judging everyone on an adjective during a conversation, not even a debate amongst
acquaintance friends, that I’m concerned because I understand
how humans are wired– – It’s going to bring our defense up. – I’m at a point where I’m struggling to judge anybody about anything. It’s actually this weird, kind of like reverse thing that scares me, that it’s the chess move to the bad stuff. I’m like the macro is going play out. So nonetheless, I’m ranting
because you’re bringing a lot of thoughtful fodder
to me and I like it. This is the kind of shit
I like talking about. – My way of dealing with this
is that I was just like– – You have truth on your
side is where I’m going. – A, I have truth on my side.
– [Gary] Period. – No but, there is always a B. I’m also a flawed human being. I’m gonna make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. I have receipts of mistakes that I’ve made because the internet never forgets. And so what I’ve had to do is just accept that some people are right when they are criticizing me. They are right and they
have a right to criticize me and I don’t take it personally
anymore because I can’t. Because if you’re going to be an activist, you have to leave your ego
and your pride at the door and so I’ve just realized that if I’m going to put myself out there, and put my opinions all over the place, I have to be willing to take some shit back and it just doesn’t. I’m not here to be liked. I couldn’t give a fuck about being liked. I’m not interested in it. I’ve come here to create change so no one ever goes through
what I’ve been through. – [Gary] I understand.
– Ever again. So I don’t really care about that. But also, I have decided
to make it part of my, I’m going to say the word, brand. But I’ve decided to make
it part of my brand. – Can I help you with brand for a second? On your throw up? I’m so fascinated by societies. – [Jameela] I am English
though, we are assholes. – Respect. And English and London is part of society. I’m fascinated by the semantics of words. People are unbelievably
throwing up on each other about personal brand or brand, yet if you just say reputation,
it’s remarkably consumable. I am scolded if I even go down
the path of the word hustle, for being a bro. Yet, if I change it to work ethic, I’m admired for acknowledging that it’s part of the equation. Semantics of words, back to judgment, has become fucking ridiculous. – But brand is infused
with capitalism as a word. It’s marinated in the idea of capitalism. – [Gary] So say reputation.
– Yeah fine. But my whole shtick, shall I say. Am I saying shtick? No.
– [Gary] Shtick’s very good. I like shtick, that’s
very comfortable with me. – It’s that I am a flawed person and the thing that I
constantly say to people throughout my activism is we are looking for
progress, not perfection. The hunt for moral purity
will never go anywhere because it doesn’t exist and also human beings continue to update. We have to continue updating
ourselves, like iPhones, and we have to keep
learning about new genders, new sexualities, new ways
in which people want to live and we have to learn how to unlearn our previous programming around that and get with the program now. And so I very much so own, my pinned tweet is all of my mistakes. So I’m just like, “Come at me bro.” Like I’m not hiding from my flaws. – It’s the last scene of Eight Mile. I bring it up all the time.
– [Jameela] Yeah. It’s the best way to play. – Exactly and so I’m just. – [Gary] I got it, that’s awesome. – It doesn’t bother me. – By the way, it’s fucking amazing. – [Jameela] Thanks.
– It makes you happier. – It’s also made my, it’s
helped my career as an actor weirdly because more men
follow me than ever before. More people who’ve made mistakes find that my social media
is a safe space to learn because now we’ve made
people too afraid to even put their hand up and
say, “I don’t know the answer.” – 100%. – We chastise people for ignorance. You can’t chastise someone for something that they don’t even know yet and so you can chastise someone for deliberate, willful ignorance. – You can when you are delusional and you start getting into
this ideological place. – [Jameela] That’s what I’m saying. Willful ignorance and you’re not– – We completely lack empathy. We completely, collectively lack empathy. – [Jameela] Yeah, yeah.
– We cast judgment through our filter. – [Jameela] Make no space for trauma. – Any, any compassion or empathy at all. – [Jameela] Or nuance, yeah. – It’s ridiculous. – And so look, willful
ignorance is the only one that I think you can chastise people for because there’s always
an ability to learn. We have the internet. You’ve got no excuse
if you live in the west and you have the internet on your phone, you have no excuse not to not update your own information every single day. – Putting your head in the
sand because you choose to. – Yeah. – Looking the other way because it’s in your vested interest. – [Jameela] Exactly.
– I completely agree with you. – So that’s my, that’s where I’m at and it’s been very helpful
to me in my career. – What else do you like? Do you like food, music, sport, like just for five seconds
from my own curiosity. – I love food. – What about board games? – I love food, I love board games. – What is your favorite board game? – Scrabble. – Because you’re fucking
great at it because you’re a fucking writer?
– [Jameela] Yeah. – Fuck, I can’t spell for shit. I like to know, never. Like I play Scrabble and I get dominated and my friend will look over and is like, “Why didn’t you make the word cat?” I’m like, “Fuck.” Like I’m the worst. What about Monopoly? – You’re doing okay in other areas Gary, so I’m not worried about you. – By the way, it’s really fascinating, it took me a long, long time, because of the ’80s, because my mother was
embarrassed of her accent so she wouldn’t go to school nights because a lot of things that happened, a lot of the things
about myself I now know, I had to learn much, much, much later. I will go and speak in Madison
Square Garden right now in front of 35,000 people right now. If you’re like, “You have to go do it.” In a heartbeat. If you ask me to read the
first page of that comic book, I would shrivel. This goes all the way
back to those things. But to your point, I’m
also wildly observant and it’s because the way I learn wasn’t through words. – No, same.
– [Gary] You know? – Yeah, I had difficulty reading. I had difficulty reading music and yeah, I could play
at a grade eight level but I can’t read any music. I have trouble ingesting
information via written word. You know, it’s just something that– – Are you wildly competitive
when you board game? – [Jameela] No.
– No? That breaks my heart.
– No, I’m just really good so I’m just worried for them.
– I know but are you competitive? – No.
– [Gary] Really? That’s interesting. – Yeah, I think the only
thing I would ever say I’m competitive about is that genuinely, and I noticed this via my addiction to Super Mario when I was 16, is that I want to beat my own score. That’s the only thing I’m interested in. – That’s fascinating. It took me a long time to
get into a health regimen that I felt that was something that was a smart decision for my long-term life. It was always, I had this complete crazy breakthrough, which is I am the
complete opposite of that. I have no fucking interest in going faster by one second or jumping. I want to compete with all
of you at scale on tilt and not with myself. – Yeah, I think since I had therapy, I’ve got no competition
really in me at all. Now all I genuinely want is to be happy because I didn’t know
that that was a thing. I didn’t know that happiness existed and therefore I didn’t
prioritize it whatsoever when I was younger and so therefore I thought success was measured in money and other things.
– How much consciously do you think about your legacy? Like the day after you die? – Oh never. I think legacy’s bullshit. I don’t understand people
who care about legacy. – [Gary] I love that so much. – I’m so sorry.
– No that’s okay. – The good news is I’m happy for you. There’s nothing to be sorry about. – No, most of the people
I know have legacy, I just don’t give a fuck about legacy. I’ll be dead and I–
– [Gary] You won’t know. – I won’t know. – Do you think though
one thinks of legacy, it dictates behavior that
then they could be proud of? I just say, interesting thought. – Perhaps, but it also
sometimes can consume you because you’ve sometimes missed the things that can make you happy now so that you can beyond your existence– – But what if that process
is what makes one happy? – Well if that process
is what makes you happy then that’s fine but a lot of people, I think we can both admit, we know very successful people. A lot of those people who are
so dedicated to their legacy are not happy. – Well that’s because
insecurity runs deep. – Yeah, but that also insecurity can also sometimes be the–
– [Gary] Driver. – The driver for legacy. Like why do you need. Like genuinely, I’m not personally– – I believe you, I’m
being genuinely curious. When somebody chooses activism
or wants to do things, there’s a lot of different
ways that can filter. And I genuinely don’t think
one is right over the other. It’s fun to think about. I do think about legacy. I do want to live my life in a way, this is actually, I don’t
even know if it’s legacy, this is what runs through me. I don’t know why this caught me early on. I’m fascinated by the notion of which funeral you choose to go to. – What, like the Oscars party? – [Gary] No, I have no idea what that is. – No is it like they
have different parties after the Oscars–
– I know nothing about Hollywood.
– And you’re like, “Who goes to which party?” – No, not that. I mean you get an email right now and your fourth grade
teacher has passed away and you decided that she or
he brought you so much value that even though
tomorrow’s a very busy day, you decide to fly to
the UK or anything else. – [Jameela] But why do
you care if you’re dead? You don’t know. – Forget about that. In the macro, I am
fascinated by the concept that I rarely hear anyone talk about. This notion of the decision making process that people go through when they choose which funerals they go to versus not. – [Jameela] That’s interesting. – I don’t know why I
caught that as a young kid, but I would watch. I’d be like, “Why didn’t that guy, “that business friend of mine go to “that was his best business
partner for 15 years.” Like even my own. There’s been different. I’m referring to one that very vividly, somebody I did business with a long time, who my dad was very close with. Why, this was seven or eight years ago, why did I not choose to
fly back from San Francisco for that funeral? – [Jameela] Because it’s a terrible day. – I understand that. But then there are people
I’m think about now, I don’t want to jinx that, I’m really Eastern European that way. I would like rip off my arms and swim with nothing to get to. I’m fascinated by that because I think it’s one of
these ultimate decisions. You know that person doesn’t know. I think it’s an interesting paradigm that I’ve always been fascinated by and I’m just bringing that up. – I think for me I’m not
interested in weddings or funerals. I don’t feel a drive to make an effort to get to either of them particularly. I know, do I sound like a sociopath? – Not only don’t you, a lot of the framework of
what you’re talking about here connects with me tremendously. But I think that people make attachment to things that are other
people’s ideologies. – [Jameela] I love you Gary. – Actually, you like that sentence? – I love you. I just like being here,
yes, this is very fun. – I love you too, thank
you for saying that. Honestly, I actually really resonate with where you’re going. I have the same thing. I’m unbelievably comfortable
in the feelings that I have and my truths and I recognize when sometimes
they align with the masses and I’m equally and more
comfortably aligned. I kind of love when it’s not. – No, I’m confused by these events. I’m confused by them and I don’t know why but I’m just confused by them. I’ve never been to a wedding,
I’ve never been to a funeral. I went to one funeral– – Hold on, hold on, you’ve
never been to a wedding? – No one even wants to
fuck any of my friends, never mind marry them. (both laugh heartily) – No but really, you’ve never been? – [Jameela] No, I’ve never been. – That is, you’ve actively
made that something that you’ve chosen to make that happen? – [Jameela] Yeah.
– Do you remember when you first thought
that that would be cool? And when I say cool, I’ll
use a different word. Because words matter. You remember when you chose and had that conversation
with your own self? “Oh, I’m not going to go to weddings.” – No, I didn’t. It was just, it never happened. I just didn’t, A, I mean I didn’t really– – You’ve been invited? – A couple of times, not
as much as I should have by this age but that’s on my friends. But I’ve also never
invited them to my wedding. So you know I’m in the same boat. – [Gary] Yes, I understand. No hypocrisy here. – We’re just a group of unloveables. But yeah, I’m just not interested. I’m definitely not interested
in going to someone’s funeral because I think it’s sad, it smells funny and the person’s not there. – But you’ve never been,
how do you know if that’s– – I’ve been to one when I was
nine that I actually remember. Might be my uncle’s death. And I was like– – [Gary] “I’m done with this shit.” – I was just like, “This
is just a bad day.” Everyone’s upset and this
person doesn’t even know that I made the effort to come here, like I’m getting no credit
for this whatsoever. Really a lot of people come
just to show each other that they were there. I’m not, no, I want credit
from the person I cared about and if they’re gone, then I’m out. – I understand. – I know that they got, I also have no spirituality
or religion in me whatsoever. – I understand that. What does that mean? Does that mean that when somebody that you’re
very close to for 30-40 years, you find out they’re sick,
your mindset goes to, “Fuck, I gotta go see
them before they die.” – [Jameela] Yeah, that’s where I am. – Yeah I understand, makes sense. – I want to have that final goodbye. I’m not saying goodbye after
they’re no longer alive. – Talk to me about your
content consumption. – My content consumption? – How podcasts, social,
newspapers, magazines, the internet itself, text messaging, OTTs, network, movies, books. You as an animal, how
and what do you consume. – I Netflix and ill. I’m a chronically ill person and so I spend a lot of my time on Netflix and that’s how I exist. – Do you manifest that or
just the nature of your body? – No, no, no. Yeah, I was born with a condition called Ehlers-Danlos
syndrome and it basically ruins my life.
– Got it, so you’re ill. So you drop the C and the
H and you Netflix and ill. – Yeah, I Netflix and ill on my own or with my very loving boyfriend. I also consume a lot of my information on Twitter and Instagram. I find a lot of my
favorite writers via there, my favorite speakers. I found you on Instagram by your videos. I haven’t yet found time
to listen to podcasts or actually have anything I subscribe to and I have as a routine and
I would like to do that. Something I aspire towards. – Have you one-offed a
podcast here or there? – [Jameela] No. – So you’ve almost never… By the way, nor have I. I have never, that’s not true, I listened to 15 minutes
of a Barstool thing, but I’m under two hours
of podcast consumption. I basically spend 95% of
my time consuming comments of my content and others. I will hear something in the consciousness going to the bathroom, “Hey, have you heard
about Meg the stallion?” And I’m like, “No.” And I’ll go Google or go on Instagram, find her and then I won’t
even listen to her music or why she’s popping. I consume more comments
of Lizzo than Lizzo songs. – [Jameela] Yeah, same.
– I love consuming replies. – I’m exactly the same.
– [Gary] Interesting. – I’m so interested in
that and I also like– – Do you feel like that gives it, I apologize, do you think that gives us a little bit of usually quick insights that things that people don’t see yet? – Perhaps, I think perhaps but I just know that’s what
I’m most interested in. I’m fascinated by people, I’m
fascinated by mental health, I’m fascinated by trauma. I want to know how people work and I want to help them work better and more efficiently and be happier. And that’s really all I’m interested in. It’s just that your happiness
and your orgasm frequency, and all of the different things. I just want you to be happy and
so I read people’s comments, I ingest a lot of
information via social media and I know that’s frowned
upon on by some people but they’re fucking idiots.
– Which is ludicrous. – There are fucking
great people on Twitter and I think if you’re someone
who has a thicker skin and doesn’t have your
feelings hurt all the time, if you don’t take Twitter personally, Twitter is just an amazing– – What’s your hot take
on feelings or thin skin? – Whoa, whoa, whoa.
– Please, I’m sorry. Finish your thought. You said people are awesome–
– No, people are great and you find incredible people on there. But also–
– I understand where you’re going. – But also because of the
content that I put out is somewhat intelligent, sometimes, sometimes I’m just a neanderthal, but sometimes my content is intelligent and I’ve therefore attracted
intelligent people towards me and I learn so much from my own community. – How can those intelligent people feel when you’re saying something
that isn’t intelligent. – They let me know very quickly and very publicly. – And how do you feel with that? – I feel okay. There’s a tiny bit, and
that feeling has faded, that was an original feeling of sort of like burning in your chest where you just feel humiliated and that was the moment
where I realized that, “Oh, you put your pride into this, “you’re making this about you. “It’s not supposed to be about you.” You can’t be standing up
for marginalized people thinking about yourself and how you’re being bloody representative and so I left that alone
and now I don’t care and now I feel very free and happy. – [Gary] Good for you. What have we not touched on,
knowing a lot, a lot of people in the next five to ten
years will listen to this. Is there anything that we
haven’t serendipitously gone into that maybe you want to share? – I’d like to talk about
what I’m doing at the moment, if I may.
– [Gary] Please. Of course you may, that’s why I asked. – So about a year ago, I joined Instagram about
a year and a half ago because I was having to
promote The Good Place and they asked me to join. I’d always avoided it.
– [Gary] And you were finally ready?
– [Jameela] Yeah. – You were also finally ready
because they asked you before. – They asked me and they
really hadn’t asked me before but now that the show was
growing, they were just like, “Will you join social media?” And I kind of joined it
but didn’t post anything and then I started to finally
about a year and a half ago. – Did you make an ideological
standpoint on that, like weddings you were like, “I’m just not going to be
about that” prior to that. – Yeah, I preferred Twitter, I wasn’t into the photo side of things. – I understand, keep going. – Now that’s it’s become
more video-friendly, I was suddenly like, “I’m
more interested in this.” – I will tell you this. I think you could crush this based on, this is now on intuition, I think one of the most
interesting things going on on Instagram that more
people need to explore is to take a photo, regardless
of it’s production value, and then genuinely write a fucking book. Like limit to the, I’ve
been fascinated by Instagram as a blog, has been a very effective way for many different people to communicate. – It’s how my activism has spread so far. But so I joined it about
a year and a half ago, like properly, where I
properly got involved, started posting regularly,
started paying attention, following other people, ingesting content. Around the same time,
I clicked that little, what is it, a microscope? Is it a microscope? – [Gary] The search?
– The search bar, sorry. A magnifying glass. Jesus Christ. Sorry, I’ve been at work since 6AM. – You should know this, this
is probably some British shit. – Yeah, so some Sherlock Holmes
bullshit magnifying glass so I clicked on that and that is a very
dangerous button to press because you have no idea
what you are going to see. – You mean the explore? – Yeah, the explore button. – Explore exposes you.
– [Jameela] Oh, for sure. – I love when people
are like, “Yeah, yeah.” I’m talking now real friends who talk shit about what they do and then I grab their
phone and hit explore and I’m like, “You go on
Instagram for tits and ass.” – [Jameela] Yeah, you’re addicted to– – They’re like, “No I’m really into the–”
– [Jameela] Butt cheeks. – The algorithm knows
exactly what you’re about. It exposes you quick. – But the algorithm also
exposes social media. The algorithm exposes the fact that social media hunts you
down based on your gender and based on your age. And me being a young woman on Instagram and the Instagram was sending me pictures that I didn’t need
to see as a young woman and those are images of
very famous, beautiful women with numbers written across their bodies and those numbers were
not their net worth, because these are people like
the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, people who are worth tens of
millions, or billions even. And I clicked on the pictures of them, and all of those numbers
were just their weight. I was just like, “Jesus–” – [Gary] What do you mean their weight? – Just their weight like kilos or pounds and I was like–
– I wasn’t following. This wasn’t their accounts,
these were other accounts that were pushing their propaganda. – Yeah, pushing anorexic
propaganda and they were just, there was a post written
underneath it being like, “These people are this height. “How much do you weigh?” And then you had thousands
of comments of little girls being like, “Oh no, I’m the
same height as Kendall Jenner “but I weigh this much.” And so something snapped in
me because once I pressed it, because of the fucking algorithm, more and more posts like
that started coming up to me and suddenly I was just
being bombarded with this thinspiration all over again, just like when I was a teenager. So I was like, “Okay, enough.” – I’m going to go on the offense. – I’m going to go on the offense, so I went onto Twitter
and I posted those posts, I went on a rant and I said, “This is what I weigh: I weigh
my financial independence, “my activism, my
relationships, the things that, “the eating disorder I’ve overcome, “the struggles I’m still coping with. “I weigh the sum of all of
my motherfucking parts.” And wrote, “Fucking KG” underneath that and I just posted it out, I
didn’t have a very big following or I had 16,000 followers on Instagram and maybe 75,000 on Twitter. It wasn’t huge and it
went viral immediately. People started sending me
back their I weigh pages, what they weigh and their
contributions to society and their attributes that
weren’t in the physical and it just became this movement that I thought it would be maybe like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,
two weeks and then gone and no one ever knew what the fuck that challenge was for.
– Which is about 13 days more than most things get. – And so I started an
Instagram account thinking, “I’ll just put these up there
so that then they were there “and everyone will remember
that they put their post up “because they were super brave.” And now a year later we’re
almost at a million and growing and this is without a social media team, like this is just purely organic. It’s people submitting
their posts all of the time. – Listen, when messages–
– [Jameela] Hit home. – There’s nothing like it. – At it just shows you how diminished our sense of self worth is, especially in women but also
in gay men, nonbinary people, there are so many people out there who just feel so
undermined by our society. – Where I think we need to really get to to a thoughtful place, is
understand that your statement is actually happening to everybody. – [Jameela] Oh yeah.
– The biggest issue that I’m telling a lot of my friends is go into other websites with people that don’t believe in the
same things you believe, and find how they feel like
they’re being suppressed. Like this is where empathy and compassion and
thoughtfulness and truly, because everyone’s digging in. Like people are digging
in real heavy right now. – Yeah, and I get so
much amazing feedback. I have a DM that feels
like a giant focus group into the innermost feelings
and thoughts of the world and so this whole thing, this Instagram account
turned into a global movement and I was able to turn that into petitions and then be able to get
those petitions into Parliament in the United Kingdom and into Congress in New York. – [Gary] Good for you.
– And I was offered a meeting with Instagram, who’d seen that my following was growing and they really liked
the positivity of I Weigh because it was a rare
safe space on Instagram. That’s something Instagram wants. They’re not these evil bastards who want everyone to starve themselves, they have been complicit in
allowing that to continue and they are aware of that. – Yeah, but you know, I’m
just going to jump in. I think we have to have very
thoughtful conversations of humans doing human things. – But we also have to have
social responsibility. If we’re going to open
the door to young people, we have to do better
at policing that space. – Of course, of course. – So when I had that meeting
with them, I was like, “Okay, I have three days. “I’m going to just start a petition “and just see where I get.” I got 250,000 signatures
in under three days so I went to them with that and I said, “Look, everyone is aware
of how annoying I am. “I’m only going to get worse. “So you can either do this with me “or I’ll just do this to you.” – [Gary] Without you, yeah. – They were amazing, they
were so unexpectedly, immediately onboard. They were so aware of my petition and they just moved faster than
I ever could have imagined. Six months later, Facebook
and Instagram globally have made it impossible for
minors to be able to even see weight loss products, diet
products, detox products, cosmetic surgery procedures. You can’t see it under 18. And if you’re over 18 and
you see these things like, “Lose 55 pounds in 15 seconds,” you can report it and it
comes down immediately. So this is just the start
of what needs to happen because we need to deal with our entire societal value of people and this obsession with vanity. But we are on the road to showing people that a disobedient woman can
make a big fucking difference. – That’s always been the case when the gates are open in our society, which is actually the true
power of the internet. We are actively demonizing all of this, while it actually is the framework that people that come
along that can make change are using to make change. It’s fascinating.
– Yeah and look, I’m not the only person
who’s been fighting for this. There are people with way
less privilege than me that are fighting harder, for longer, but unfortunately as I
learned when I was 19, when I was not being
allowed in as an activist, with the platform and the privilege you can create huge change
so I’ve made it my mission. And I totally understand
the frustration of people who feel like I got more credit, but I’ve been in this for 14
years and I’ve never stopped. And I was a big kid who got
bullied for their weight and then I was the anorexic teenager, so I do have the credentials
to back up my passion here. – Listen, again, this goes back, the thematics of all this is judgment. When people talk about privilege,
my genuine vibe on that over the last two, three years
has been a very funny place, which is because we are
unable to see one’s happiness and mental status, we will never get to the actual
conversation of privilege, which is the true privilege of society, is what’s going on in here. – But the funniest thing is that I know people are so quick to judge that no one ever gave me a chance. Not no one, loads of
people gave me a chance, loads of people have been supportive. But the people who have
been so suspicious of me, I understand that suspicion because so many people in my industry don’t give a fucking
shit about them, but I do and they didn’t realize what
I was planning all along. Let me just finish. And so now what I’ve done is I’ve hired this incredible team of women and we’ve built this company now and we’re taking I Weigh from Instagram now onto a website and into
a full activism platform where we’re now going to lend
my platform and my privilege to the young people and
the marginalized people who never got a chance before and we’re creating the space and content where you will finally,
wherever you are from, whoever you are, whatever you look like, you will see someone like you
reflected back on that page and that’s something that
I feel super proud of and passionate about. – What’s that going to be called? – I Weigh based on the movement
of the Instagram account. It’s called I Weigh and it started off as this
statement around body image but really it was about
our emotional health and our mental health wellbeing
and that’s what it is. Some people think it’s a body
positive account, it’s not. It’s a mental health movement.
– [Gary] I totally understand. – That is the thing I’m most
invested in in the world. – Are you worried about the
literal name skewing so literal, to your point, it’s a higher
play from a mental standpoint but the name is so literal in it’s interpretation potentially. – But it takes three seconds to see it. If you see the account–
– [Gary] I get it. – It’s fairly clear but
totally, I completely see that. – Listen, I’m also the one
who says names are made and get changed all the time. I was just curious, genuinely
curious if you thought of, I’m fascinated by positioning. I was just curious, did that ever, like obviously there’s
so much equity in that. – Some people think I’m Ai
Weiwei, which is really annoying. – Like they role up to you
in real life and are like, “Hi Ai Weiwei.”
– [Jameela] Yeah. I remember Ai Weiwei sent
me a book and I was like, “Too close man, too close, go away.” – Did I tell you? Did you guys notice something, how many people think my name is Garby, like when I’m in public. Have you seen that too? Like people are like, “Garby.” I’m like, “Man, interesting,
you read like I do.” I always feel warm to those people. – No, no, and also the point of I Weigh is it’s what you weigh on the inside. – [Gary] I totally understand.
– So therefore, it’s all about it’s your inner workings,
it’s your inner workings that we’re interested in. – I think I’m aware that
you’re taking it to the place you want to take it, just that, nevertheless, let’s move on. Parting shots. What do you got? What’s your favorite, what are
you obsessed with right now? In a lighthearted way, like a drink, like a single person that you’re following for the last two days, a song you played on. Just a fun, lightweight, what are you obsessed with right now? – I’m obsessed with people. You don’t understand. – I get it, no, I do. I genuinely fucking do.
– I’m obsessed with them. I’ve always been, and you know, I was a kid who grew up like there was a lot of
abuse in my childhood, I met all kinds of different
people way too young and had all kinds of different experiences–
– [Gary] That’s good. With people way too young. – I mean that’s not great but it’s helpful in the end.
– And that ends up meaning that it’s great. – Yeah, but I’m just saying, it’s important to be thoughtful to the people who are perhaps are still going through the bad of it and haven’t yet gotten to the good. – You’re not saying just
because it’s you this way that that’s not going on for them. – [Jameela] No, I could
have dealt with that story. – I understand the hedge. – Yeah, yeah, I feel like
I still would have been smart and observant with
just a touch less trauma but nonetheless–
– Adversity is foundational. – [Jameela] For sure, but–
– By the way– – Wait, but when adversity is foundational when you also have the
tremendous privilege of having access to therapy and help. – Okay. – That’s important to remember. A lot of people just get
left in where they’re at because they can’t get out. – By the way, let’s define words. Adversity versus massive trauma are two very–
– [Jameela] Yeah, yeah. – Without, you’re being vague,
so I can’t make assumptions. I think back to those kind of, right? I don’t know, we’re living through, I’m so fucking grateful to
be living through this time. I think it is a very,
look I think we’ve all, no matter how young we are, we’ve all lived through times where things are a little
bit more kind of stable. It’s intriguing to live
through real fucking change. – [Jameela] I agree.
– And there’s real, monumental, scaled
change that will play out over the next century. – This is where my
obsession is coming from. I think the reason that I was a victim of so many different types of abuse is because people were
holding in all their feelings and all of their thoughts at the time. You know, I grew up in Britain in the ’90s and everyone’s racism was very insidious and it was very hidden but
it would burst out of them and so I think what was so
interesting is the fact that I’ve come though that time into now, where everyone’s feelings
are just spilling out of them and it’s like oh my god,
everyone is unlocking and I find that fascinating
because it’s great. – And good, I’m with you.
– [Jameela] It’s so healthy. – I think the, listen, I’m
watching how your navigating, how you’re speaking, what
you’re talking about, I’m a buyer of what you’re putting down. The shadows of our lives are the jails. That’s where the bad
shit is, I’m with you. – And I really like, I
really love your realism. It’s a thing I haven’t
heard this podcast before, which is why I was like, “Can I swear?”
– [Gary] Yes, well I heard earlier you don’t listen. – But I watch all your
videos and I just think the way that you just cut
straight through the shit and you just tell the truth
or you tell your truth, whatever the response–
– And honestly, what I think now that I get an even better sense of
you, why I understand. For some people, they think that there’s always the other side of the coin. But I understand now why we
have a lot of similarities, and obviously a lot of differences. I think you can sense, much like I’m feeling during
this whole time together, that when one shoots it
straight or keeps it real, there are two very fucking
different versions of that. One, somebody’s doing that to suppress. Other versions, somebody has
actually has genuine intent and hopes it’s the variable that helps one and I’m grateful that you understood that. – Yeah, I appreciate that about you. – It’s genuinely how I feel. I feel like why not? – I’m so bored of the idea of pretense. I can’t be bothered. I lost so many years of my life already, I’m not interested in small talk or wasting my time or politeness. – By the way, and here’s why everyone’s losing in that scenario. Nobody’s winning.
– [Jameela] No. – The person’s that deploying it ultimately becomes resentful. The person on the other side
is not getting any benefit. It’s a lose-lose fucking situation. – It’s sullied, the whole situation, the whole interaction is
sullied and pointless. – [Gary] I have no idea
what sullied is but I’m sure it’s exactly right.
– Dirty. – Sullied, you’re fucking right. Thank you.
– Thank you. This is a great chat. – That was fun.