Jameela Jamil is on a mission. The Good Place star has never been shy about using her platform to highlight the issues close to her heart, so it makes sense that her trip to New York Fashion Week would focus on empowerment. In between enjoying shows like Jeremy Scott and Tommy Hilfiger, Jamil served as the keynote speaker at The Curvy Con. The event, which shines a light on body positivity and fashion above a size 12, has become a destination for women interested in style that is both expressive and inclusive.
In conversation with The Curvy Con co-founder, CeCe Olisa, Jamil got candid about body politics, the I Weigh movement and her personal journey towards self-acceptance, in what she considers her most honest public discussion to date. Before getting on stage, Jamil took in the convention’s sights, coming face to face with body-positive activists she had long admired and engaging with the vibrant community who bring the event to life.
In this exclusive diary, the actress and activist takes Vogue along for the ride as she preps for the big day, offering insight on how she power dresses for public speaking, and why it’s time for fashion to become truly size-inclusive.
Wearing Roberto Cavalli by Paul Surridge. The style stakes at The Curvy Con are high, so it’s important to show these women the respect of turning up dressed like you mean it. A well-tailored suit is how I feel my most relaxed and powerful. It somehow makes me feel as though I have the freedom of a man, because of how long we have associated this style with masculinity. When I speak publicly I’m always almost in one of these, to afford me a sense of psychological freedom. This is just for me personally; this is just how I power dress.
With BoPo style icon Simone Mariposa, someone I’ve followed and loved for a long time. This woman is so beautiful and resilient and pure and honest.
This is Megan Crabbe, known to the world as BodyPosiPanda. She went viral for dancing in her underwear as a “plus-size” (I hate that term) woman. She’s a glorious source of self-love and rebellion against society’s toxic messaging. She’s very informed and educative, incredibly empowering and frank, and truly one of the most spectacular and important follows on the internet whatever your size or background. Simone Mariposa and Megan Crabbe are truly two of the most inspiring and incredible women I’ve come across, and I love how much we all support each other. This is a fight which requires a team effort, and that truly exists between us.
Stage fright just before taking to the panel, for what would go on to be maybe the most honest public conversation I’ve ever had.
I had just said the dirtiest thing I’ve ever said publicly, too dirty to repeat in Vogue, the room screamed, and as I saw the expression on CeCe [Olisa]’s face, I realized CeCe’s mother was in the front row! So I had to stand up, apologize, and bow down to her, but she was a fabulous sport and stood up and shouted in agreement with me. A moment I shall never forget!
These are the two founders of The Curvy Con, Chastity Garner Valentine and CeCe Olisa. [It is] the biggest ever convention for women who wear sizes we almost never see in stores, and every fashion week they bring online stores to life; allowing women who have been pushed out until now the opportunity to shop like those of us with the privilege of being smaller. This is a huge issue that needs to change, further highlighted by the awe and delight of these women, who have never been able to just shop socially with friends before this. It’s a stunning convention full of important conversations, activism, and radical acceptance. It’s growing so fast and I truly believe this convention has a huge future in fashion. It was an honor to be there.
As I left, I had to change into full Thom Browne and head to the Vogue party, but wanted to show you my eye makeup, because I am childishly proud of it. I do my own makeup for absolutely everything, and trying something new can frequently turn out like I’ve allowed a small child to have free reign with a crayon on my face, but I felt quite satisfied with my (Euphoria-inspired, obviously) new look. That show has single-handedly changed the way I look at makeup forever.
I had a wonderful day at Curvy Con and can honestly say, of all of the rooms I was in at fashion week, it was one of the most aesthetically pleasing. The style is so fresh and fabulous; we have got to stop otherizing these beautiful women from an industry they belong in. We all deserve the right to take part in art, and I will spend the rest of my life defending this—fashion for all.