+
Jameela Jamil addresses people who want 'good vibes' instead of activism from her

In a world where prejudice and discrimination are far too commonplace, people of goodwill must speak out in defense of the marginalized. Sometimes speaking out means raising awareness. Sometimes speaking out means calling for action. Sometimes speaking out means sharing ugly realities and examples of what needs to change.

And sometimes that ticks people off.

Actress and activist Jameela Jamil addressed the people who complain about her calling out injustices on her social media pages. With an exasperated exhale, she shared a message on Instagram for the folks who tell her they'd prefer she just put out "good vibes" on her platform.


"When privileged people tell you to stop calling out injustice and only put "good vibes" out. You know what the ultimate good vibe is? EQUALITY.

You can take your harmfully lazy, complicit and wholly irrelevant good vibes and shove them right up your bum.

Hugs."

Clearly, Jamil is not one to mince words.

The context for her post, which she shared in an Instagram story, was a series of messages she'd received criticizing her for calling people out on social media for "their difference of opinion or views." As Jamil pointed out, comments that are harmful to a marginalized group are not matter of opinion. "This is about more than a difference of opinion," she wrote. "This is about the life or death of human beings and their basic rights."

The exchange was specifically about the transphobia discussions surrounding J.K. Rowling, but Jamil's sentiment applies to any instance of calling out injustice. Some people seem to believe that just focusing on positivity will magically create a more just world, but Jamil explained that's not how it works. "You can't good vibes your way out of being murdered, raped, denied housing, safety, medical care, and basic human rights," she wrote.

Upworthy receives similar complaints when we share stories of injustice—"Why can't you just focus on good/positive stories?" And the answer is because we are focused on the best of humanity—which includes taking a stand against injustices that impact entire groups of humans. Uplifting, "good vibes" stories are wonderful and absolutely vital for maintaining hope, but shining a light on injustice and inequality so that we can clearly see what we need to work on in order to build a better world is also imperative.

As Jamil wrote, "You know what the ultimate good vibe is? EQUALITY." Exactly. And the truth is we can and should do both. We can highlight the positive while also addressing the problems that still need solutions. We can celebrate good samaritans while also standing up for victims of oppression.

What we can't do is ignore the real issues impacting humanity in favor of feel-good stories that make us forget that we have important work to do. We have to balance our need for hope and positivity with our need to act on injustice. We must temper our desire for emotional upliftment with our duty to lift up our fellow humans who are suffering. We can do both—and we should.

Thank you, Jameela Jamil, for explaining this so succinctly.

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

His aunt died on Thanksgiving and his 'rap' about how the family handled it is hilarious

The 95-year-old's 'bold, creative decision' to die on Thanksgiving when the whole family was at her house led to this chaotic masterpiece.

A viral video tells a wild, oddly hilarious tale of a guy's aunt dying on Thanksgiving.

A loved one dying on a holiday isn't normally something to laugh about, but there are exceptions to every rule. This video is one of them.

TikTok user Darien (@dairy.n) shared a story about his family's Thanksgiving Day that is so gloriously bizarre and delightfully real, it's hard not to laugh, despite the fact that it's about his aunt dying. The fact that he tells the tale in the style of a "One thing about me" rap is extra hilarious, and judging by the comments of some of the 6.7 million people who've watched it, it's struck people's funny bones.

Dark humor? A little bit. But his aunt was 95 and she died of natural causes, which helps the hilarity feel not quite so inappropriate. She also apparently had a fabulous sense of humor that she used to cope with her own difficulties throughout her life, so the video is more like a fitting tribute than a what-the-heck storytelling.

Keep ReadingShow less
Gen Ishihara/Facebook

"AI art isn't cute."

Odds are you’ve probably seen those Lensa AI avatars floating around social media. You know, the app that turns even the most basic of selfies into fantasy art masterpieces? I wouldn’t be surprised if you have your own series of images filling up your photo bank right now. Who wouldn’t want to see themselves looking like a badass video game character or magical fairy alien?

While getting these images might seem like a bit of innocent, inexpensive fun, many are unaware that it comes at a heavy price to real digital artists whose work has been copied to make it happen. A now-viral Facebook and Instagram post, made by a couple of digital illustrators, explains how.

Keep ReadingShow less