I loved Jessica Simpson when she first stepped onto the scene; she was different than the other bubble-gum pop singers and the pipes she had just blew me away.
I loved her show Newlyweds, and some of her songs define my college experience with my girlfriends (“I Think I’m in Love,” for example, was our song, played at all our weddings in honor of the great guys we all ended up finding senior year of college).
And despite coming off at times like a ditzy chic, she has a strong business sense and has really done well with her shoes/clothing lines, even if her acting abilities haven’t been the best.
Over the years, she’s one of those celebrities we’ve seen torn to shreds for her weight “ups and downs.” Criticized left and right. Brandished one week; fawned over the next.
The pressures of celebrity are great; there’s no denying that. One could argue she did it to herself, by being so accessible … but she’s always struck me as someone very real.
Very honest. Someone you could be friends with, because she knows what it’s like to be a average girl as much as she knows how to be a paparazzi-ducking celebrity.
In a truly candid interview with Glamour, Jessica opens up on body image and the notion of beauty. She seems to have a very realistic outlook on her body, and it was refreshing to hear her admit that yes, her weight fluctuates and no, it’s not a crisis. Check out an excerpt here:
GLAMOUR: I understand your new TV show (The Price of Beauty) is about what women all over the world do for beauty.
JS: I fell in love with the idea when it was presented to me. They said, “You were the first person who came to mind. We know the scrutiny you’ve been under, and we see the strong woman you’ve become.” I thought, Wow, there are people out there who aren’t thinking I’m on magazine covers just because my weight fluctuates.
GLAMOUR: So on the show, you’ll travel around the world and observe what’s considered beautiful in different cultures and why?
JS: Yes, whether wearing rings to elongate your neck in Thailand or having plastic surgery in Brazil, women all over the world go to [great] lengths to feel beautiful. It’s not fair that women look in the mirror and feel disgust because of what society has made them believe. I’ve been through it myself, and understand the pressures. We’re all facing the same struggles together, whether you’re a celebrity or not.
GLAMOUR: So you plan to draw on your own experiences?
JS: Yes. When I was young, I would look at magazines and feel a lot of pressure. As a child of 12, I would write things in my journal like, “I’m lying here and all I can think about is that my stomach is hanging over my underwear.” That disturbs me even today! I was always disconnected from myself; there was this idea of perfection I couldn’t ever get to. But all women struggle with insecurity, and we all have something we don’t like about ourselves.
GLAMOUR: And you’ve dealt with a lot of unfair media criticism [about your weight] in past months. How have you been feeling about that?
JS: I absolutely, 100 percent do not agree with how the media has made everyone [body] obsessed. And they do have the power to do it. Celebrities aren’t perfect. It’s amazing to me how much thought is put into a woman’s figure on tabloid covers.
GLAMOUR: What do you hope women will get out of watching a show like this? (her new show, The Price of Beauty)
JS: No matter how much money you spend to make yourself beautiful—with all the products, the diets, the plastic surgery—in the end, women need to fall in love with themselves and realize they’re beautifully and wonderfully made. There is no “perfect” you. It will be interesting for women to see how self-obsessed we’ve become.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
How about you? Thoughts? Do you think a show like Jessica’s will fuel our nation’s body obsession or raise awareness at just how out of hand things have gotten?