A while back, Jessica Simpson made news for sporting “mom jeans” at a show. Given the verbal beating she took from critics, you wouldn’t believe she’d been the subject of positive weight loss stories just a few years earlier when she worked out incessantly to squeeze into itty bitty shorts to portray Daisy Duke. Almost as quickly as she was being written about for looking svelte, she was attacked for daring to be bigger, both during the “mom jeans” moment and her first pregnancy.
Two kids later, the Weight Watchers spokesperson is flaunting her amazing figure on Instagram. Loads of women like to do this before summer begins, and if they feel good about themselves, they should. I, for one, was happy to see Simpson so pleased with her progress, if only because it’s always nice to see women feeling proud and awesome in their bodies.
But then, the backlash. Numerous headlines covering Simpson’s bathing suit pictures splashed across the Internet earlier this week, many questioned her well-being (“SHOCKINGLY THIN”) while others highlighted how “hot” she is now. Jezebel astutely pointed out the absurdity of this ongoing obsession with Simpson’s appearance: “It’s just depressing to see someone’s entire public persona revolve so entirely around being skinny and then gaining some weight and then losing some weight and then gaining some weight back and then losing some weight again, with checkout-line celeb mags and diet companies cashing in along the way. Better not let any padding sneak onto your hips, or it will swallow your entire identity! It just makes me so very, very tired.”
I’m tired of it too, and I’m not even the one exercising enough to build muscles. Of course, it’s nice to see websites and magazines write supportive things about Simpson, as big-time celebs take a lot of flack online and surely appreciate kindness from strangers every once in a while. But just because she posted images of herself in a swimsuit doesn’t justify any perverse comments being written about her body, not like it would be the first time someone objectifies Simpson or any female in the public eye, for that matter.
The weirdest part is the contrast between this Instagram response and the nastiness directed at her during her first pregnancy. The singer lost 70 pounds after giving birth to firstborn Maxwell. “With Maxwell I didn’t think about the weight I was gaining, and the first time I stepped on a scale and looked at the number . . . I mean, that wasn’t a number I had ever even considered…and I was faced with a pretty serious truth. But since I had already done Weight Watchers, I didn’t put on as much weight with [second kid] Ace and I just know a lot more now.”
With that wisdom comes understanding. When Kim Kardashian got mocked for her pregnancy with North, Simpson felt for the reality star, “I knew exactly what she was going through. I send a lot of love her way, and I know she’ll come back with a bang. I will never understand why people give pregnant women such a hard time. We are creating a human life: I think we get every excuse in the world to eat a doughnut!”
Simpson told ABC News earlier this year that she’s getting back to work soon, “I want my daughter to see me on stage. My fiancé has never even watched me perform. Which is crazy. And — but that is my passion, that is my love, like, that is everything that I am.”
I look forward to stories about her shows. With all the disorienting articles on her appearance changes over the years, it’d be nice to read what she loves doing and not simply how she looks when she’s doing it.