When Jessica Simpson was at the height of her fame, the tabloids chronicled her every move — and that also included watching every fluctuation of her body weight. There’s one particular moment that is still seared into her brain and it reminds us all how damaging body-shaming is for anyone to endure.
In 2009, while appearing in concert, she wore “mom jeans,” which are now all the rage. At the time, she was ahead of the curve in bringing this denim cut back in style. Yet it wasn’t the fashion magazines applauding her for a new trend, it was the media focusing on what her body looked like in that outfit. When we look at that photo through a 2021 lens, she looks beautiful and fit — it’s hard to even believe what the headlines were even talking about.
Simpson even has the heartbreaking receipts from her journal that she’s sharing in the paperback version of her memoir, Open Book. “Today my heart breaks because people says I’m fat,” she said in her journal entry via People. “Why does the cruel opinion of this world get to me? Last week I read back to my journals from 1999 and I beat myself up about how fat I [was] before I even gave the world a chance to…”
It’s easy for people to write catchy headlines, but it’s another thing to step back and think about how you are making people feel with your words. “I don’t think people always realized that there was a human being,” she told the publication. “A beating heart and working eyes with actual feelings behind those headlines and that words can hurt and stay with you for a lifetime.”
The times have changed and the body positivity movement has been a supportive community for her. It has also opened her eyes to the “unrealistic body standard” that she tried to achieve for so many years made her “feel like a failure all of the time.” Simpson has worked hard to understand that she’s more than a number on a scale or a size on a pair of jeans. “I am still a work in progress when it comes to self-criticism, but now I have the tools to quiet those voices in my head when they speak up,” she explained.
Simpson’s refreshing honesty, when it comes to her life and learning from past mistakes, only helps everyone realize how hard we can be on ourselves — and how deep the wounds go when people are cruel.
Before you go, click here to see the most shocking celebrity tell-alls of all time.