Jessica Simpson addresses public scrutiny over her weight

‘I think it just doesn’t need to be a conversation,’ Simpson says

Meredith Clark
New York
Monday 28 August 2023 18:28 BST

Related: Nick Lachey appears to shade ex-wife Jessica Simpson during Love Is Blind reunion

Jessica Simpson has called out the ongoing public scrutiny she’s received for her weight over the years.

The singer and fashion designer, 43, recently spoke about negative comments surrounding the “evolution” of her body, specifically when she rose to fame in the 2000s. “I wish I could explain it. I wish I could say, for me, that it’s gotten better, but it still remains the same,” Simpson told Access Hollywood on 25 August.

“Now, my kids see me being still scrutinised, and it’s very confusing to them because they’re like, ‘Well, I don’t even understand this,’” the Open Book author said. “‘Why don’t they just say you look pretty, mom? You look pretty.’”

However, Simpson explained that her experience with facing such criticism has allowed her to pass down wisdom to her three children - who she shares with her former NFL player husband, Eric Johnson.

“I tell my kids, how you feel about yourself is how you should feel. You don’t dress for anybody else, you don’t try to look like anybody else. Truly, you don’t have to be any other size,” the “Irresistible” singer said, before sharing a moment when her 11-year-old daughter, Maxwell, felt insecure about her own appearance.

“Maxwell’s the tallest in her grade. She’s like, ‘Should I be insecure?’ I was like, ‘The fact that you’re asking me if you should be insecure means absolutely not,’” Simpson recalled. “You’re comfortable, you stay comfortable.”

As the designer for her eponymous fashion line, the Jessica Simpson Collection, she went on to explain how being “every size” throughout her career has given her perspective when designing size-inclusive clothing. “I have been every size, I do understand everybody and every woman and their mentality and how deserving they are of fashion and style,” Simpson said. “It’s been a natural thing for me.”

Jessica Simpson on facing scrutiny

Despite feeling comfortable in her own skin, the Dukes of Hazzard star emphasised that it’s critics who shouldn’t feel so comfortable commenting on other people’s appearance. “I think that, more than weight that people have focused on, we need to focus on our mentality about even talking about weight,” Simpson added. “I think it just doesn’t need to be a conversation.”

Throughout her decades-long career, Simpson has faced her fair share of criticism. Back in 2009, infamous photos of Simpson wearing so-called “mom jeans” at a concert performance became the subject of tabloid headlines and brutal body shaming from the media. In a journal entry - which was later published in her 2020 memoir, Open Book - Simpson wrote that her “heart breaks because people say I’m fat”.

“Why does the cruel opinion of this world get to me?” she wrote at the time, shortly after the “mom jeans” photos surfaced. “Has it become about how many people read something and are encouraged to believe it. Last week, I read back on my journals from 99 and I beat myself up about how fat I am before I even gave the world a chance to.”

Simpson also wrote that the iconic Daisy Dukes shorts she wore in the 2005 film, Dukes of Hazzard, set a “gold standard” ideal for her body that led to scrutiny over her weight for the next 15 years.

Most recently, the “Take My Breath Away” singer addressed public speculation surrounding her weight loss amid rumours that she uses diabetes medication Ozempic. While Simpson has openly admitted to previously using diet pills in her memoir, she shot down recent accusations she was using Ozempic during an interview with Bustle, in which she said: “Oh Lord. I mean, it is not. It is willpower.”

In November 2022, Simpson revealed that she’s been sober from alcohol for five years. In addition to their daughter Maxwell, she and her husband share son Ace, 10, and daughter Birdie Mae, four.

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