Jessica Simpson is a billion-dollar business mogul, pop star, author, and actress. Although she has received many awards for her music, reality TV show, and business ventures throughout her successful career, Simpson continues to receive criticism for something that’s irrelevant to her talent: her body.
Body shaming is something that many people, particularly women, experience. Plus we all know that celebrities are often the most scrutinized. Most of us remember the “scandal” that Simpson endured in 2009 following pictures of the singer looking beautiful in high-waisted “mom” jeans, a black tank top, a double leopard-print belt, and a curvy body.
Since the pop star had been known for her extremely thin body before this time, tabloids, media, and many other people took aim at her full-figured body. In an NFL animated skit that aired in October 2009, Fox and Burger King teamed up to body-shame Simpson.
One jab at the singer included an animated version of the Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber saying, “Man, I still can’t believe Tony [Romo] dated Jessica Simpson, even after she blew up bigger than Flozell Adams!”
Who could forget Eminem’s music video for his 2009 hit, “We Made You”? He enlisted Internet personality Trisha Paytas to play a “fat” Jessica Simpson and pose with General Lee (a reference to Simpson’s role as Daisy Duke) while eating a cheeseburger.
Turns out, this was hardly the first time the actress’s body had been judged. Apparently, the pop star has been criticized about her body ever since childhood. During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Simpson confessed, “I’ve literally been judged for my body since I was a kid.”
The businesswoman went on to admit that when she would sing at church, she was forced to wear blazers, turtlenecks, and other clothing that would cover up her chest. The reason? People in the church might “lust” after her. Remember, Simpson was just a young teen during this time when she was being sexualized and body-shamed.
The scrutiny continued for Simpson even while she was pregnant. Even pregnant women aren’t free of body-shaming from the media, despite the fact that weight gain is typical and often necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Headlines about Simpson’s weight persisted even after she lost her pregnancy weight. Once the actress lost the baby weight from her first pregnancy in 2012, the media created headlines about the weight loss.
An ABC News broadcast from November 19, 2012, aired with the headline, “Jessica’s Amazing New Body.” We wish we could say that things have changed since Simpson was first body-shamed as a teenager. However, it looks like the more things change, the more they stay the same. In fact, Simpson is still being judged for her body.
In a recent Instagram post with her mother and daughter Maxwell, 10, critics posted their thoughts about Simpson’s currently thin body. Regardless of the shape and size of her body, Simpson just can’t catch a break, and she’s far from the only woman—famous or not—who has had to grapple with body shaming no matter her size. It’s time that we all reckon with the body-shaming culture we’re in and stops this vicious cycle.