Jessica Simpson wants us to stop talking about her body. There's a reason we can't.

Content warning: This article includes descriptions of disordered eating that may be distressing to some readers. 

People are talking about Jessica Simpson's body again. And if it seems like this is a conversation that resurfaces time and time again – that's because it is.

This latest wave of discussion was sparked off the back of a recent interview, in which Simpson spoke out about the public scrutiny of her weight over the years. 

"I think that more than weight that people have focused on, we need to focus on our mentality about even talking about weight," Simpson told Access Hollywood, before ultimately declaring: "I think it just doesn’t need to be a conversation."

Simpson went on to explain that the media's fascination with her body has even had an effect on her kids.

"It’s very confusing to them because they’re like, ‘Well I don’t even understand this, why don’t they just say you look pretty, Mom? You look pretty,’" Simpson said of her two daughters Maxwell and Birdie, as well as her son Ace, whom she shares with her husband Eric Johnson. 

"And I’m like, ‘Honey, I wish I could explain it.’ I wish I could say, ‘For me, it has gotten better but it still remains the same and I don’t know why but it’s OK.’"

Of course, the world's obsession with Jessica Simpson's weight isn't anything new. It's something she's dealt with her entire life.

In fact, she was just 17 years old when her record label told her to lose weight.


In her memoir, Open Book, she wrote: "I immediately went on an extremely strict diet, and started taking diet pills, which I would do for the next 20 years."

"I started to hear voices when I was alone at night, waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in… 'Do more sit-ups, fat ass.' 

By the time she got to the release of her second album single, 'Irresistible', she'd lost even more weight.

"Everyone went on about how great I looked, but I couldn't enjoy it because I was so freaking hungry."

Then came the Daisy Dukes era.

In a remake of The Dukes Of Hazzard in 2005, Simpson played cousin Daisy — who, as you might remember, wore teeny, tiny denim shorts paired with mid-riff top and cowboy boots.

There was also the accompanying music video for 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin'' – an iconic clip in which she donned a small pink bikini while washing a red muscle car.

Simpson said her look as Daisy Duke "created a gold standard Jessica, the 'before' for every 'is she fat or is she thin' story for the rest of my career".

Then, years later, came that infamous mass body shaming "Mom Jeans" incident, where photos of the singer performing onstage went viral. 

Headlines referred to her as "Jumbo Jessica," "beefy", and claimed that she'd "let herself go".


In an interview with Glamour she said the incident shattered her passion for performing. "I felt good up there," she said. "I felt confident. And then it ruined the stage for me. And the stage was my home. It broke my home."

But Simpson's experience with body shaming didn't end there. In fact, as Mamamia's executive editor Holly Wainwright has previously pointed out, the scrutiny of the 42-year-old's image continues today.

She wrote: "Lately, she's been thin again. Back in a bikini. The headlines about 'concerns' for her 'frail form' have moved from newsstands to sidebars on news sites. Alongside those stories sit the ones about 'how she did it'. Take your pick."

And so, the pendulum has swung yet again – and Simpson is now one of many celebrities rumoured to be using the diabetes drug Ozempic to lose weight.

When asked if she was on the medication in an interview with Bustle, she shut down the accusations. 

"It’s willpower," she said. "I’m like, do people want me to be drinking again? Because that’s when I was heavier. Or they want me to be having another baby? My body can’t do it.

"No, I’m too old for that," she added. “I am too connected to myself right now."

So, where does all of this leave us? In 2023, should Simpson's body still be a topic of conversation?

It's something of a double-edged sword. 


It's important to highlight that Jessica Simpson as an individual should not — and should never have had — her body critiqued in public. Ever. 

The constant scrutiny, shaming and deconstruction of her body image then, and now, is disgusting. Gross. And a stark lesson that no matter what size we are, we will always be the "wrong size".

But at the same time, we can’t stop talking about her history altogether.

The conversations that have happened in the past few years about her body shaming are important — and they shouldn't be wrapped up and put away. Especially now.

These kinds of conversations play an instrumental role in highlighting just how damaging the culture of examining women’s bodies in the public eye can be. And it's a story that needs to keep being shared — as horrible as it may be.

Because when it comes to body shaming and the objectification of women's bodies, especially celebrities, the fact of the matter is, we're just not there yet. And Jessica Simpson's story can't, and shouldn't, be shelved.

As Holly Wainwright so perfectly put it, "It's the unpicking of this that is really the most exciting reckoning."

For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation’s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673).

Feature image: Getty

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