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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 02/ 2/2009

Comment Box: The Big Deal About Jessica Simpson

By Liz Kelly

Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke in 2005's 'The Dukes of Hazzard.' (AP)
Comment Box

Last week much schadenfreude was had at the expense of Jessica Simpson when pictures of the one-time pop star turned reality show pouter turned country twanger sporting a visibly curvier figure and an unfortunate outfit hit the Internets.

Predictably, a gaggle of photo agencies and celebrity-stalking bloggers were quick with quips like "Jessica Simpson: This Is How She Rolls" or "Jessica Simpson Fat as Hell."

Sister Ashlee, Kim Kardashian and even Simpson ex Nick Lachey were quick to come to Simpson's defense. Ashlee scolded us for paying attention to Jess's weight at all:

"Since when did a woman’s weight become newsworthy? A week after the inauguration and with such a feeling of hope in the air for our country, I find it completely embarrassing and belittling to all women to read about a woman’s weight or figure."

But even some Celebritology readers didn't spare the snark. A comment from last week's Celebritology Live discussion:

"What she and her sister don't get is that if your entire career is based upon your being a hot, sexy blond with Double D's (thanks, Papa Joe) people are going to talk smack if you gain weight."

Though others turned the focus back to the anonymous critics:

"Jessica may be a ditz, but her extra weight doesn't bother me at all. She's beginning to look like a "real" person."

One constituency that leapt to Simpson's defense was the group of horndogs that frequent AskMen.com. When asked, "Fat Jessica Simpson: Still Hot?," the majority of commenters surprisingly concluded that Simpson is "hotter now."

I'm interested in your take on this -- should we really be debating Jessica Simpson's weight or the debate about Jessica Simpson's weight?

------

Comment of the Week
"As the resident conservative on this blog, let me just say that [Elisabeth] Hasselbeck really doesn't represent the modern conservative women: we don't sit home popping out babies." -- epjd sets the record straight in last Thursday's Morning Mix.

By Liz Kelly  | February 2, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Comment Box  
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Comments

I think the American public has a really warped sense of appropriate body image. Not suprising since the more Americans are obese than simply overweight. This lead Jay Leno to quip recently that "Obese is the new fat".
American also do not recognize what is healthy. How can I (size 8) be considered skinny by my peers and Jessica Simpson who looks to be the same size, be considered fat? A double standard for the stars I guess. Explains why so many of them seem to be anorexic. I say give these poor stars a break. We know that the camera adds at least 10 pounds!

Posted by: hodie | February 2, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Reminds me also how Meryl Streep in The Devil Wore Prada, kept referring to Anne Hathaway's character as "that fat girl".

Posted by: hodie | February 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I defer to Dr. hodie's expert opinion on this matter.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I frequent a fashion blog that regularly shows stars in the same clothes that walk the runway--with side-by-side pix.

It definitely illustrates how extremely thin the runway models are in comparison to the stars. And the stars are thin enough as it is.

The only mistake Jessica made was to wear tight jeans with side pockets. You're on stage. You don't need pockets.

Yes, she's heaver than she was when she was married to Nick. Nick probably ate like a little bird. She's hanging with the Romos now and they eat like footballers. Texas footballers, so you know they can put it away.

If I were her, I'd worry less about the wardrobe and weight and spend some quality time with a vocal coach.

Posted by: mdreader01 | February 2, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

mdreader, that blog wouldn't be the creation of two guys in Philly, would it?

Didn't we already cover this topic with Jennifer Love Hewitt a few weeks back? Not that obesity isn't an important issue, but we're talking about Jessica Simpson here. She looks fine. Not my type maybe, but fine.

Can we expect a 60-minutes-esque "ScarJo: Fit or Phat?" next?

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | February 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Look, we all gain weight, most of us feel yucky and get teased for it. However, we don't all have to act like Mother Theresa for enduring the nasty attention, thanking fans for "their support" (support? Like a full-figure bra?) or have famous sisters and ex-husbands "defend" us. I don't really feel sorry for her and the cynic in me says I wouldn't put it past her to have porked out on purpose for the publicity.

Posted by: possum_pouch | February 2, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

On one side, I do agree that if you are in the public eye and your weight fluctuates then you have to expect that there are going to be some comments in the entertainment news world. However, this time around with the Jessica Simpson pics, I think both the celeb news and the "serious" news folks went WAY overboard with the coverage and that's not fair - to Jessica or to women in American who would love to be a size 8.

Posted by: sjcpeach | February 2, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I am honored to get comment of the week.

As for Jessica, oh my, she's a size 8 now. Oh dear. I would kill to be size 8 again. The obsession with weight in this country is why we have both anorexia AND obesity issues. We are so focused on the number, we make food the focus. Which leads to extremes. The only way you can control such an obsession is not to eat or overeat. If we just pull back and think about being healthy, and not worrying about the numbers, the problem with both extremes will lessen.

Although, here are some numbers on the childhood obesity problem. In the 1980s, 8% of chldren were obese. Now 16% of children are obese. On the one hand -- Oh dear, the number of obese children has doubled in 20 years. On the other hand, even today the VAST majority of children - 84%--- (a larger percentage than the people who voted for Obama just for comparison) are not obese. So, remember, there are liars, darn liars and statisticians.

Posted by: epjd | February 2, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, isn't the real problem her lack of discernable talent? A few pounds either way won't solve that problem.

Posted by: 44west | February 2, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Sure is Monday in here, with all these weighty topics. Thanx for the link to pictures of Jessica Simpson's butt, to which I never before paid much attention. While it is possible that she, like the booty-standard setting JLo, could serve coffee off it, the coffee would have to be in demi-tasses rather than regular cups. So, not fat. Not even close.

And I am no Jessica lover. Except for the suggestion that she might make Tony Romo play bad football when she is in the stands. Of which I am all in favor.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. Somewhere along the line someone mentioned a larger Jennifer Love-Hewitt. As a shout-out to the Pookie chat, that just gives us more cleavage for the cleavage scenes.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps this is for a role? (Read: Charlize Theron in Monster)

Posted by: bs2004 | February 2, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So, remember, there are liars, darn liars and statisticians.

Posted by: epjd | February 2, 2009 12:49 PM

--------------------------------------------
And then there are lawyers.....

Posted by: angelos_peter | February 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

She's not fat, she's not skinny. She's normal. However, she made some very bad fashion choices that didn't enhance her figure a bit. She clearly has no taste when it comes to fashion so all she really needs is a good stylist. Talent would help but isn't required.

Posted by: pras40 | February 2, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"A role"? Nice try, bs2004, but I can't imagine she's filming "Employee of the Month 2: Weight Discrimination Lawsuit."

(At least I hope not. There's too much danecook in the world as it is.)

Though suddenly I can see her in a docudrama about "The Price is Right" with Bob Barker (Alec Baldwin) firing her as one of Barker's Beauties because she topped 120 (and stopped sucking up to Mr. Spay-n-Neuter). The horror!

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | February 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Every time someone disses Jessica's butt, she should turn the other cheek.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 2, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh ep, as the mother of many (but not octuplets) who has a career and has also been home full time in the past, please, please don't start back up the irritating mommy wars. Eliz. Hasselbeck does not need defending - she is incredibly annoying - but neither should she be derided for having children.

Posted by: Amelia5 | February 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Hasselback, but how can anyone say she is staying home popping out babies when she is on TV everyday?

Posted by: cjbriggs | February 2, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Jessica Simpson, who, while turing the White House, was introduced to Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, said to her, "Gee, I love what you've done to this place!"

She was always a fathead.

Posted by: kabuki3 | February 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Jessica Simpson and I can't stand her choke-artist boyfriend, but cut the girl some slack.

I'd wager that 9 out of 10 guys would get caught looking back over their shoulder after she walked by even if she wasn't a celebrity. She may be dumb as a rock and not be very talented, but she is hot. The curves don't hurt.

Posted by: ChaoticCracker | February 2, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much of the commenting-spree was a result of her outfit rather than (or at least on top of) her weight. I thought she looked pretty bad, but, well, her outfit was.. ugly (IMHO), and even more it looked like her clothes were too small for her size. Very few people look good in clothes that are too small.

Posted by: smcrage | February 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

There's no way that girl is fat. She just has extremely bad taste.
But she can't be a size 8, either? I wear an 8 and I would look like a hippo next to her. She's got to be maybe a 4?
And please, post a link to that fashion blog! I want to go to that.

Posted by: otherliz | February 2, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon sez . . . 'yawn'

Posted by: bmschumacher | February 2, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

ok... i'll do the dirty work.

Yes. She's heftier.

If she had a job that wasn't all about looks and very little to do with talent - well - that wouldn't matter. But it does here because we're a Sigue Sigue Sputnik generation - all style no substance. On that front - one cannot gain 20 lbs and expect to get away with it.

As to whether she's normal or not - well - perhaps normal for American women. After all, American women are, by and large, large. If Jessica (or Oprah, or anyone else) doesn't want to be larger than the average weight for women of 30 yrs ago... or today overseas... they'll have to eat less (it's not rocket science). My mother complains about her weight - but I've never seen her eat as much as she does now.

It's silly to argue that she's 'not fatter' - she is - i dont see what's to debate... and she is either happy with it and will let that vector play out into the plus-size model she wants to be, or not. This is celebritology - if we can be snarky about Amy Winehouse's drug problems i think taking a crack and Jessica's poor fashion sense and extra padding is well within the agreed upon 'open season' restrictions.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | February 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh ep, as the mother of many (but not octuplets) who has a career and has also been home full time in the past, please, please don't start back up the irritating mommy wars. Eliz. Hasselbeck does not need defending - she is incredibly annoying - but neither should she be derided for having children.

Posted by: Amelia5 | February 2, 2009 1:51 PM

====
ep wasn't starting a war as much as she was administering a "21-gun salute."

Compared to the other women on The View, Elizabeth is certainly the only one who is having babies at all.

Posted by: mdreader01 | February 2, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the real question is not whether or not Ms. Simpson has gained weight (she clearly has, just look at her face and upper arms). I think the real debate needs to center over why on earth she required TWO belts to hold up those pants? Actually, as I scrutinize those photos, I'm awestruck by the totality of awfulness that is Ms. Simpson's outfit.

-The Poster Formerly Known as Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | February 2, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

TD, why yes. Yes it is.

Quintilius, the point of bringing up that fashion site that compares stars to runway models is that it is all on a basis of comparison and presentatation.

Here's a for instance...We watched Oprah get fat before our eyes, yet, were we snarking about it on a daily basis? No, because it happened gradually, and no matter what weight she is, Oprah is always perfectly appointed.

Would we be commenting on Jessica Simpson's weight had she been performing with, say, Trisha Yearwood or Wynonna Judd? No, compared to Trisha snd Wynonna, we'd certainly say that Jessica was leaning on her looks over her talent.

To me, Jessica's voice is far more aggregious and snarkworthy than her weight gain.

Posted by: mdreader01 | February 2, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

md - if the job is 'professional eye candy' - and lets be serious, she and brit aren't in the biz because they have talent - then you kinda need to keep being eyecandy (or you'll be replaced by younger less well fed alternatives). Then again - maybe she's just bulking up to kick Romo's butt after his much publicized adventures in her place in LA.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | February 2, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Give her 6 months, then the media will be chastising her for being too skinny. I agree with the others, Jessica's problem isn't her weight, it is her lack of any viable talent.

If y'all remember after Jennifer Love Hewitt came out exclaiming how much she loved her curves, she lost a ton of weight, she claimed for her, now called off, wedding.

Posted by: milesdy | February 2, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi, jake.e.poo! Has the snow and ice melted yet in the St. Louis area?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 2, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"As the resident conservative on this blog, let me just say that [Elisabeth] Hasselbeck really doesn't represent the modern conservative women: we don't sit home popping out babies." -- epjd sets the record straight in last Thursday's Morning Mix.

What Celeb represents the modern conservative woman?

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 2, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Nosy...it melted over the weekend, it got into the upper 40s.

Posted by: milesdy | February 2, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'll be honest. What a disappointment. You can argue all you want about distorted body images, but the bottom line is that formerly H.O.T.T. Ms. Simpson is now an average-looking woman. We all know it's the truth -- every man on this planet would take the Jessica on the right...

Posted by: jerkhoff | February 2, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

What a joke--you fat, ugly slobs think you have the right to call Jessica Simpson fat? You're nothing but two bit losers who feast on a gigantic failure cake every day. Who the hell are you to talk?

Posted by: wangbang747 | February 2, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Speak for yourself, wangbang...

Posted by: jerkhoff | February 3, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit that JS grated on my nerves after her breakup w/ NL. But I have to defend here here.

I think she looks just fine and is not fat. In fact, I thought she was too skinny before.

Her outfit looked bad and was NOT for her body type. I mean, really? High waisted jeans, WITH POCKETS? Plus that wide, wide belt? Bad Choice, but leave her alone.

Posted by: Guest1234 | February 3, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

What a joke--you fat, ugly slobs think you have the right to call Jessica Simpson fat? You're nothing but two bit losers who feast on a gigantic failure cake every day. Who the hell are you to talk?

Posted by: wangbang747 | February 2, 2009 9:13 PM

*******************

Ladies and Gentleman, may I introduce Tony Romo aka wangbang747.

Posted by: MStreet1 | February 3, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"She clearly has no taste when it comes to fashion so all she really needs is a good stylist. "

She fancies herself a clothing designer. She's no advertisement for her Jessica Simpson collection.

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | February 3, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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