Jessica Simpson, We Love You at Every Size.
"It's not fair that women look in the mirror and feel disgust because of what society has made them believe." - Jessica Simpson, c 2009
To be crystal clear: we LOVE Jessica Simpson. She is talented and has never gotten the credit she deserves for that. (we're not sure she's ever gotten credit at all)
We loathe the media narrative that has formed around her ever since she was known for being the ambitious (code for "gold-digging/famewhore") girlfriend of Nick Lachey. We only hear about her love life and weight loss. We do NOT blame her for attempting to capitalize on it. We are horrified at what she has been used to make women believe about themselves, how she went from rising star to cautionary tale.
Jessica Simpson is getting glowing praise from all corners of the internet...didn’t you hear? She lost 100 pounds! Amy Trujillo has some thoughts about that. You may remember Amy from past episodes of the Fitness Protection Podcast: she’s a middle-school teacher and a runner and strong-ass woman who has no plans to go on a crash diet in order to impress you.
Amy walks us through the Yahoo! News article (not linked here) about Jessica Simpson’s weight loss and all the things that aren’t being said. In order to lose 100 pounds in 6 months (postpartum or otherwise), a person would have to either severely restrict their caloric intake, exercise to a dangerous extent, or both (thanks for that, Biggest Loser). A thin person restricting and over-exercising would immediately be evaluated for a possible eating disorder. But the 240-pound Jessica Simpson (now 140-pound Jessica Simpson) is praised and idolized all over the internet. “Kudos to Jessica!” says Women’s Health magazine.
Once again, we’re told, weight loss is the answer. Rapid, unrealistic, unhealthy weight loss is the even-better, worthy-of-mass-celebration answer. Amy looks at this story and calls bullshit, and we are hanging on her every word.
Amy Trujillo teaches science at a local, public, high-performing magnet school in Denver. She believes in the importance of calling out these narratives because she sees how even her 6th graders have already absorbed harmful messaging from stories like this.