Jessica Simpson costs us a chance to learn about beauty

Why am I not surprised to see Jessica Simpson making the rounds on the talk show circuit this week?  Jessica is known for keeping herself in the media spotlight whether that light is positive or negative.  She tends to cash in on negatives and turn them into products, music videos, or in this case, a television show.  When Jessica was attacked for her weight gain last year, she decided to travel the world and discover what is beautiful in other countries.  She brought along the VH1 cameras, and lo and behold, this week we got the premiere of “Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty.”

I don’t fault Simpson for wanting to cash in on her media attention, and I actually think the idea of learning about beauty in other cultures is interesting.  But now we have this interesting topic and this Hollywood starlet… it just doesn’t mesh.  Jessica talks about wanting to learn about other cultures and see the different aspects of the world, but is she really doing it?  How many of us learn about other cultures while staying in five-star accommodations and traveling with our hair and makeup artist?  There’s something ironic about a woman who wants to discover beauty around the world and prove that it is in the eye of the beholder, yet in every interview looks flawless thanks to a team of professionals.

But like I said, the topic is interesting.  While watching this show, I did enjoy seeing the Thailand markets, the types of food people eat and the different ideas of beauty in Thailand.   A particularly interesting moment is when Jessica meets a woman named Panya.  In Thailand, pale is considered elegant and beautiful, so Panya buys a skin lightening cream.  Unfortunately, the cream burned her skin and she is now covered with scars and discoloration.  The story is extremely moving and when Panya starts to cry, it’s emotional to watch.  However, my intrigue and emotions are interrupted when Jessica’s point of view is given and I notice that in her studio interviews, she is unusually tan.  Bronzer or tan, whichever it was, it was completely ironic given the pain this woman is suffering to look pale.

Jessica Simpson giggles while meditating with a monk, her and her friends scream and dance around in horror at the thought of eating fried insects, and gets “chill bumps” when a psychic predicts that she will fall in love soon.  The three spoiled friends just seem naïve, spoiled and tacky.  A more intelligent and aware host would really benefit the show.

I don’t foresee a season 2 of this show in the future, I could be wrong.  After all, Jessica Simpson doesn’t abandon the spot light that easily.


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