Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jessica Simpson

So last night, I was watching E! True Hollywood Story on Jessica Simpson & her family. (I know, I know, I got sucked in.) It was quite fascinating actually. I look at where Jessica is now & her dreams and visions when she started and I wonder, what happened? I don't have to look much further than her Pimp Daddy manager. Maybe I'm being too harsh but in my opinion, Daddy Simpson is not a good man. I can't blame it all on him, I'm sure Hollywood played a big part in it but the man who is supposed to be protecting his daughters, seems way more invested in cashing in on his daughters no matter what the cost. Before Daddy Simpson realized his daughters were talented and beautiful & how much money they could make him, he was a Baptist youth minister. I guess the first clue as to what makes him tick is his marrying Mommy Simpson – who was one of the high schoolers in the youth group he was pastor over. I'm trying not to judge, I'm just letting the facts speak for themselves.

Okay so Mommy & Daddy Simpson realize early on that daughter Jessica has been given a gift from God – an amazing voice. And Jess wants to use this voice to sing gospel and bring people to Christ and be a role model to young girls about faith and abstinence. But as she's growing up and becomes 14 years old, the Christian artist community shames her. You can't be a Christian artist, they say, you're too sexy, your breasts are too big. Sorry sweetie, your body is getting in the way of people being able to worship. You're just too sexy for God... Today we look at Jessica Simpson and see the way she dresses, and I certainly wonder about how far she must have come with the choices she makes about her image, but let's not forget, at this point in her story, she's 14 years old! What does that say to a young girl about her body, about her beauty? I wonder how much that played a part in the woman she presents to the world today.

So Daddy Simpson has a grand idea; the Christian community won't accept my daughter so let's go to Hollywood! Now Jess is competing with Brittney Spears and Christina Aguiler, teen pop stars who take their dance moves from porn. And what I heard from Jessica on E! was that she didn't want people focused on her body, she wanted them paying attention to her voice. She was modest and uncomfortable being “sexy”. She was told she needed to lose weight and sex-up her look if she wanted to get anywhere in this business. And we hear this kind of story all the time – with models and actresses and singers thrown into the Hollywood scene. Doesn't that just go with the territory? “Hey, if you want to be famous you have to expect to give up a few things – your privacy, your love for fried chicken and donuts, your control over how the media represents you. But what you get in return – fame and worship and money and all the material things you could ever want equals happiness & makes all the other slight disadvantages worth it. We promise.” That's not my problem, even though I could write a whole other post about my beef with Hollywood. No, my problem is, where is Daddy Manager through all this? Why is this not only okay with him but encouraged by him? Jess did not want to be another Brittney Spears or Christina Aguiler. She didn't want to sell her body to sell a record. That was not who she was. But Daddy knows best I guess... if you can't beat them, join them. After all, “My daughter's got Double D's! You can't cover them up!” (I'm not making this up – this is what Pimp Daddy Simpson said in an interview in GQ). I'm sorry, is that the father speaking or the manager? How does that even make a difference? He is her father. And what father says that about his daughter?

I look at Jessica now & I feel sad. I look at her sexed-up videos, I look at the way she dresses, I look at her first movie role as Daisy Duke in the movie Dukes of Hazzard; I look at her in lingerie, jumping out of a cake for her husband's birthday bash. And I think, well, Hollywood stole another one. Another woman looking to Hollywood to tell them what a woman is and what she is worth. I wonder when she's gonna wake up from Hollywood's laughing gas. When's she going to fight back? Or, has she given up and given in? Is this all she feels she's worth, this body she has? That this is what's important, not her voice. Her voice has taken backstage to her body – the very thing she didn't want. Does she remember her original dreams? It's like she got sucked into Hollywood and her passion and heart and values got lost along the way.

Jessica was given the gift of uncommon beauty and an even more gorgeous singing voice. Why didn't the Christian community protect this rather than shame her? But I'm even more angry at her father for not protecting his daughter from being so sexualized. How dangerous the Hollywood bubble is. How easy it is for all of us to get sucked in to the lies.


Anonymous said...

So, is that a "no" to pimping out Alexa and Kirsten? I have to pay for two weddings and three college educations somehow!!!

Completely agree with your take on Joe Simpson. Complete sleeze. And, yes, I'm judging.

thenothingsomeonesearching said...

Probably the best approach to Hollywood and any entertainer is to not take them too seriously. I love the biographies that they do on movie stars and musicians, especially the ones where the person in question owns up to all the controversy. I guess my general feeling is that the nature of the business is controversy. You shouldn't go into it expecting anything different. The best analogy that I have ever heard to interpret the nature of Hollywood is that these people that make us laugh and cry and drive us into fits of rage are much like the myhtological pantheon of gods and goddesses from classical Greece and Roman civilization. They hold us in awe of their beauty and ability but eventually show themselves to be as fragmented and vulnerable as we are. Another great perspective I have heard is that when these people fall from grace it reaffirms our own self-righteousness. As if to say that we might somehow be able to navigate through the waters of popularity and stardom without it going to our heads. Somebody please help me to keep this in mind the next time George W. says something uniquely George W. Anyway, I recommend staying in touch with creatures like Marilyn Manson who have really figured out the name of the game. Here is a guy holding up a mirror to our sad fascination with celluloid and cooperating with his own downfall. Anyone who has surfacely written the guy off because they have been offended by him needs to take a closer look at themselves. I guess my advice is to go along for the ride with these people who tantalize us. You never know when you could wind up on the cover of magazine. Welcome to America!