Simpson was originally the third place finisher in the pedo-pop movement fronted by Britney Spears and Christina Aguillera. She was told she could get more attention if she lost weight (I remember a music video from the time, I didn't know she was overweight). So she did and got more attention. The pop career fizzled out, so she tried country, all the while insisting she was always a country singer detouring through pop. That album bombed, so it was back to pop. She did a show where she had put on a little weight. She actually looked healthy for a change, and, frankly, I thought she looked sexy. Then everyone made fun of her for not being ultraskinny and she lost the weight again. When dating a football player whose ex was a vegan, she wore a T-shirt that said real girls eat meat. A couple of weeks ago, she announced she was on a vegan diet to get skinny. She tried making a workout video (remember my Stress Puppy strip about why guys REALLY buy those videos?), but it got shelved when footage leaked of an "interview" from the start of the tape. She looked completely lost and laughed uncontrolably while the doctor and host tried to keep things on track.
Simpson has done a couple of good things. She was the first major artist to release an MP3 single without DRM, and it outsold anything else she did by a factor of three, making others take notice and moving us towards digital freedom. Last year, she did a magazine shoot without make-up and airbrushing, starting the whole "natural" look that everyone is doing (only because it's trendy, I guarantee vanity will stop this before too long). That photoshoot inspired her to create a new reality show called, "The Price Of Beauty", where she and some friends travel the world examining what is considered beautiful and what lengths women are willing to go through to achieve it. Okay, not exactly priority viewing for me, but whatever. It was the latest in her, "You should be proud of who you are." You know, kind of what her kid sister Ashley said before her nose job.
Well, that didn't take long. The Price Of Beauty is a bomb, and VH1 is looking to salvage its investment and Simpson her career as a TV draw. So the show is being retooled.
Into a makeover show.
You know, the polar opposite of what it was supposed to be.
As I think I'm making my point in the current Stress Puppy storyline, a lot of weight loss and getting fit is not about doing what is good for you, but about preying on neuroses or establishing how much better you are than other people. I just do crunches by tucking my feet under my nightstand to hold me down. I don't have to buy a $80 device that wastes space and ultimately doesn't do dick (the AbLounger! Even I saw the problem with this from the commercials, I didn't even have to try it). There's a lot of money to be made by exploiting people's insecurities about their appearances, from zits to losing hair to being too skinny (build mass!) or being too fat or not wearing the right clothes to....
Simpson is just like us. Only not in the way she intends. Her struggles with weight or looking good aren't the problem. The problem is she is insecure, has no real identity, and is will to do whatever it takes to carve one out, even letting others exploit her to do so. All the money in the world can never buy peace of mind.