Jessica Simpson has a nice voice and all, but her greatest talent might be making the best of her situation, whatever it is at any given moment. She was a nearly-forgotten relic of the teen-pop boom settling into a domestic life with a new hubby when she made a reality show about it — and became a bigger star than ever. She starred in a silly Dukes of Hazzard remake but got glowing press for her killer Daisy Duke body. She flamed out on the pop charts only to take on the country ones. Now she’s doing it again, making silver linings of that black cloud of weight controversy hanging over the early half of her 2009: She’s making a documentary series for VH1 called The Price of Beauty, in which she’ll travel the world to examine how regular women and celebrities across cultures try to live up to cultural standards. She’ll “study the local fashions, dietary fads, and beauty regimes and even participate in some of the extreme practices she discovers.”
Now, I caused a bit of a stir back during those black-cloud days by questioning whether her willingness to open up so much of her life for public consumption made her particularly vulnerable to all the conjecture about her body. (I’ll take this chance to mention that I never meant to blame the victim, simply to raise the question; lesson learned about clarity in blogging.) But I must say here: This newest project is exactly the kind of “reality TV” we need more of, presuming it’s done reasonably well. It even gets at an idea we don’t talk a lot about, for obvious reasons — the difficulties with being beautiful. The occasional starlet has complained of excessive hotness’ tribulations, like the Jessicas Alba and Biel, but it never goes over well with the masses. And understandably so. Most regular folks probably feel that even if being pretty comes with some inconveniences, it still beats being ugly. But Simpson could end up being the right person — with her good-natured self-awareness — to tackle this tricky topic in just the right way — by looking at others, celebrity and not, American and not. Here’s to hoping for pretty — if not flawless — results.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Could The Price of Beauty be the perfect fit for Jessica Simpson? Or are you over celebs talking about their looks, period?