Jessica Simpson Says She Couldn't Even Watch Britney's Documentary

by Julie Scagell
Steve Granitz/ John Shearer/Getty

Jessica Simpson has much respect for Britney Spears’ life and career

Singer, entrepreneur, and mom-of-three Jessica Simpson opened up in a new PEOPLE interview and in it, she talked about how much she admires fellow star Britney Spears.

Simpson’s memoir “Open Book” is being released in paperback version this week and in celebrating all the book has given her, she addressed the toxic entertainment environment both she and Spears came up in and how she couldn’t even watch the much-acclaimed New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears.

“I honestly choose not to watch the documentary,” she said. “I didn’t want to watch and bring back any of the dark pieces of my personal coming of age in the music business. I have worked through a lot and want to keep moving forward in my own story on my own path.” Though it was painful for most of us to watch, Simpson knows all too well the pressures that happened back in the ’90s and early 2000s to fit into a mold Hollywood created for women.

Simpson said she’s admired Britney for handling the pressures of the industry.

“I admire her ambition, strength and the capability to live unapologetically and authentically,” she said of Spears, adding that she’s “happy that people are supporting Britney.” A ‘Free Britney’ movement, which has been ongoing for years regarding her conservatorship has gotten major backing publicly from celebrities and fans alike.

In her memoir’s newest version, Simpson opened up about how much her body was scrutinized back then and the pressure to be as small as possible to fit what the industry believed would sell records. “There is a wonderful movement for body positivity now and the response to that portion of my story has been overwhelmingly supportive,” she said. “I don’t think people always realized that there was a human being, a beating heart and working eyes with actual feelings behind those headlines and that words can hurt and stay with you for a lifetime.”

Both singers have been open about the pressure to lose weight.

Spears herself address the constant pressure, even now, to look a certain way. “I’m trying to learn how to use technology in this technology driven generation,” Spears said in an Instagram post in February. “But to be totally honest with you I can’t stand it!!! So…if my posts aren’t perfect…I’m doing this for fun!!!! If you think I should look like I’m on a magazine cover when I dance….sorry ain’t happening.”

Simpson’s sentiments echoed that of her fellow artist. “I spent so many years beating myself up for an unrealistic body standard that made me feel like a failure all of the time,” she said. “I am still a work in progress when it comes to self-criticism but now I have the tools to quiet those voices in my head when they speak up.”

We’re very much here for women supporting women and becoming exactly who they are without anyone’s unsolicited (and totally garbage) opinions.