I’ve never been a huge Jessica Simpson fan. I mean, I don’t dislike her. I liked her music just fine although I never intentionally listened to it. I’ve always thought she was beautiful and sweet, but I’ve never followed her career or picked up a magazine if she was on the cover the way I do with Jennifer Aniston, my number one girl crush. (Please write a tell-all book, Jen. PLEASE.)
I didn’t watch The Newlyweds, but I vaguely remember hearing about the Chicken of the Sea jokes.
I’m telling you this because I just finished listening to Simpson’s memoir, Open Book, and I devoured it. It’s relatable and will leave you nodding your head at so many things she says whether you are a die-hard fan or not. She turned down the opportunity to write a book about “living your best” life because she wanted to be real — and I love her for it.
If it weren’t for my hairdresser, I probably wouldn’t have downloaded it. “She goes into detail about Nick Lachey, John Mayer, and Tony Romo. She leaves nothing out and even talks about — spoiler alert — the last time she had sex with Nick and how she could feel his hate.”
I have to admit, I started reading mostly for pure juicy details (don’t judge me), but quickly fell in love with it for other reasons.
She goes into details about her divorce (I’ve been through it too), she talks about her issues with food (yup, had those too), and the pressures she’s always felt to look perfect and be what every man wants her to be while losing herself (I’ve done this more times than I can count). She talks about weighing over 200 pounds during her pregnancy and breaking toilet seats (been there, done that). She doesn’t hide anything about her struggles and talks about her childhood abuse. It truly was an “open book” in every sense of the word.
I listened to it every moment I could. It made cleaning, running, and driving my kids about a whole hell of a lot easier. I can say with confidence if you are a person who has struggled with anything in your life, hearing her story will help you for the simple reason it feels good to know everyone — even Jessica Simpson — goes through a lot of hardship.
Simpson left nothing out, and for that reason, I felt like I was able to relate to her. She gets candid about how much power she gave the men in her life and how she let them control her happiness. Listening to her divulge that truth made me cringe with the realization that I put many of the men in my life ahead of myself for a really long time too. But now, at 44, I no longer feel the need to do that. I can’t deny how validating it was to know a beautiful, famous woman isn’t immune to having done the same.
Simpson made me feel empowered. Despite all the “dumb” jokes which have chased her around throughout her career, she’s remains kind and knows how to take care of herself. Simpson didn’t have to go into such visceral detail about how vulnerable she felt or how stripped these different men made her feel. She didn’t have to open up about her weight struggles or the fact she felt like she couldn’t cope if she was sipping on alcohol all day, even while mothering her kids. But I love that she did.
Because I believe anyone who listens to/ reads the book will feel validated. They will feel like they aren’t so alone in their struggle, no matter what it is. Simpson didn’t leave a single thing off the table even if it didn’t leave her in the best light, and she makes no apologies for it.
She’s also a celebrity who’s using her platform to show women of the world gaining weight during a pregnancy and not losing it all within weeks is normal and there’s no need to hide that and feel like you have to present anyone with a pretty picture. Thank the freaking Lord.
Open Book was, for me, a really good reminder that we all struggle and feel many negative emotions regardless of looks, money, or where we come from. And hearing a celebrity dish about all that instead of trying to give the impression they have a tidy life was refreshing AF.
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