When Lucky Magazine hit my doorstep this month, I immediately flipped to the cover interview with singer turned design mogul Jessica Simpson. The interview was pretty typical until on the third page of the interview buried between a story about John Mayer and fabric swatches was this:
“[In 2005] I got so much scrutiny for putting on extra pounds, but I think that the decision not to make myself anorexic was actually really great for branding. . . . When you’re really, really skinny, not everybody can relate to you.” (Emphasis mine)
I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about this statement, but I was struck by her comment because I’ve never heard anyone refer to an eating disorder and mental illness and part of a brand. Like one day one could wakeup and say, “I’m going to be anorexic because I really think it would help me sell some shoes!”
Earlier this week, I read Elissa’s post Anorexia, Recovery, and Walking Without Crutches, which is a reflection on Elissa’s recovery from anorexia. With this in mind, I find it hard to relate to Simpson’s comments on anorexia or an eating disorder as part of a marketing plan. Many studies and stories from those who have battled anorexia.
Surely Simpson lives in a world most of us don’t understand where she grew up in the spotlight and has been under public scrutiny since her teenage years. It seems as if 2005 was a turning point for Simspon, and this is the year that also happens to be the year the Dukes of Hazzard remake was released. Publicly, this seems to be the time when Simpson was notoriously at her skinniest.
So, let me ask: What do you think of Simpson’s statement? As always, you can share by commenting.