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Jessica Simpson says hurtful weight headlines 'stay with you for a lifetime'

The 40-year-old opens up about impact of body-shaming in a new interview.
Celebrity Sightings In New York - February 05, 2020
Jessica Simpson reflects on the time she was body shamed for wearing "mom jeans" in a new journal excerpt in her newly released edition of her memoir "Open Book."Jose Perez / GC Images
/ Source: TODAY

Many celebrities are skilled at publicly clapping back at online haters who make hurtful comments about their weight, but that doesn't mean the impact of those words can't last a lifetime. Just ask Jessica Simpson, who still vividly remembers the time she was body-shamed in 2009.

The incident occurred when a photo of the singer wearing a pair of high-waisted jeans and a tank top onstage went viral after online haters criticized Simpson's physique and "mom jeans." The 40-year-old has talked publicly about the incident on many occasions and in 2020, she told TODAY's Hoda Kotb that people's cruel comments "broke (her) heart."

The mother of three opened up about the experience in her memoir "Open Book" in a chapter titled "Death By Mom Jeans" and offers more insight into how the hurtful words affected her in a newly released paperback version of the book.

"In journals from 1999, I beat myself up about how fat I was before I even gave the world a chance to," she writes in the new edition of the book.

In a new interview with People, the fashion mogul reveals that sharing her inner monologue from that time was a cathartic experience.

"There is a wonderful movement for body positivity now and the response to that portion of my story has been overwhelmingly supportive," she told the magazine. "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."

Simpson has been open about her struggle with body image over the years and says that she's thankful she's in a happier place now.

"I spent so many years beating myself up for an unrealistic body standard that made me feel like a failure all of the time. 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," she said.

The entrepreneur, who unveiled an impressive 100-pound weight loss in September 2019, is also determined to maintain a nice dose of body positivity.

"I believe in my heart that a healthy body and a sound mind-body connection are what's truly important and help me accept imperfections as beauty," she said.