This month's Esquire cover profile of Jessica Simpson is so awesome I had to excerpt it for you. Writer Lisa Taddeo, who was also notably responsible for last month's Heath Ledger fan fiction, is clearly determined to outdo all other pants-creamingly overwrought Esquire celebrity profiles and the result is a single page so hyperbolically, preposterously Esquire it pulls off in a single page what Tom Junod would need 10,000 words to achieve, starting with a preamble about her "hair like Clorox sunshine" and "breasts like plucked guinea hens, undercooked and overstuffed." Click the pic for more brilliant celebrity vaguiography. (Also, how Tyra is the way Esquire constantly remakes its "iconic" photos of years past?)
It kind of contradicts itself in a few places, so we've bolded that.
IT'S WHAT YOU MIGHT PICTURE. Sitting on the couch in her parents' home in Encino, California, she's clutching a pillow to her stomach like a kid at a sleepover. A lot of what she says echoes what you've heard. You ask her which star of the silver screen she most identifies with, and she says Dolly Parton. Tee hee. She's got the oh-my-gosh nuh-uh of the small-town Texan.
Sure, Jessica Simpson is a lot like you would expect.
But look close.
Blow her off if you want. Say, She's not even that hot. Yesterday's news. Last year's pinup.
Now look even closer: She may have come from the same Mickey Mouse oven as her pantyless comrades, but unlike them, she is not melting. She is not checking in and out of rehab. She is not squeezing out babies like wet gremlins. She is not selling night-vision sex tapes on the Internet.
Now look north, into her eyes: Jessica Simpson is the future face of the new American job of celebrity, the first of the self-made, small-talent applicants who'll last a Liz Taylor lifetime.
She conjures the sensation of palming the cheerleader's ass behind the bleachers on unwilted September afternoons...You can see it in her girlfriend face. A face that lets men know she will one day be a good mother, with the promise of postpartum sex in her eyes. She says her lips are chapped from kissing. Maybe if you got close enough to kiss them you would see the reflection in her eyes — a football flying past the iris, a cheerleader pom-pomming in the back of the retina.
Simpson kept the cheerleader skirt on. She didn't give in whole naked hog to our imaginations.
"I've come to realize that the more I censor myself, the lest people relate to me," she says. "I went through a period in my life where I kept to myself, this last year and a half. And this is the first time, as I'm making my country album right now, I've had to just lay it all out there and go to that place where I'm comfortable saying, 'Here's my world, come back in.'
And this, the MONEY ANECDOTE:
She's talking about her favorite bra. She's saying that she's wearing it. "What is the damn name?" she asks the ceiling. She rustles around in her sweatshirt. "iI can't ever...watch me, I'm gonna take it off..."
She starts removing the bra under her sweatshirt. "This is so something I would do...Um." The bra is off and in her hands. "It's this. I LOVE this." Love is always in italics, capitalized. Bold-faced, underlined, drop-shadowed...."This store is unbelievable. Kiki de Montparnasse. I'm definitely black lace. Red lace is cheesy but black lace, hmm..."
This is Jessica Simpson.
Just a normal girl, a twenty-seven year-old preacher's daughter with a good-sized heart....at least here we've turned a real-live girl into something more: the lost American metaphor. A blond from Nowhere, Texas, holding a $200 bra in her hands. She knows she doesn't deserve it because of who she is.
You believe her. She's in for the long haul. So he'll continue playing the part, working her way up. She'll be Daisy Duke, she'll wear sort shorts, she'll be a blonde and act like a ditz on camera. She won't bitch about not being in a Woody Allen film or try to write a postmodern novel about canned tuna. Nothing will be handed to Jessica Simpson.