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Jessica Simpson Opened Up About “Feeling Like A Failure” For Years After Being Body-Shamed By The World In 2009

“Words can hurt and stay with you for a lifetime.”

Posted on March 24, 2021, at 12:46 p.m. ET

Jessica Simpson opened up about the body-shaming she faced after photos of her performing in Texas in 2009 went viral.

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Shortly after her performance, the singer was met with headlines branding her “Jumbo Jessica” and suggesting she’d “let herself go” by “ballooning.”

Logan Fazio / Getty Images

In her memoir, Jessica says that she was a US size 4 at the time.

Well, People has now published an excerpt from a new edition of Simpson’s memoir, Open Book, which includes a page from her journal that was written at the time. In the excerpt, Simpson wrote that she felt “heartbroken” over the body-shaming.

“Today my heart breaks because people say I’m fat,” the excerpt begins. “Why does the cruel opinion of this world get to me?”

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“Last week I read back on my journals from ’99 and I beat myself up about how fat I am before I even gave the world a chance to,” she continues. “Today my heart breaks because people say I am fat.”

Simpson went on to write that she spends “80% of the day” thinking about her body, before confessing she’s worried she could “lose everything” as a result of her “self doubt.”

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And the singer is reflecting on the diary entry 12 years on, telling People that she spent “years” beating herself up and feeling like a “failure” for not reaching an “unrealistic body standard.”

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“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 explained. “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.”

However, she went on to say that she’s feeling much more confident following the positive response to her book.

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

She added, “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.”

This isn’t the first time Simpson has spoken about the “mom jeans” incident. She previously told Glamour how it affected her love of performing.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

"It ruined the stage for me,” she said. “And the stage was my home. It broke my home."

In her memoir, Simpson adds that this obsession with her weight began after her appearance in the 2005 movie Dukes of Hazzard — which then became the “before” image of every story about her weight.

You can read Simpson’s full interview with People here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.