Ashlee Simpson’s got Marie Claire readers all bent out of shape.
The magazine received hundreds of letters in protest after the singer was a cover subject for a story on body image. The magazine’s new editor agrees with the outrage, and she included a note in an expanded letters section taking the singer to task for what she calls an “obvious” nose job.
“She was quoting chapter and verse about how crucial it is to love yourself as you are, etc.,” Editor in Chief Joanna Coles wrote. “We’re dazed and confused — and disappointed — by her choice too!”
In the July cover story, Simpson helped a group of teenage girls make a mural that celebrated the female figure. The girls from Los Angeles’ Green Dot Public Schools painted messages of empowerment such as “Beautiful Mind,” “Confidence Is Sexy” and “Women Rock” on the mural.
“Everyone is made differently, and that’s what makes us beautiful and unique,” Simpson told the magazine. “I want girls to look in the mirror and feel confident.”
Readers were outraged that Simpson gave such lip service to accepting one’s body for what it is when her apparently new face was making the news.
“I realize you can’t control what your cover models do after the interview and photo shoot, but still!” one reader from Denver wrote.
“The article … was a joke, right?” a reader from Boston asked.
“You couldn’t have picked a worse role model!” fumed a reader from Toronto.
Other readers called Simpson “hypocritical” as well as “vapid, self-absorbed, [and] body-conscious,” with a reader from Los Angeles concluding, “She runs counter to everything I’ve come to appreciate in your magazine.”
In response to the reader outrage, Coles wrote in the September issue, on newsstands August 15, “What can we say? Her nose, her choice. (Although we rather liked her original one: She had that Gisele Bündchen thing going on).”
And in response to the editor giving so much space to the subject, Simpson’s rep Rob Shuter said, “I’m sorry the new editor is using Ashlee to get publicity for her magazine.”
Whatever cosmetic changes Simpson might have made to herself, she did say in the Marie Claire story that her beauty image is only skin-deep.
“Have there been times when I’ve been insecure? Hell, yeah!” Simpson said. “But have I ever felt unhappy with what I’m actually doing in my life? No.”